Running Series returns Saturday with trip up snow-covered Emerald |

Running Series returns Saturday with trip up snow-covered Emerald

— The Steamboat Springs Winter Running Series never has been an equal match for its summer cousin, its races far fewer and further between than the May-to-September circuit. Still, since it was founded in 2010, the winter series's events have proven overwhelming popular, from the holiday hit that's the Turkey Trot to partnered events like Girls on the Run and the Steamboat Pentathlon.

The final event of the series, Love the Run You're With, never really gained traction, but series director Lisa Barbour is far from giving up on one of the town's unique running races, which is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at the base of Howelsen Hill.

"I just like the idea that since it's a winter series, we should have a race on winter trails," she said. "I want people to realize they can use Emerald Mountain in the winter, for them to know there's a lot going on up there."

The race has had an awkward three years of existence. One year, the city was walloped by a snowstorm the day before the race, making it a tough slog for those brave enough to try. The date also has fallen on the same day as races in Utah, which tend to draw some of Steamboat's hard-core runners.

That led to Barbour pushing this year's date back as far as it's been. Now, she said the trails are slick but they've been thoroughly trampled and are in great condition.

She recommended Yaktrax or similar traction-assisting devices but said runners should have no other trouble on the trails.

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"I really want people to realize Emerald offers summer and winter fun, and if we can get people out there, they'll see that these trails get packed down," she said. "They'll see you can use most of the same trails in the winter that you can in the summer."

Registration remains open until 6 p.m. Friday at and is available day-of starting at 8 a.m. The race will begin near the chairlift at the base of Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs and stretch for about 5.5 miles.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email

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