Running through the ‘Boat | SteamboatToday.com

Running through the ‘Boat

Jason Saitta wins again, adds eighth title

— Some started fast, and some slow. Some ran every step, and some walked most. Some talked with friends along the way, and some broke out and ran alone.

On a bluebird, early summer day Sunday, 1,656 finished, helping the 27th annual Steamboat Marathon go off without a problem.

“It was a perfect day and everything went awesome,” marathon director Paul Sachs said. “It’s gone well every year, but this was a good year.”

Plenty of locals and visitors used the warm morning to walk the 10-kilometer race. Many took their time and enjoyed the scenery in the 13-mile half marathon, as well.

Even Jason Saitta, the sensational marathoner from Parker, slowed to a walk for his last couple steps, grabbing his 7-week-old son, Torin, from his wife before he crossed the finish line for his eighth Steamboat Marathon title.

Saitta, who had a time of 2 hours, 36 minutes and 2 seconds, bested his nearest competitors by six minutes.

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“They all feel bad,” Saitta said of his eight wins, laughing minutes after finishing the race. “I felt heavy at the beginning. My legs just didn’t feel good turning over. I finally relaxed and felt better when I hit the hill coming up toward the airport at about mile 21.”

Spectators dotted the 26.2-mile course from its start at Hahn’s Peak Village, down along the Elk River and toward the west end of Steamboat Springs. Finally, the path led runners down Lincoln Avenue, where the crowds thickened with every block. Saitta stole the show, finishing with baby in arms and hundreds of fans pushing to get near the finish line to catch a glimpse.

Plenty of other racers were thrilled with their performances.

Holly Meyer, the women’s marathon champion, was nearly too successful. She finished at 3:29:03, 90 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor despite running in just the second marathon of her life.

Meyer, who traveled from Albuquerque, N.M., for the race, said initially she made one of the most common mistakes associated with the Steamboat Marathon. She roared down the slopes from the starting line, expecting all 26.2 miles to be downhill.

That’s not the case, despite what the overall change in elevation might suggest. A background in trail running helped Meyer make up the late inclines, and she was able to overcome the gaff and fight for the lead.

“I felt great. It’s such a gorgeous course and such friendly people,” Meyer said. “I went out pretty fast, but I had great people around me the whole time. They were super chatty and had watches and were able to keep me paced.”

When she finally came cruising down Lincoln toward the finish line in front of the Routt County Courthouse, she was well ahead of the four hours she had guessed she’d take to finish.

“I was worried my mom wouldn’t be there for it,” Meyer said. “I told her she didn’t have to be watching until four hours.

“I was here for Christmas too, and we got that huge dump of snow on Christmas Day, so I’m loving Steamboat. It’s a great town.”

There was plenty of local success in the men’s marathon. Moffat County High School cross-country coach Todd Trapp followed Saitta into town, finishing in second place in 2:41:56. Ian Mallams, an 18-year-old Steamboat resident, was next, in third at 2:45:03.

“In the first half of the race, there were four of us out there, and I just tried to stay in contact with them,” Trapp said. “I was in fourth through the first half, then (one runner) dropped out and I caught up with (Mallams) around the 18th mile.”

Tim Hola of Littleton took the men’s half marathon in 1:16:57, while Amy Schneider of Denver took the women’s in 1:33:10.

Danielle Korb of Fort Collins won the women’s 10-kilometer run in 37:13, while Tito Downer of Indianapolis took the men’s title in 36:08.

For many, the day was about more than a time and a place, however. Dozens of runners associated with Team in Training, a marathon training organization that raises money for leukemia and lymphoma research, covered the course, many running in support of sick family members.

There was one marriage proposal at the finish line – she said “yes” – and there were no serious injuries. One 10K runner who collapsed near the finish line and was whisked anyway in an ambulance was reported to be doing fine in the afternoon.

Results

Men’s 10 Kilometer run

1. Tito Downer, 36:08

2. J.D. Daerr, 36:44

3. Derek Leidigh, Steamboat Springs, 36:54

Women’s 10 K run

1. Danielle Korb, 37:13

2. Lesia Atkinson, 41:19

3. Mary Shore, 45:29

7. Shayna Sutherin, Steamboat Springs, 48:25

Men’s Half marathon

1. Tim Hola, 1:16:57

2. Adam Batliner, 1:17:47

3. Steve Cathcart, 1:19:31

7. Travis Mattern, 1:23:45

Women’s half marathon

1. Amy Schneider, 1:33:10

2. Courtney Benningson, 1:33:42

3. Eileen McCann, 1:34:30

8. Sarah Hamilton, Steamboat Springs, 1:38:22

Men’s marathon

1. Jason Saitta, 2:36:02

2. Todd Trapp, Craig, 2:41.56

3. Ian Mallams, Steamboat Springs, 2:45:03

Women’s marathon

1. Holly Meyer, 3:29:03

2. Debbie Cropper, 3:31:36

3. Patricia Wassik, 3:32:41

4. Angie Mangiardi, Steamboat Springs, 3:38:21