Runners take on Howelsen Hill Trail Race
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — They arrived; they ran, ate and left.
Early Saturday at 6 a.m., the Hard Card Timing crew began setting up video screens, tables, tents and electronics just outside Olympian Hall to prepare for the annual Howelsen Hill Trail Run. At the same time, teams of volunteers slowly unloaded boxes, tables, coolers and water jugs.
Items were hauled for the brunch, tents set up, trucks loaded for water stops, and at 7 a.m., runners slowly began to show up at the race sign-up table and packet pickup.
The clock was ticking away as the 8 a.m. start approached, and runners reviewed the course description, warming up with stretches and receiving a race breakdown.
At 8 a.m., the runners in both the 4-mile and 8-mile Howelsen Hill trail run were off to navigate the trails on Howelsen Hill.
They were off under cloud cover and pleasant temperatures to enjoy the beautiful trails bursting with wildflowers. In the 4-Mile Trail Run, all top five finishers were 19 and younger in the men’s race and were led by Henry Murphy, first, Tyler Terranova, second, and 12-year-old Jackson Parrill from Parker in third.
Maggi Congdon won the women’s 4-mile race, followed by Daria Kuznetsova in second and Carolyn Lucca in third.
The men’s 8-Mile Run was won by Gabriel Small in a sprint finish against Watkins Fulk Gray, after Small overcame some bikers who fell in front of him on a sprint downhill. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s Nordic coach Josh Smullin was third in the men’s race. In the women’s race, Pearson Alspach won by three minutes, Ryan Ernstes was second and Penelope Freeman came in third.
Runners enjoyed swapping trail stories and eating a brunch from Winona’s restaurant while awaiting awards and a raffle with many prizes supplied by the Steamboat Springs Running Series and the many local sponsors of the running series.
As the clock approached 10:30 a.m. the timing crew had packed up, sandwiches were picked over and everything was packed back into the volunteers’ cars, ready for the next race. Nothing was left behind except a good time and a bag of recyclables.
The next race in the running series is the Mountain Madness marathon and 10K on July 1 and the Hahn’s Peak Hill Climb on July 7. Visit runningseries.com for more information.
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