Eric Bergman flies down after one of the final climbs in the Howelsen Hill 8-miler. The race returns to Steamboat Springs this weekend.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Eric Bergman flies down after one of the final climbs in the Howelsen Hill 8-miler. The race returns to Steamboat Springs this weekend.

Howelsen Hill brings trail running back Saturday

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Howelsen Hill 8-Miler

What: Howelsen Hill 8-Miler, 8-mile and 4-mile trail running race

Where: Howelsen Lodge in downtown Steamboat Springs

When: 8 a.m.

Cost: The 4-mile race costs $25 and the 8-mile race is $30. Sign-up at www.RunningSeries...

— Saturday marks the first day of summer and Walter Magill is confident he knows a perfect way to celebrate that fact.

The Howelsen Hill 8-miler trail run returns to Steamboat Springs with an 8 a.m. start on Saturday, a bright and early welcome to the new season.

“It gives people a chance to get up there when it’s still the beginning of the summer,” said Magill, the race’s director.

The event includes two races, a 4-mile version and the namesake 8-mile run. The races start at Howelsen Lodge at the base of the hill, then work up Emerald Mountain’s southeast side, on the Bluffs Trail. Runners then go up Ricky Ridge, up Lupine to the quarry where an aid station awaits. Then they go down Blair Witch, MGM and eventually back to the bottom to finish again in front of Howelsen Lodge.

“It’s not too challenging, not too long, and it’s a good showcase of Howelsen Hill for people who don’t know about all of the trails there,” Magill said.

The race attracted 130 runners last year, and Magill is expecting to at least approach and perhaps surpass that number this year. There have already been 80 athletes pre-register, and organizers are reaching out to this weekend’s visitors into town, leaving flyers inviting Triple Crown youth baseball tournament parents and players over for the run.

The day’s proceeds will benefit the Routt County Youth Services Coalition.

The 4-mile run costs $25, and the 8-mile race is $30. Registration is available online at www.runningseries.com, and will also be available in person starting at 7 a.m. on the day of the race.

Sign-up includes the race as well as a T-shirt for the first 140 runners, a prize raffle and food from Winona’s.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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