Little Feet...Big Steps, helps fund hospital's Ob/Gyn

The Little Feet...Big Steps road race will enter its second year of existence Saturday, but almost everything about the race is new.

Sponsors, affiliations, and even the races to be run are all new this year, but the cause for race remains the same.

The race is organized to raise money and awareness for The Memorial Hospital's obstetric wing, which according to race co-organizer and hospital spokeswomen Heather Houseworth, needs more exposure.

"Last year, when we ran the race many people didn't even know about the obstetric department at the hospital," she said. "We were lucky, though, because the lack of knowledge of why the race was run didn't hurt the turnout."

The turnout was so extensive and the fund-raiser so successful, that Houseworth was able to have the obstetric wing redecorated.

Curtains and carpet are the least of the hospital's worries for the money that will be raised this year.

"We're going to use the money to get a full-time Ob/Gyn for the hospital," Houseworth said. "We already have a dedicated staff and the technology, all we need now is the doctor."

To keep the race vigorous, and to compensate for the projected number of runners, a 10K race has been added.

Last year, Little Feet...Big Steps was strictly a 5K walk and run, but because of the amount of interest, a dynamic, 10K course designed by the new co-sponsor has been added.

Bryna Larsen, publisher of the Craig Daily Press and co-organizer of the race, has designed both courses, and promises a challenging 10K race.

"The 10K course will be dynamic, but enjoyable," Larsen said. "It is designed to challenge a runner of any level, whether they're a beginner or an expert."

The newspaper became involved with the race because of Larsen's dedication to volunteerism. She felt the newspaper, like any other business, needs go beyond just bringing a community a product.

"Road races present so many positives for a community, especially when the money raised goes to such a worthy cause," she said. "But it goes beyond just raising money, because this race not only brings the community together working well as a social event, but it also promotes a healthy lifestyle."

Along with raising money, challenging runners and bring a community together, Little Feet...Big Steps is also part of a local road-race series.

The race has become part of the Steamboat Spring Running Series, which offers runners 14 different races throughout Routt and Moffat counties.

"The Running Series really works to promote these races not so much in organizing them," Series Director Emily Conjura said. "We really just try to draw the people in for the races, and leave the rest to individual, race organizers."

Along with promoting the races, the Steamboat Springs Running Series also offers on-line registration and posts all of the race results.

"It's a free service to the runners," Conjura said. "Well track runners throughout the season if they plan to run more than seven races. Points are also kept, and at the end of the year, prizes are awarded accordingly."

For more information on Little Feet...Big Steps, or any other race in the Steamboat Running Series, log onto: www.runningseries.com.

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