Registration opens for shortened Steamboat Running Series
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs Running Series didn’t host a single race in 2020, but race directors just revealed a slightly different series for 2021, and registration is now open.
The series was shortened, with spring and fall races taken off the schedule. Including the three “sister” races, there are still 10 events for runners to sign up for.
“For this year, we felt like, what’s our best way to put all of our resources into making sure we have a good amount of our races?” said series co-director Cara Marrs. “In talking to the city and looking at all of the state guidelines, I really think that by June, we can have these races.”
The first race will definitely be in June, whether it’s the Steamboat Marathon on June 6 or the Howelsen Hill Trail Run on June 19. The March Luck of the Irish run will be virtual, and the Hayden Cog may or may not stay on the schedule. That will depend on the Hayden Parks and Recreation Department, which hosts it.
The Spirit Challenge and the Foundry Halloween race were taken off the schedule, since they not only take place when it’s cold, and people feel the need to gather together, but they also are hosted by schools, which can’t host races right now.
The race typically held on the weekend of July Fourth was cut due to limitations set by the city. With the pandemic, the race will stay off the schedule, but Marrs said they hopefully can look to get it back next year.
“We want to make sure that some of our oldest races, and the most popular ones, we can put those on,” Marrs said. “That’s kind of our focus.”
In order to accommodate more people, a 5-mile course was added to the Continental Divide run, a popular race that starts and finishes at Steamboat Resort.
The series has the same cancellation policy as last year. If a race is canceled due to COVID-19, registrants can get a refund, push their registration to the next year or donate the registration fee to the series, which is volunteer ran.
While many of the series’ races are short and there aren’t aid stations, Marrs participated in a few remote races last summer and saw how a successful aid station can be ran in spite of the pandemic.
At the Tushars Mountain Run in Utah, Marrs saw volunteers masked up and gloved, handing masked participants snacks upon request.
“There are things that will be different at every race,” Marrs said. “There aren’t going to be the big gatherings afterwards. So whether you have bagged lunches you can give people, they take away with them, or something like that, aid stations can happen. I saw it.”
In the larger races, Marrs said the series might implement staggered starts, which are possible with chip timing.
She noted that volunteers will be more important than ever this year to help accomplish all the additional work that will come with COVID mitigation plans.
“Sometimes, you need a lot of resources to do these things, but they can happen,” Marrs said.
For more information on the series or to register for a race, visit runningseries.com.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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