Nearly 450 runners hop off in 10th annual Run Rabbit Run 100
Hundreds gathered with their bunny ear headbands at Steamboat Resort on Friday, Sept. 16, to embark on the 10th annual Run Rabbit Run 100 mile race.
Featuring athletes from 45 states and 14 countries, Run Rabbit Run is one of the most competitive races in the country and grants the largest prize total of any trail race in the world.
Race Co-directors Fred Abramowitz and Paul Sachs dreamed up the Run Rabbit Run race 15 years ago, starting out with a 50-mile run taking competitors to Rabbit Ears Pass and back. Five years later, they added a 100-mile run to the event, drawing people from all over the country and the world to compete and take in the scenic beauty of Steamboat Springs.
“This is the 10th year of our 100,” Abramowitz said. “Our goal was always to bring some of the greatest athletes in the world to Steamboat Springs which is a town known for producing more Olympic athletes, but they’re winter athletes. Now, we’ve got some of the greatest summer athletes in the world and they’re going to start this race in the pouring rain because they are tough.”
While the weather conditions were less than ideal to start the race, Sachs said the runners will thrive in the cooler conditions. Normally, the sun is beating down, dehydrating the runners quickly.
It takes a very specific type of person to compete in a race like this, and Sachs claims the mental aspect of it makes it much different than a typical marathon.
“You have to be in really good shape but at some point, you are going to want to quit regardless because it is far,” Sachs said. “For a lot of people, it’s to do something really difficult and see if you can do it. It’s amazing when people finish because it is not easy.”
The attrition rate for the race is normally around 50%, proving just how impossibly difficult the ultramarathon is.
One hopeful finisher, Kevin Biggs, came to Steamboat all the way from Calgary, Alberta to compete. Biggs has been running at an elite level for three years now but this is his first Run Rabbit Run and second 100-mile race.
Biggs explained he was most concerned by the altitude and the overall distance as he was about to embark on his journey.
“I’m very nervous and excited,” Biggs said. “I’m excited to see the sights, even though it’s a little overcast, it’s very beautiful out here.”
Despite the massive popularity of the event, Sachs and Abramowitz have noticed a lack of female participation over the years and implemented a new team aspect to the race this year.
Teams made up of one male and one female runner will earn a combined time once both runners cross the finish line, the team with the fastest time is awarded money.
“We’re always trying to promote more women participation in ultrarunning,” Sachs said. “A lot more men do it than women. On the elite level, the male and female combos are running and the fastest combined time will get $5,000.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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