Emily Conjura puts up with long nights, stressful days and zero financial compensation to put on a running race. Though to her and many runners, the 50-kilometer Mount Werner Classic is more than that; it’s a chance to give back. “I think what you realize is you not only need to take from the running community, but you also have to give back,” Conjura said. “I can’t run that far anymore, but when I could, I appreciated that there was someone to put on a race like that for me.”
The Mount Werner Classic, planned for Saturday, caught on to the running world’s ultramarathon trend last year when it switched to a 50-kilometer course — about 31 miles — that climbs to the top of Storm Peak and back down with 5,100 feet of elevation gain. “I think ultramarathons are kind of the up-and-coming thing like the marathon was in the 1980s,” Conjura said. Conjura credits the change in course length, along with talk floating around the running community, for an increase in out-of-town participants. She estimated about 75 percent of the runners are coming from outside of Steamboat, and she’s hoping they can help fill out the field.
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