Spring Creek Memorial still gnarly after all these years
Steamboat Springs — The good news this year for the Spring Creek Memorial Trail Run is that course records will be up for grabs.
That’s not any kind of comment about the runners who have won past races at the race, which is now more than two decades old, but instead, the reality after changes to the trail last year added about half a mile to the longest of the day’s races.
The even better news, according to race director Cara Marrs, is that the change, which lengthened that race to 9.5 miles, went over really well in its first year.
“Everyone liked it way better,” she said.
The Spring Creek event starts at 8 a.m. Saturday and includes that 9.5-mile run, a 5K run and, new this year, a children’s run.
Last year’s course change dealt with the race’s biggest unique feature, a long section of the 9.5-mile course that cuts up through private ground and along very rough trail. It removed one short, especially gnarly section and replaced it with a longer but smoother area much easier to run.
The change in course necessitated a new course record.
The current women’s course record holder, last year’s winner, is Anna Mae Flynn, who finished at 1 hour, 17 minutes and 33 seconds. Ryan Mahalsky won on the men’s side in 1:07:32.
Those who loved the race’s backwoods elements need not worry, either. There’s still plenty there. Volunteers spent a day this week hacking the trail out and reported the weeds were taller this summer than they’d been in as long as anyone could remember.
And for the less adventurous who still want to stretch their legs, the 5K run sticks to the singletrack of Spring Creek Trail.
The children’s fun run will begin at 8:35 a.m. and lead the day’s smallest racers around the ponds near the start/finish line.
Registration is still available at packet pickup, which takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday from at Twisted Trails Running Company in downtown Steamboat Springs. Runners will still be able to register on the morning of the race at the Spring Creek trailhead.
The event has a cap of about 180 runners, and the long course has a limit of 100. As of Thursday afternoon, about 145 were signed up for all distances, and the long race was filling quickly.
Marrs cautioned people against expecting to be able to park at the trailhead. Plenty of parking should be available in the nearby Steamboat Springs High School parking lots.
“It’s such a cool race because having that private property section is just awesome,” Marrs said. “We’ll be able to keep using that as long as we take care of it and people don’t litter.”
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