Trotting through the snow
More than 400 make 5K Thanksgiving trek
Steamboat Springs — There were plenty of excuses to skip Thursday morning’s Turkey Trot 5-kilometer run in Steamboat Springs, starting with the snow that came overnight to cover the course.
Not only was the air cold, the streets were icy and slippery.
Steamboat’s not the kind of place where that slows people down, however.
“We were going to do it no matter what, Steamboat style,” said Robbie Shine, at the race with his family.
Not only did some people show up, hundreds did, adding up to a record turnout for the annual event.
Race director Lisa Renee Tumminello ordered 350 racer bibs for the event, already a 50 percent increase compared to the 233 who finished last year’s Turkey Trot. That didn’t prove nearly enough, however, as nearly 420 racers crowded the course and walked, ran and slid their way across the course.
They started at Steamboat Springs High School, shot up Amethyst Drive and into Strawberry Park before doubling back to the finish line. Huge crowds of runners filled the road from shoulder to shoulder.
“What an incredible community,” Tumminello said. “It was a lot of families, groups of two or three or four or even 10.”
Some ran fast, but none faster than Steamboat Springs High School graduate Asher Rhode, who won the race in 18 minutes, 30 seconds. Erin Statz, Rhode’s girlfriend, was the first woman to the finish line.
Not all were in it to win, however, and many walked up the course’s hills, swapping stories with friends and family as they moved just fast enough to keep warm on a brisk November morning.
“You can go ahead,” one runner urged, walking next to others.
“Nah,” came a reply. “This is a family thing, right?”
They ran holding hands with young children and pushing even younger ones in strollers, often as not with a dog tugging on a leash as it led the way.
Shine made the run with his whole family. Wife Sarah Shine was out front. Daughter Emery, 4, ran about half the course. Kaia, 2 1/2, even logged some running, but soon opted for the stroller Robbie pushed for the duration.
“With the little ones, it’s something you can do when the mountain’s not all open yet,” Robbie Shine said.
“We wanted to enjoy outdoor things in the community,” Sarah Shine added.
Thursday, they were far from alone.
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Things have changed since Joe Ghiglia and Rick Bear graced the stage at the Ratskeller, located in the basement of Inn at Thunderhead in Ski Time Square, in the 1970s.