May is an unpredictable month here in Colorado, and once again the weather played a significant role at the Quad Rock Trail Races. After last year’s unexpected cool and damp conditions, this year we were served up sun and early afternoon temperatures that topped out in the mid-80s. While not so bad for our hard working volunteers and race staff, the early season heat presented a significant challenge for the runners. Nonetheless, the day produced a commanding new course record in the women’s 50 mile race, a fast winning time in the men’s race, and a whole host of wonderful finishes from the rest of the field.
Overall, we had 178 runners start the 50 mile race and 250 start the 25 mile race for a total of 428 runners on course. Of the 178 runners that started the 50 mile race, 106 completed the full two loops for a 60 percent finisher rate. A total of 305 runners finished the first 25 mile loop, including 50 mile drops, and all are included in the final 25 mile results. There were a total of 17 runners that did not complete the first 25 mile loop.
For full results and aid station splits, please see the results page on the race website. For pictures from the day, please visit Erin Bibeau’s gallery:
In the men’s 25 mile race, it was Blue Sky Trail Marathon champion Brent Kocis who took control midway through the loop to become the day’s first runner to break the tape in a time of 3:28:07. Brent was followed home by Quad Rock 50 mile course record holder Ryan Smith (3:34:16) and Gnar Runners team member Stephen Pretak (3:37:29).
In the women’s 25 mile race, defending champion Ginna Ellis led it out from the gun, but was passed soon after the 10 mile Horsetooth aid station by eventual race winner Taylor Nowlin who crossed the finish line in a time of 4:10:13. Boulder’s Abby Mitchell put in a strong finish to claim second (4:16:29), while Ginna would hang on for third, finishing five minutes behind Abby.
Masters awards in the 25 mile race went to Brazil’s Manuel Lago and Thornton’s Sarah Bunting Lamos. Lago’s performance was particularly impressive as it rounded out a 140 kilometer week during which he led a Colorado training camp that culminated in his group of Brazilian runners taking on the Quad Rock 25.
The day’s headline race was the women’s 50 miler, which included a deep field of talented ladies. Canadian-born Boulder resident Marianne Hogan stamped her authority on the proceedings early in the race and went on to lay down a commanding performance that saw her best Becky Wheeler’s 2014 course record by over half an hour and finish fifth overall in a time of 8:29:27. Watch for Marianne next month as she heads to Chamonix, France to take on some of the world’s best at the Mont Blanc 80k (50 mile) race.
Some 8 minutes behind Marianne was Kaci Lickteig (8:37:26) who ran a controlled effort all day as she gets ready to defend her Western States 100 mile title next month. Rounding out the podium was a hard charging Anna Mae Flynn (8:40:23) who closed to within three minutes of Kaci at the finish after being adrift by as much as 11 minutes at the 50k point.
In the 50 mile men’s race, it was 2014 winner Jim Rebenack who led from pillar to post in a controlled and very impressive performance that suggests he’ll be a serious contender when he lines up in August for the Leadville 100. Despite the heat, Jim’s run ranks him third all time in the Quad Rock 50 record books. Jim was followed some 23 minutes later by Daniel Metzger (8:04:07) who for much of the race had been running a close second to Jim. Rounding out the top three was current Never Summer 100 champion Gabe Joyes (8:16:52).
In the master’s division, locals Elijah Flenner (9:04:40) and Tara Carter (11:37:36) took home top honors. Elijah moves onto Western States next month, while Tara will be lining up for the Never Summer 100k in late July as the second leg of her attempt to complete the 2017 Gnar Slam.
And speaking of Gnar Slammers, here’s a run down of how the class of 2017 got on this weekend:
- Ed Delosh – 10:26:10
- Dave Boyd – 10:31:57
- Mike Adams – 10:47:55
- Jeremy Bradford – 11:07:28
- Tara Carter – 11:37:36
- Joshua Andert – 12:25:43
- Diane Bergstedt – 13:01:20
- Elise McKnight – 13:31:19
- Rob Broomfield – 13:46:59
In addition to those pushing the pace up front, we of course had a full field of talented and enthusiastic runners behind. By far the best part of our job as race directors is watching finishers come home, especially those who are out there working their way through their first trail race or their first 50 miler. Seeing that sense of accomplishment in the faces of so many finishers is something that never gets old and the main reason we love our job so much, so congratulations to you all. And thank you!
As always, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our team of wonderful volunteers. Year after year we receive heaping compliments from our runners about how fantastic our volunteer team is, and they are absolutely right. Come rain or shine, you guys are out there getting the job done and helping our runners get to the finish safely. Thank You!
And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!
With generous product support from: VFuel, Trader Joe’s, New Belgium, Intersect Brewing, Mary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest Bread Company, the Fort Collins Food Coop, Morning Fresh Dairy, and Mugs Coffee Lounge.
Thank you all!
We look forward to seeing you again in 2018 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you July 22nd at the Never Summer 100km or at one of our shorter events. On September 9 we’ll be hosting the fifth running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 21 by the 10th running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.
If you aren’t racing, consider volunteering for one of our next events. We are currently recruiting volunteers for the Never Summer 100K.