Mountain Madness hauls in 100 runners |

Mountain Madness hauls in 100 runners

Luke Graham

— It was picturesque.

The jaunt up River Road and into the Dakota Ridge then down Aspen Ridge Road.

All this with the sun peaking over the mountains and the balloon rodeo lining the skyline.

Of course, this was just another day for the Steamboat Springs Running Series.

Sunday’s 29th annual Mountain Madness half marathon and 10K brought out more than 100 runners.

It also brought out a slew of compliments to the course and the beauty of Steamboat.

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“It’s Steamboat man. Are you kidding me?,” said Boulder resident and men’s winner in the half marathon Jeff Courter. “It’s beautiful here.”

Courter, who was up visiting some friends decided to do the race just as a workout. It only was his second competitive race, but the cycling enthusiast’s steady pace proved to be the right recipe.

Courter said he went out slow and stayed with a group before finally taking the lead with two miles to go.

“This is only the second race I’ve ever done in my life,” said Courter, noting he was happy with his time of 1:30:11 since he had little to base it off of. “I guess I just got a little experience.”

Former Steamboat Springs High School runner Matt Hill finished first in the 10K.

Hill, who will attend Western State College in Gunnison in the fall and run for the cross country team, came away from his race just happy to finally be running healthy.

After battling bronchitis at the end of the track season, Hill said he’s finally recovering and back to training.

While his time of 39:14 was three minutes slower than he wanted, Hill said getting out and competing again made Sunday a good day.

“This is just to get out here and get in a hard effort,” Hill said. “It’s something different.”

On the women’s side, Craig resident Christine Knight finished first in the 10K, and Steamboat pre-school teacher Lori Huggard finished first in the half marathon.

For Knight, who ran the U.S. Trail Championships last weekend and still was recovering after finishing 12th, the race provided her an opportunity to get out and explore Steamboat a little more after moving to the Yampa Valley last fall.

“Coming off the trail championships, I could honestly feel it” Sunday, Knight said. “The first 5K I felt good, then the lactic started hitting my legs. Still, it was just fun.”

The race was the last 2007 Steamboat Springs Running Series event on a paved course until the fall. The Aug. 3 to 4 Wild West Relay is on a paved course but starts in Fort Collins and does not count toward series point standings.

The next race is the Howelsen Hill 8-miler on Saturday.

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