Steamboat running series hits the trails with 8-mile event at Howelsen Hill |

Steamboat running series hits the trails with 8-mile event at Howelsen Hill

Runner Michael Lovato races toward the finish line of the Howelsen 8-miler.
Luke Graham

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s just 8 miles for those in the longest race, but running race organizer Walter Magill hopes the Howelsen Hill 8-miler and 4-miler offers runners a chance to come out and explore the beauty of Emerald Mountain.

“I like to think of it as just a little morning event,” Magill said of the race he helped start 12 years ago. “It’s a chance to come out and party with some local friends and visitors. We take pride in starting about 8 a.m. and wrapping up by 10:30 a.m. We have a great brunch, and everybody gets some exercise, is fed and on their way to enjoy the rest of the day.”

Magill said he started the race, which will take place Saturday, because there wasn’t an event on Emerald Mountain at the time. He said he normally heads out with friends a few days before the event to mark the trails. Working with Steamboat Running Series organizers makes things pretty easy.

The race begin and ends at Olympian Hall and runs clockwise out on Bluffs Trail and up Ricky’s Ridge before the course splits. Runners in the 4-mile event return using Mile Run. Participants in the 8-mile race will continue up Lupine Trail to the rock quarry and then across Blair Witch, down MGM and return to Olympian Hall for the finish.

The races begin at 8 a.m.

Runners can register as frills or no-frills for the race at or at the packet pickup from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Twisted Trails, 601 Lincoln Ave. Cost for the 8-mile race is $35, and it includes a T-shirt, brunch and drawing. There is also a no-frills entry, which is $25 and does not include the T-shirt. Cost is $30 for the 4-mile race with the T-shirt and $20 without it.

Day of registration is from 7 to 7:30 a.m. if available, and a T-shirt is not guaranteed for race-day registration.

“The event is a fundraiser for the Knights of Columbus at the Holy Name Church,” Magill said. “They turn around and support Special Olympics, so it works out pretty well.”

The event is the fourth of the summer in the running series. The series opened in May with the Hayden Cog Run followed by the Spirit Challenge and the Steamboat Marathon.

Saturday’s race is the first trail run of the summer. Other upcoming events include Mountain Madness on July 1, the Hahn’s Peak Hill Climb on July 7 and the Spring Creek Memorial on July 28. In August, the series will include the Steamboat Stinger and the Continental Divide Trail Run with a 10K planned in September and the Foundry Halloween Run in October.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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