Steamboat Marathon will happen in 2021, registration opens Jan. 1 |

Steamboat Marathon will happen in 2021, registration opens Jan. 1

Ben Anderson, winner of the men's division of the 2019 Steamboat Marathon, runs through the banner for the cameras.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The 2020 Steamboat Marathon was canceled for the first time in the event’s history due to the pandemic. Next year, the city is determined to put on the event, even if it must be virtual.

Registration for the 2021 Steamboat marathon, half-marathon and 10K opens Jan. 1. The race will be held June 6 and will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

“We’re just following all the protocols and guidance at this point,” said race director Paul Sachs. “If it was tomorrow, we couldn’t do it. By June, if we’re able to, under whatever COVID guidance is available, we’re hopeful we can do it. We’re going to try. If we can’t, we’re going to do a virtual race.”

To make the celebration more special, the race will take on a “Back to the ’80s” theme, complete with an ’80s band. That is, if the COVID protocols at the time permit it.

“That is still the hope,” Sachs said. “Whether or not we’ll be able to have people congregating at the finish line, I think is probably unlikely, but we’re exploring options like having things on the course to the extent we’re able. We’ll probably have grab-and-go stuff at the finish line unless things change dramatically.”

For the most updated information, visit the website at

When the race was canceled, registered racers were given the option to defer to the next year, and many did. Sachs said there are still plenty of spots left in the races, especially the 10K, which typically has unlimited spots.

The biggest conflicts will be in the half-marathon race, which is capped at 1,200 people and requires buses to transport racers up Elk River Road to the starting line.

Giving out water along the race route might look different as well, and buses might be capped at a smaller capacity and, therefore, take longer to transport runners to the start area.

Registered runners will be updated via email as June 6 gets closer and as health orders change.

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