Quad Rock Racer Update – March

We’re now less than 2 months out from race day.  We hope everyone’s training has been enjoyable and productive!  A few updates:

Quad Rock Preview Run – Sat, April 6 – Lory State Park

Led by Gnar Team members, multiple options to preview most (or all) of the Quad Rock course with a potluck BBQ after the run!

Also, most Saturdays leading up to the Quad Rock 50m/25m, Fort Collins Trail Runners will continue to organize training runs on the race course. This Saturday, join us for the annual March Mileage Madness circumnavigation of Horsetooth Reservoir – 21-34mi.

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Gnar Gnight @ Altitude Running

Wednesday, April 3 – join us at 6p for a run from the store, followed by a casual social hour to learn more about the course, meet with the race directors and previous finishers, and get all your ultra and trail running questions answered.  Mark your calendars, and watch our Facebook page for more details.

Please take this SURVEY on your trail/running gear needs to help Altitude Running better understand and stock the kinds of products you’d like to see in the store. As a token of their appreciation, Altitude will be offering 20% off everything in store at the April 3 event.

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New 2019 Start Time

If you have run Quad Rock in the past, please pay special attention – we have shifted this year’s 25 mile start time an hour earlier (7:00am).  This is to keep more runners out of the heat of the day and reduce crowding during the park’s busiest time.

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Soldier Canyon Construction

The start/finish area may have some changes this year.  Lory State Park is constructing a new pavilion in Soldier Canyon, which may or may not be ready on race day.  We will still start and finish at Soldier Canyon, but may need to move the main setup to the back circle, east of the start line.  Stay tuned for details.

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Wet Route

In the event trail conditions are wet/muddy on race day, we do have an approved alternate course.  It is 95% similar to our main route; it just avoids the most easily damaged sections of the course (valley trails).  We’ll make sure to update you on race week if it looks like the alternate may come into play.

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Transfers, Deferrals & Distance Changes

We want everyone to arrive at the start line healthy & ready to rock.  Unfortunately, we know that may not happen for some of you.

The 25 mile distance is currently sold out.  As long as there are runners on the wait list, we offer race transfer credits according to the following schedule:

Until April 15: 75% credit of registration fee (excluding Ultrasignup fees).

April 16–May 4: 50% credit of registration fee (excluding Ultrasignup fees).

Credits may be applied to any future Gnar Runners race and will be valid for 12 months.

If we do not have runners on the wait list available to accept a transfer entry, then unfortunately we will not be able to offer transfers or credits.

For more details, please see the registration page. If you need to cancel your entry, please contact us at registration@gnarrunners.com.

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Volunteer!

We’re looking for fun, friendly folks to join us as volunteers for the race.  If you have friends or family coming who’d be interested, or you have to withdraw but still want to be part of the event, we’d love to have you as part of the crew!

View our available volunteer shifts and register to join our team.

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Gnar Gnews – March 2019

2019 Races Filling Fast!

Quad Rock 50m/25m – May 11 – Fort Collins, CO
25 miles: 13 spots left
50 miles: 57 spots left
Both events will sell out by end of March!

Never Summer 100k – July 27/28 – Gould, CO
SOLD OUT
We transferred 100 registrations in 2018 and there are 64 currently on the waitlist, so don’t delay if you’re considering the race!

Black Squirrel Half Marathon – Sept 7 – Fort Collins, CO
Blue Sky Marathon – Oct 19 – Fort Collins, CO
Register soon!

Long View Marathon and Half Marathon

New Race coming this fall!

Showcasing a unique city-to-city trail connection, the Long View Marathon and Half Marathon runs point-to-point from Fort Collins to Loveland. Together, Gnar Runners and Sweetheart City Racing are bringing a unique collaboration to Colorado’s running scene in this one-of-a-kind race event.

Mark your calendars: race day is October 5. Registration opening soon!

Changing of the Guard

After eight years of tireless work helping to build Gnar Runners from the ground up, co-founder Pete Stevenson has transitioned out of the business, selling his share to partner and co-founder Nick Clark at the end of 2018. Pete will be chasing new adventures pursuing his passion for dog rescue through his newly established non-profit Beyond Rescue. Thank you Pete for all you’ve done to build a terrific community and set of events here in Fort Collins – you’ll be missed.

Volunteer Coordinator Brad Bishop has subsequently purchased a share of the business and stepped in as a new partner and co-owner of Gnar Runners. Brad looks forward to continuing the Gnar mission of community building and providing top quality race experiences.

Volunteer!

We’re looking for fun, friendly folks to join us for the 2019 race season. We’re currently recruiting for all of our races – aid stations/captains, medical, communications, start/finish and much more. We’d love to have you as part of the crew!

Click here to view our available volunteer shifts and register to join our team.

Or email us directly at volunteer@gnarrunners.com.

Trail Work

If you’re looking to earn your dirt this season, then here are a couple of trail runner organized and led workdays for your calendar:

May 18 – Lory State Park
June 29/30 – State Forest State Park
We also hope to schedule a pre-Quad Rock workday at Lory, plus other workdays in the summer and fall. Let us know if you’re interested in joining, and we’ll keep you posted on the details.

Be sure to follow the Fort Collins Trail Runners Facebook group – there’s many more fantastic local trail work organizations, and we’ll share their schedules too.

If you’re interested in getting trained as a crew leader, trainings are upcoming in March/April; email for details if you’re not already connected.

Training Runs

Quad Rock Preview Run – Sat, April 6 – Lory State Park

Led by Gnar Team members, multiple options to preview most (or all) of the Quad Rock course with a potluck BBQ after the run!

Never Summer Training Weekend – Sat/Sun, Jun 29/30 – State Forest State Park

Preview much of the course over two days. Camp at the park (there’ll be quite a group at the Crags Campground).

Also, most Saturdays leading up to the Quad Rock 50m/25m, Fort Collins Trail Runners will continue to organize training runs on the race course.

Merch!

Looking to up your Gnar swag game? Visit Altitude Running to see our in-store display. New items coming soon! You can also order online or with your race registrations.

Gnar Team Race

Gnar Team Ambassadors will be journeying to Moab on March 23 to tackle the Behind the Rocks 50m/50k/30k/10m. Join us! Free camping at the start/finish, enchiladas, beer & party afterwards.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

A big CONGRATULATIONS to Gnar Team Member Kris Tyson for taking home 1st Place at the Lone Start 100mi Feb 9th in El Paso.

Kris spent over 70mi with Karl Meltzer (the winningest 100mi racer of all time) before pulling away to take home top prize!

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Pre-race Information for Never Summer 100K Runners, Crew and Pacers

Before we set you on your way next weekend, we want to bring your attention to some final race instructions and reminders.

New This Year

  • We expect to be at full capacity on race day and parking will be limited. We highly recommend that runners and crews carpool to the start and to any crew locations on the course. The Facebook event page is the best place to post requests or invites to help organize carpools, share campsites, or coordinate any other crewing or pacing plans. On race day, crews and pacers can check in at the finish area or each aid station to find rides or offer rides whenever possible.

Camping at the Gould Community Center Start/Finish

On-site camping at the Start/Finish is restricted for our overnight volunteers and a limited number of runners who have reserved space with their registration. Runners who have reserved camping space will be directed to their assigned area at packet pickup Friday between 3pm and 7pm.

Gates to the community center will be closed after 8pm. If you have reserved space and are arriving later, please notify us so we can have a volunteer available to let you in and direct you to your parking space. Unauthorized vehicles will be asked to leave after 8pm. 

If you have not reserved camping or lodging in advance and can not find an open developed campsite in the area, you can park and camp anywhere on National Forest Land south of Gould off 21 past the Powderhorn Cabins. It’s about 3 miles away from the start.

Safety and Communications

The event is taking place in a remote and mountainous part of Northern Colorado. As such, runner safety is our top priority. We will be tracking runners via ham radio communications at every aid station, so please be sure to check your bib number with volunteers at each and every stop along the way. If you need to drop out, you *must* notify the aid station captain and turn over your race bib before you leave the course. If you don’t officially check out of the race, we will assume you are missing on course.

For added safety, we will have first responders at every aid station and a team of backcountry paramedics located at strategic points along the course. It would be helpful to write any allergies or medical conditions on the back of your race bib to help first responders in assessing any given situation in the unlikely event of emergency.

There is cell phone coverage (at least with Verizon) in most high areas with a clear view to the west so runners who carry phones can get messages out to crew (text is best) periodically and may be able to make a call in the case of emergency.

Potential hazards on course include: high altitude; steep, technical and rough terrain; downed trees and other obstacles; wildlife (cattle, moose, bears in particular); significant temperature changes from daytime heat to overnight cold; storms and lightning; and dense vegetation that may trigger allergic reactions.

Our 24 hour cut off is generous and should allow everyone enough time to get to the finish safely. With that in mind, we ask that you watch out for your fellow runners on course and run a smart and safe race.

Highway Crossings

There are two crossings of Highway 14 during the course of the race. One at mile 18, just after the Diamond aid station, and one at mile 62 just after the Ranger Lakes aid station. Traffic will not stop for runners and cars and trucks may be traveling in excess of 55 MPH (the posted speed limit). Runners are required to follow the instructions of road crossing volunteers who will be directing you safely across the road. Crews are not permitted to park on the hard shoulder of Hwy 14 under any circumstances.

Course Markings

The route will be well marked with pink flagging; pink and white pin flags; black and yellow turn signs; and flour at key turns. Night-time marking from the Clear Lake aid station to the finish will be a combination of white reflectors and LED lights. For nighttime navigation, we recommend as powerful a light setup as you have. And don’t forget backup lighting and/or batteries.

Parts of the course involve cross country travel. In these areas there will be flagging in line of sight at all times, so all runners who pay attention should have no problem staying on course. On more obvious parts of the course, confidence markers will be hung approximately every quarter mile and at every trail or road junction. With that said, there are many game trails, cow paths, and logging cuts on parts of the course that could lead you astray if you’re not paying attention. Never assume and always follow the course markings.

Detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions are available to print from the race website and the full course GPS files are available to download. It wouldn’t hurt to have this backup information with you if you are not familiar with the area. Please remember to print the information you need before leaving for the race. We will not have hard copies available to hand out to all runners at the start and will not have the ability to download and print documents on site.

Tricky Turns

The right turn off the Montgomery Road onto the Yurt trail at approximately mile 26 (~9,600′) is easily missed if you zone out coming down the jeep road from the Medicine Bow Ridge. It will be heavily flagged, but if you get to the Montgomery Yurts, you have gone too far. Turn around and retrace a third of a mile.

There may be a short overlap (for an eighth of a mile) between the first and last runners on the Ruby Jewel Rd (mile ~29 out, ~53 back). Runners heading outbound (north) from the Montgomery Aid to the Ruby Jewel Aid will turn right onto the Ruby Jewel road and proceed right up the road to the Yurt aid station. Front runners coming south from the Canadian Yurt will turn right to head down the Ruby Jewel Road towards the turn for the Lumberjack Trail. This junction will be heavily and unambiguously marked (likely with a course marshal), so there should be no cause for confusion. Nonetheless, everyone should be aware of these junctions to make sure that you can follow the route without guidance from a volunteer.

Aid Stations

Aid station fare is detailed hereVFuel gel will be served from bulk containers, so we recommend that you carry a 5oz flask (or similar) if you want to use aid station gels. Runners are required to carry their own water bottles or hydration packs. A limited supply of cups will be available for sodas and other beverages at the stations. Please bring your own extra flask or collapsible cup if you can to help reduce waste.

Drop Bags

We have 5 aid stations where you can leave a drop bag with essential supplies that you are unable to get from our aid stations. Drop bags can be left at the start on race morning and during Friday check in. Please keep your bags to a reasonable size (small duffel bag or stuff sack) as volunteers will need to transport these for you. Please do not use coolers, buckets, or other large hard plastic containers and do not pack any breakable glass or valuables in your drop bags.

Crew Details (http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/aid-stations/)

A Crew briefing will be held at 5:45am after the start. We will answer questions, offer directions, and may have park staff on site to sell park passes and offer additional information.

The route and all access points are entirely within the boundaries of State Forest State Park, so all crew vehicles are required to purchase a park pass ($7) in order to access crew areas if they do not have an annual Colorado State Parks pass. Passes are available at the main park entrance, the Moose Visitor Center, or at the self-pay station on the Lake Agnes Road.

To save parking space at the start, we ask that crews drop off runners at the entrance to the Gould Community Center (the start area) and park .5 miles west at the Moose Visitor Center and walk over on the short connector trail. Crews can use the extra parking at the Visitor Center after hours before 9am and after 5pm. In the unlikely event that we run out of parking space at the finish, there is another large parking turn out off the highway about 1 mile to the east of the start that connects with the Gould trail leading to the finish.

Parking is allowed anywhere on park roads as long as vehicles do not block traffic and do not block any access gates.

The trails are open to the public and spectating is allowed anywhere on course. Crewing outside of designated crew aid stations is prohibited. Runners receiving any assistance outside of designated aid stations may be disqualified.

Important Crew Notes

  • Diamond Aid: Please do not arrive before 7am to give our volunteer team time to set up. All crew parking will be at the pullout by the aid station or on the south side of the Lake Agnes access road leading to the aid station. There is absolutely no parking on Hwy 14. Please attend the 5:45am Crew Briefing to coordinate carpooling to the station. It’s an easy 5 minute drive down the highway and back.
  • Ruby Jewel: Crew vehicles are permitted to drive a mile up the Ruby Jewel Rd as far as the junction with the Francisco Loop Forest Road (a left turn off Ruby Jewel Rd). Parking will be on the right side of Ruby Jewel Rd (below Francisco Rd) or on the right side of Francisco Road, but will not be allowed on the Ruby Jewel Road past the Francisco Road. Please park as tightly to the side of the road as possible so all additional park visitor traffic and race vehicles can pass through unimpeded. From the Francisco Road, it is a little less than a mile hike/run up the Ruby Jewel Road to the aid location and crew access point at the Ruby Jewel Yurt. Additional parking space is available at the start of the Ruby Jewel Rd off of the main park road. It is just under 2 miles to the aid station from this location.
  • Crew vehicles should not enter the Bockman campground (near the Bockman aid station) – especially after dark – unless they have a camp spot. We will have a port-a-john at the aid location. Additionally, there is a public bathroom and water pump on the main park road by the Michigan Reservoir on the way to the Boackman, Ruby Jewel, Clear Lake and Canadian aid stations.
  • Dogs with crew must be leashed at all times. Please keep dogs out of the aid stations and out of the runner lanes to avoid interfering with volunteers or tripping runners.
  • Gas and food is very limited in the area. Crews and pacers should plan to bring their own water and food for the weekend. The nearest gas is in Walden, 25 miles west of Gould. There is a small store with ice, drinks, and snacks in Gould off Hwy 14 a few miles west of the race start/finish. If coming from the east (Fort Collins/287/I-25), the last 24-hr gas station is at Ted’s Place at the mouth of the Canyon (approximately 65 miles from the race start). There are also a couple of pumps halfway up the canyon in Glen Echo that close at 7:00pm. We strongly recommend filling up on gas before entering the canyon.

Pacing (http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/race-rules/):

Pacers are allowed starting at the Canadian aid station (mile 50). Runners over the age of 60 can pick up a pacer at the Ruby Jewel aid station. Canadian access is a little less than a 1 mile hike/run in from the trailhead at the north end of the main park road (CO 41). The aid station is located at the junction of the Clear Lake Road and the Canadian Yurt Trail.

The Bockman aid station is accessible from the park road, and is about a half mile shy of the Bockman Campground. If you have somebody pacing you from Bockman, try to arrange a carpool to avoid crowding the area with too many parked cars. The aid station is just a small pull off on the Bockman Rd.

Pacers are there to provide company, moral support, but are primarily allowed for added safety for runners after dark. Muling (schlepping runner gear) and crewing outside of designated aid stations, or providing any other assistance is not allowed.

Pacers may not have extra drop bags – any extra items that a pacer needs must be packed in the runner’s drop bag.

Pacers should plan to bring whatever water and food that they need while waiting for their runner to arrive. While on course with their runner, pacers may make full use of the aid stations.

Race and Aid Station Pacing

Results and aid station splits from the last three years are available here: http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/results/.

Awards, Post Race Food, and Runner Breakfast

We will be offering a pancake breakfast during the awards and prize giving on Sunday morning, beginning at 10am. Finisher awards will be handed out at this time. We encourage you to come and enjoy the breakfast with your fellow competitors, crew members and race volunteers. If you cannot make it in the morning, finisher awards will also be available at the finish line, so please check in there before you leave.

Breakfast is free to all runners and volunteers. Friends and family are welcome to join too and are asked to make a $10 donation to the Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center if extra meal tickets have not been purchased in advance.

Volunteers will also be preparing post-race burgers and veggie burgers and Boulder Organic! soup for all finishers through the afternoon, evening and night on race day. This is free to all runners. Again, if a meal has not been purchased in advance for crew and pacers, extra tickets will be available for a $10 donation. Included with the meal will be a cold beverage from our friends at New Belgium Brewing, in addition to non-alcoholic options.

Thank You

We want to thank you for registering to run the Never Summer 100km. We have received considerable support from friends, family, volunteers and sponsors in bringing this fourth running of the race to fruition. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who have helped get the course ready and who will be out volunteering on race day. Please remember to thank those out there helping you achieve your goals.

We also encourage you to consider the products and services of our sponsors:

Top Tier

Salomon Drymax Socks Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy
Altitude Running Justin Liddle DMD Prosthodontist

Race Support

Countryside Animal Hospital Fort Collins Running Club

Product and Service Support

And, finally, if you have questions that can’t be answered here or on the race website, feel free to email us at racedirector@gnarrunners.com and we’ll do our best to get back to you. We will have limited internet access on site at the race so we may not be able to respond to all emails or Facebook posts after Thursday 7/27.

We look forward to seeing you in and among the majestic peaks of the Northern Colorado Rockies!

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Blue Sky Marathon & Black Squirrel Half Training

Need some motivation to train for the Blue Sky Marathon or Black Squirrel Half Marathon?

Click here for a 15 week training program for the marathon and a 9 week training program for the half marathon. 

We will be hosting a series of Tuesday evening training runs at Lory State Park starting August 7th. Stay tuned for more info.

Sign up for the Blue Sky Marathon by 6/30 to take advantage of our $65 early registration deal!

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Volunteers Needed for the Never Summer 100K

The Never Summer 100K race is sold out but we have a number of fun volunteer positions to fill if you still want to be a part of the weekend.  

Check out the full race week volunteer schedule online here.

We’re looking for help in many areas, including pre-race set up, aid station volunteers, medical, radio, timing, parking, packet pickup and more! 

Join us for a day, a night, or the entire week!

We’re also happy to say thank you by giving comp entries to upcoming races for those taking leadership positions. 

Apply today!

Michigan Ditch aid station crew members and course sweepers (2017).

 

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