Spirit Challenge returns with 5K, 10K courses Saturday | SteamboatToday.com

Spirit Challenge returns with 5K, 10K courses Saturday

Luke Graham

— The Steamboat Springs Running Series opens Saturday with the 25th annual Spirit Challenge.

The race — like all in the series — benefits a local nonprofit organization. Saturday's race raises money for the Legacy Education Foundation.

The race begins at 10 a.m. at Steamboat Springs Middle School. There are 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer races. People can preregister by going to http://www.runningseries.com or at Ski Haus until noon Friday. The preregistration cost is $25, and day-of registration is $30. Children 16 and younger pay their age but must register at Ski Haus. Day-of registration will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The top three finishers in each category will win a prize. There also will be a drawing for prizes.

Both races begin and end at Steamboat Springs Middle School. The 5-kilometer race goes around the school by Butcherknife Creek Trail. The 10-kilometer goes uphill toward Strawberry Park before returning. There is an aid station at the turnaround for the 10-kilometer race. Neither race is extremely difficult, series Director Cara Marrs said, and the run serves as a great kickoff to the season.

"It's a good race because it's the first one," Marrs said. "It's a good one to get the legs stretched out. It's also perfect if you're doing the Steamboat half-marathon. It's the perfect race to do now that you're into your half-marathon training."

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The race benefits the Legacy Education Foundation, which gives grants to teachers in Routt County public schools for projects that promote student involvement in community leadership or support the community overall.

Marrs said supporting local causes and nonprofits in the community is a big part of the Running Series.

She encouraged those interested in participating to register early so race directors have an idea of how much food to get. Runners will get a free lunch from Freshies.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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