The sun didn’t shine, the ridge lines were lost in the mist and yet we still had a great day at the inaugural running of the Quad Rock 50.
A total of 219 runners toed the start line, with 125 in the 50 mile race and 94 in the 25 mile race. When it was all said and done, 99 runners finished the 50 miler and119 completed one loop for 25 miles, with 26 registered 50 milers calling it a day after one trip across the Fort Collins skyline.
In the men’s 25 mile race, Loveland resident Dan Goding came home with the win in a time of 3:33, after leader Dane Mitchell took a wrong turn at the three-way coming down off the Spring Creek trail. Just three minutes back in second was Scott Jaime in a strong showing for team Pearl iZumi, one of the race’s title sponsors. Zach Crandall rounded out the top three, just 30 seconds back of Jaime.
With a 25-mile split that would have finished him fourth in the one lapper, Ryan Burch charged through the turnaround and headed out for his second – reversed – loop with almost the whole field to say ‘hi’ to on his way back up the Timber trail towards Arthurs Rock. The gap between Ryan and second place finisher Jim Rebenack was relatively small, but stayed essentially the same for most of the second loop, with Jim closing slightly to finish six minutes back of Burch. Jason Koop finished third with yet another strong run in his loaded 2012 season, and Patrick Stewart rounded out the sub-8 hour finishers.
Our first finisher in the women’s 25 mile race was Eliza Walthers in a time of 4:44, closely followed by Kelli Picon (4:47:26) and Jenn Malmberg (4:47:56). At the turn for the 50-mile race Jenny Pierce, a palladium miner from Livingstone Montana, had close to a ten-minute lead over local favorite Steph Lynn. The gap would stay close for most of the second lap, with Steph fighting some stomach demons, but gaming through as best she could to finish a quarter of an hour back of Jenny’s 9:51 winning time. Third across the line was Kristine Klotzbach from Parker, CO in her first 50 mile race, which she completed in its entirety with her husband Phil.
Just a week after winning the masters division of the Colorado Marathon, Cat Speights – owner of race sponsor Countryside Animal Hospital – came home for the masters win in the Quad Rock 50, a most impressive double. Ryan Philips from Sturgis, SD took home the master’s victory in the men’s race.
Despite the dank and cold conditions, runners huddled around the campfire post race to listen to the rhythm and blues of Lee Holiday and the Time Off, enjoy a special batch of “Mile 51 Mild” beer from Pateros Creek Brewing, eat food barbecued by volunteers from the Animal House Rescue – a race beneficiary – receive cowbell awards and prizes from race sponsors including Cornerstone Mortgage, Justin K Liddle DMD, Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, Pearl iZumi, Smith Optics, Highgear, and Runners Roost.
The race of course could not have happened without the help of our amazing core of over 50 volunteers, drawn mainly from the ranks of Colorado trail runners from Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, and even as far away as Colorado Springs. Of all the praise we received after the race, the most commonly heard comment was how great the volunteers were. You guys rocked. Thank you. And thank you also to all the runners who took part, the two park jurisdictions (Lory and Horsetooth), our kind sponsors and to Mother Nature for not raining us.