Gnar Runners events are designed to promote enthusiasm and passion for the sport of mountain, trail and ultrarunning in and around the beautiful mountains of Northern Colorado.
Whether you are leading the charge at the front of the field, playing host in the middle of the pack or chasing course cut-offs, our dirt-based races are geared towards helping you achieve your off-road running goals in stunning outdoor environments.
While we seek to create challenging courses on as much gnar-filled terrain as we can reasonably find, we also guarantee impeccably marked courses, bountiful aid stations and a post-race atmosphere to remember.
Location: Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins, CO
Race Cap: 300
What’s New for 2020?
The 2020 Never Summer 100km maintains its status as a qualifying race for the Western States 100. In addition, it serves as a qualifying race for the UTMB series of races, earning finishers 4 ITRA points. The Quad Rock 50 & 25 mile races are worth 3 & 2 points respectively. The Blue Sky Marathon earns finishers 1 point.
With the continued excitement surrounding the Gnar Slam, we’ll again be offering end-of-season awards and a free entry into the 2021 Quad Rock Trail Races for all runners that complete the Quad Rock 50, Never Summer 100km, Black Squirrel Trail Half, and Blue Sky Marathon.
After a successful roll out of our 4-race Summer Trail Series, we plan to continue offering shorter-distance trail fun in August 2020, with distances ranging from 5k to 7 miles.
On the road side, we’re delighted to again be managing the Horsetooth Half Marathon, Northern Colorado’s largest and oldest half marathon. The 2020 race will be held on April 19. Group training runs begin January 12 with a kick-off party at New Belgium Brewing.
Also on the road side, we’re excited to be hosting the second running of the Long View Marathon and Half Marathon on October 4, 2020. The inaugural running was a huge success, seeing close to 700 runners complete the journey from Fort Collins to Loveland.
We are incredibly humbled to have been able to staff a total of 662 volunteer positions across all races in 2019. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any race organization, and we count ourselves as incredibly fortunate to be able to draw from such an enthusiastic and talented local running community. Thank YOU!
Hosting events has an impact on the resources we use. We are keenly aware of that and our responsibility to be good stewards of public lands. In 2019, we helped organize five trail work days, focusing primarily on the trails that we host races on. Our team of over 50 trail volunteers put in three days of work on the Valley Trails in Lory State Park and two days of trail improvement and rebuilding work up in the Never Summer Mountains at State Forest State Park. Across the five work days, we laid tread and worked on drainage across a total of 18 miles of trail. Up in State Forest, we cleared upwards of 100 downed trees, cleared a similar number of sapling stumps and re-routed a severely mauled Pennock Trail. And we loved every minute of it! To learn about 2020 trail work opportunities with Gnar Runners, please visit our Volunteer Trail Work Page.
When we’re not organizing races, we love to get out and help fellow race directors and clubs with their events. We always enjoy the annual Gnar outing to the Golden Gate Dirty 30 where we host the Forgotten Valley Aid Station. In addition, we’ve enjoyed helping out with local Fort Collins community races such as the Mountain Avenue Mile, the Fort Collins Running Club’s Tortoise & Hare 7-race series, and even the 2019 North American XC Unicycle Championships held on our home trails this year!
We’re incredibly thankful to the wonderful Gnar Team and other community run leaders who come out week after week throughout the year to organize local trail runs. These folks are the lifeblood of our running community, and we’ve been especially stoked this year to see the growth of women-specific weekly trail runs and workouts. If you’re interested in learning more about local group runs, be sure to join the Fort Collins Trail Runners Facebook group for updates.
In addition to the weekly group runs, we really enjoy hosting some bigger, race-specific runs and weekends. As always, the Quad Rock training runs were incredibly well attended through the winter and spring months and we had record crowds up at State Forest State Park for the Never Summer training and trail work weekend. We’ll be doing it all over again in 2020, beginning with the build-up to Quad Rock. Stay tuned for details.
Never Summer 100km (men): Hannes Gehring (11:47:06)
Black Squirrel Half (women): Rachel Rudel (1:42:35)
Blue Sky Marathon (women): Addie Bracy (3:35:25)
Blue Sky Marathon (men): Drew Holmen (3:10:22)
A double rainbow for our final Quad Rock finishers
In the Works for 2020
Transition to 100% compostable and/or reusable dishware
New website with rich visual content
New volunteer rewards program
And some new race ideas/distances are percolating….
Part of the reason we’re able to offer such great race experiences is because we’ve worked tirelessly to partner with quality sponsors that share our vision for well-managed events. In 2020 we’re incredibly excited to be partnering again with Salomon Running, one of the greatest brand innovators in the sport.
We’ll be offering special Salomon shoe & gear deals with our retail partner, Altitude Running, at all pre-race packet pickups. We’ll also be offering the opportunity to demo Salomon kicks at training runs, community events and race-day expos.
We’re also incredibly thankful to Colorado in Motion for providing fantastic training and injury prevention presentations and advice at numerous training events across the season. Your next opportunity to check-in with the team will be at the Jan 12 Horsetooth Half training run kick-off at New Belgium.
And, of course, innumerable thanks to Justin Liddle DMD, a Gnar supporter from day one, and simply the best prosthodontist in Northern Colorado. What would our races be without dental hygiene products among your packet pickup goodies?
Thanks for a great 2019 season, and we’ll see you in 2020.