Runners set different goals for Steamboat Classic

By Marc Strauss

June 16, 2012 Updated Jun 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Jill Moore was born with spina bifida, robbing her of the use of her legs. But that doesn't stop her from racing.

A student at the University of Illinois, Moore's been competing in a wheelchair since she was 9 years-old and says the Steamboat Classic presents a unique challenge.

"I hate climbing," admitted Moore. "I'm horrible at hills and the thing about this race is it starts on an uphill so we'll really get a little bit of a challenge out of that. But downhills are fun."

Moore was one of seven wheelchair athletes who competed Saturday.

Jackie Harrmann came to the riverfront looking to overcome her own set of obstacles.

"I have a serious knee problem where my leg bows out ," explained Harrmann, "so I've got to wear a knee brace during races."

And she was joined by over 5,000 others. Now in its 39th year, Steamboat is a serious competition, even if you're not an elite runner.

"Its exhilerating just to be out here with them and running with them and know that you're running the same race with them," said runner Laura Rose. "I really enjoy that."

"You always run faster than you think you're going to because there are so many people around you," said John Buttrick. "Its very challenging. You just want to run."

Members of the Peoria Fire Department run while wearing some of their gear.

Chris Jordan runs to lose weight.

"I do it to supplement my weight loss," said Chris Jordan. "I've lost 105 pounds so far."

The truth is the finish line is different for every runner. Unless your name is Shadrack Kosgei.

The 27 year-old from Kenya won Steamboat for the fourth time on Saturday. That's a record.