Steamboat Springs Running Series expands with new duathlon | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs Running Series expands with new duathlon

— The Steamboat Springs Running Series has enjoyed record growth in the last year, a trend that doesn't seem to be on the verge of stopping anytime soon as out-of-town racers are steadily registering for many of the series' events later this summer.

"We already have over 100 for the Mountain Madness," series director Cara Marrs said a­­­bout the July 3 race.

The series will expand in a different way Sunday, running its first event in Craig. The inaugural Craig Du­­athlon will test Running Series regulars in a totally new way.

The event starts at 8 a.m. from Craig's Lou­­dy-Simpson Park. It will send athletes run­­ning on a 5-kilometer trail course, cycling 30 kilometers along Moffat County roads, and then across the trail again for 5 more kilometers of running.

"We have been trying to get an event on this side of the valley, but that didn't go over so well until Cara (Marrs) and Lisa (Barbour) took over the series," race director Jim Gregoire said. "When I mentioned it to them they were all for it."

Gregoire said the inspiration behind combining running and cycling came from his own desires. Swimming is the one aspect of a triathlon that's never appealed to him, so he figured there might be plenty of others out there looking for an entirely dry tri experience.

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"Swimming long distances, that's boring," he said. "We wanted something that would be a bit of a challenge, but not like the Mount Werner Classic or the Continental Divide Trail Run. Those are really tough races for the top echelon of athletes. Still, this will be tough. The running section is fairly flat, but the cycling course has some good-sized hills to it."

The running course will be along trails pounded in by the Moffat County High School cross-country team, one of the best in the state. Much of it will be along the Yampa River.

Marrs said organizers had hoped to make the bike portion all trail, as well, but for this year it will be road-bike appropriate.

"A lot of people can do this race," she said. "It's not just for runners or just for cyclists. It's just going to be a fun event, something different than most of the events in this town that are all one discipline or the other. It will have a friendly, fun atmosphere and people should get out and try it."

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

If you go

What: Inaugural Craig Duathlon, an event featuring a 5-kilometer run, a 30-kilomter road bike ride and a final 5-kilometer run

When: 8 a.m. Sunday

Where: Loudy-Simpson Park on Ranney Street in Craig

Cost: Registration is $45 for one racer and $65 for a team of two, who can split up sections of the three-part race.

Other: To register online or for more information, visit http://www.runningseries.com