Steamboat Running Series expands reach |

Steamboat Running Series expands reach

Adaptive division added for Thanksgiving’s Turkey Trot starting at the high school

— A little extra effort will help ensure that this year’s Turkey Trot is accessible to everyone.

For the first time, the Steamboat Springs Running Series will include an adaptive category for athletes with disabilities. Thursday’s race starts at 9 a.m. at Steamboat Springs High School.

Having an adaptive category always has been a goal for Lisa Barbour, Winter Run­­ning Series director for the Steamboat Springs Running Series. Hand-cycles and wheelchairs will be allowed on the 4.6-mile, out-and-back course that will take racers to Buffalo Park Road in Strawberry Park.

“It’s a perfect course,” Bar­bour said. “We need to add these adaptive categories to the races where we can easily do it.”

Barbour consulted with Andy Kennedy about the des­ign and accessibility of the course and starting area, where handicapped parking and restrooms needed to be available. Kennedy is the director of operations for Steamboat Springs-based Access Anything, which has worked to improve access to facilities for people with disabilities since 2003.

“We’re excited that competition providers like the Running Series are starting to be all-inclusive,” Kennedy said. “This is something we’ve been striving for. I’m thrilled that day has arrived.”

Barbour said she had no idea how many athletes with disabilities the event may draw.

“At least we’ll have the word out that adaptive athletes will be able to do some of our events,” she said.

Last year’s inaugural Thanks­giving Day Turkey Trot drew 90 competitors, many of whom were visitors in Steamboat looking to burn some calories before feasting later that day. Unicycles, strollers and leashed dogs also will be allowed during this year’s race.

Runners and spectators should be prepared for cold temperatures. Thursday’s high is forecast to be 15 degrees, and snow is predicted through Wednesday.

“Wear a costume, wear whatever you want,” Barbour said.

Participants can pre-register for the race at http://www.running and Ski Haus, for $15. Race-day registration also is $15.

All net proceeds from this year’s race will be donated to the LIFT-UP Food Bank. Donations of nonperishable food items also are encouraged.

“On the way out (of) your house, grab a couple cans of beans or whatever you have,” Barbour said.

Thursday’s race is the second of the five-event Winter Running Series. The next race, the 10-kilometer Love the Run You’re With, is Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day.

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