Jones, Picking lead pack | SteamboatToday.com

Jones, Picking lead pack

'Die-hard locals,' tourists join in 2003 Running Series

Melinda Mawdsley

Barbara Jones and Andy Picking were the top runners in the 2003 Steamboat Springs Running Series.

Jones totaled 104 points on the women’s side, edging out Dorothy Bradley, who had 103 points.

Picking, meanwhile, won the men’s title with 75 points. Gary Wall finished second with 70 points.

Emily Conjura, the 2003 Running Series director, and Nate Anderson finished third in their respective divisions.

Of the top three runners in each division, Bradley consistently drove the farthest, traveling from Cheyenne, Wyo., the day before each race. The drive is 175 miles each way, but Bradley’s fondness for Routt County and running in the area made the drive worthwhile for the 73-year-old athlete.

“I have a friend who lives in Steamboat and got me started participating in some of the races in 1997,” she said. “I have been in love with Steamboat since I visited 15 years ago when my son owned a condominium there. Coming down Rabbit Ears Pass, I smile as soon as I see down into the valley.”

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The variety of courses the running series offered this season lured runners from across the country.

The 2003 series included races on Mount Werner and Rabbit Ears Pass, and in Hayden and South Routt County. The races used pavement, single-track trails and U.S. Forest Service roads.

Thirty people registered for the running series in hopes of winning the overall title, but numbers for individual races were higher, as visitors from the Front Range or tourists from outside Colorado came to the area to participate in events such as the Steamboat Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K, or the Spring Creek Memorial Run.

“It was a great summer for running and racing in Steamboat Springs,” Conjura said. “As always, there were many new faces in town, but there was also our core group of die-hard locals who came out for the challenge, excitement and friendships they have found on the roads and trails that Steamboat and the Running Series races have to offer.”

The 2003 season marked the final one for Conjura. She has spent the past five years in charge of the series and the Mount Werner Classic. She is taking graduate classes in Denver and has turned the director position over to Heather Eller.