Rob Straebel approaches the finish line at Saturday's Hayden Cog Run. He finished in 1.17.28.

Photo by Luke Graham

Rob Straebel approaches the finish line at Saturday's Hayden Cog Run. He finished in 1.17.28.

Hayden Cog Run draws crowd to season-opening Running Series event

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2013 Steamboat Springs Running Series schedule

— Steamboat Springs Running Series records will fall if Nathan Allen has his say.

The AmeriCorps volunteer who works with Partners in Routt County moved to Steamboat in August.

Part of the burgeoning Routt County running community, Allen looks to be the best this summer and could challenge many of the records Nick Sunseri set in 2011.

Sunseri left in 2012 to head to Canada to chase an Olympic dream, and now his spot as one of Routt County’s top runners could be overtaken by Allen.

The former Lindenwood University runner set a blistering pace Saturday at the Running Series’ opening event.

Allen never had done the Hayden Cog Run before and said his lack of knowledge was a good thing.

“That helps in running,” he said. “Ignorance to the competition and the course can help so you can’t psych yourself out.”

Allen was just off the course record, which was set in 2003 by Mark Warner in a time of 48 minutes, 25 seconds.

The turn at the top of the Cog was relocated Saturday, however, turning the expected 8.4-mile trek into 7.75 miles.

Allen finished the run in 46:07. Brett Brock was second in 50:56, and Harry Niedl was third in 51:32.

“I read the article about it in the paper about the big climb and talked with people around town about how tough the climb is,” Allen said. “That was all true. It was rough.”

Elite triathlete Heather Gollnick was the top female finisher, covering the course in 57:38. Karen Monsen was second in 1:09.08, and Erin Allard was third in 1:12.40.

“That was great coming from Florida where it’s so flat,” Gollnick said. “It was amazing up there. Being newer to Colorado and seeing the grass turn greener and greener, it was just stunning.”

There also was a 5-kilometer run Saturday that had the distinct feel of a Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club cross-country podium.

Simon Zink was the top finisher in 18:24. Ben Kelley was second in 18:40 and Tanner Heil was third in 20:11.

On the women’s side Cara Piske was first in 22:09, Abbey Habermehl was second in 22:35, and Cara Marrs was third in 23:33.

The event also saw a big uptick in participation. It certainly helped that the weather was perfect for running Saturday.

Race director Jill Delay that said in her second year managing the race, things were much easier. The race also partnered with the Hayden Chamber for promotion.

In its 34th year, 87 runners competed Saturday after just 48 ran last year.

“That’s the hope,” Delay said. “We want to make the tradition a little deeper.”

The next Running Series race is the May 18 Spirit Challenge that features 5- and 10-kilometer races.

See full results here.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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