Half-marathon lovers take note: Durango has a new event to satisfy the demand of all those runners who for years have been wait-listed for the Steamworks Half.
The Ultrasteam Thirsty 13 Half Marathon will debut Aug. 23 with a mostly downhill course featuring Durango’s west side with Hesperus, Wildcat Canyon and Lake Nighthorse as backdrops.
Matthew Krichman, Steamworks Half race director, came up with the idea and the course.
“Every year when I see Steamworks sell out, I look at the waiting list and wish that I had something for those runners who are not getting to run Steamworks,” Krichman said. “Also, I just love putting on races, so I started thinking, ‘Where would I do another race?’”
In addition to a beautiful and different course, the Thirsty 13 will be held in conjunction with San Juan Brewfest, a fundraiser that benefits United Way of Southwest Colorado.
“As a runner myself, I always look for two things in a race: a great course and beer at the finish line,” Krichman said.
Brewfest will feature 45 breweries and will be held at Buckley Park from 1 to 5 p.m. on race day, so runners can stop by sporting their race shirts.
In addition to Brewfest, other race sponsors are Ultrasteam (title sponsor), Ska Brewing Co., Backcountry Experience, Morehart Murphy Motors, Arete Mortgage, Pet Haus, Homewood Suites, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Nini’s Taqueria.
“We are also partnering with Conservation Lands Foundation, a local charity that helps to preserve, protect and restore our most treasured conservation lands,” Krichman said.
Because of limited permitting, bus seating and parking at Bodo, the race will cap at 300 runners with some flexibility.
“The most important thing to me is not how big this race is, but how good it is,” Krichman said.
Krichman ran throughout Durango to find the perfect spot for this new race.
“It’s crazy because Wildcat Canyon is one of the more popular places to ride your bike because it’s so gorgeous,” he said. “When County 210 (the Lake Nighthorse road) opened, I immediately started thinking, ‘What are the opportunities for events out there?’
“Given the huge success of (the) Steamworks (Half), it was clear that our running community wanted another race like this. So we set out to create a new race that has the same qualities: a beautiful course and a fantastic postrace party.”
There will be lots of downhill through Wildcat Canyon and gorgeous Lake Nighthorse views with just enough uphill in Bodo to make you earn your brews at the finish line.
For those not interested in Brewfest, there is the option to just sign up for the race.
“We recognize that not everybody wants a big beer party after their race,” Krichman said. “We also have options for those who want to go to the Brewfest as a designated driver. It will be a cool event.”
Reach Marjorie Brinton at firstname.lastname@example.org.