Running Series takes to trails Saturday |

Running Series takes to trails Saturday

Wisconsin's Jacob Bransky
Austin Colbert

Howelsen Hill Trail Run

What: The first trail race of the Steamboat Springs Running Series this summer

When: 8 a.m. Saturday

Where: Start and finish is at Olympian Hall, near the base of Howelsen Hill

Cost: $30 for the eight-mile race, $25 for the four-mile race

How: Register online at during packet pick-up from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Twisted Trails or at Olympian Hall the morning of the race

— Emerald Mountain, the beautiful gem that hovers over downtown Steamboat Springs, is a mecca for mountain bikers. It’s more of a diamond in the rough for runners, however, but will get its turn Saturday during the 11th annual Howelsen Hill Trail Run.

“It’s a good way to showcase some routes on Emerald for people,” race director Walter Magill said Thursday. “I was trying to get some people at the (Town Challenge) bike race last night to come over and sign up.”

Saturday’s race is the fourth of the summer in the Steamboat Springs Running Series, following the Hayden Cog Run and Spirit Challenge, both in May, and the June 5 Steamboat Marathon.

The Howelsen Hill race is the first off-pavement race of the season with Emerald’s trails just dry enough for runners. There are still some wet spots, though, forcing the race officials to tweak parts of the course.

The main race is an eight-mile loop that starts and ends at Olympian Hall, near the base of Howelsen. There is also a four-mile race option.

“There is probably a half-mile detour, so the world record won’t be broken this year,” Magill said. “The city hasn’t opened Blair Witch yet, so because of the wetness on Blair Witch, we are going to have to use the Quarry Mountain bypass.”

Race events include a raffle, lunch from Winona’s Restaurant and Bakery and the chance to demo and actually race in new Salomon shoes.

Athletes can pre-register for the race online at There will also be day of registration at Olympian Hall from 6:30 to 7:45 a.m. Packet pick-up takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Twisted Trails Running Company, 601 Lincoln Avenue. You can also register during that time.

Both races begin at 8 a.m. Cost is $30 for the eight mile and $25 for the four mile, with a cheaper “no frills” option available for $20 and $15, respectively.

Longmont’s Paul Moth has won the eight-mile race the previous two years. Jacob Bransky, visiting from Wisconsin, won last year’s four-mile race.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

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