Gnar 2021 – Race Dates Set

We’re excited to announce dates for our 2021 Gnar Trail Series.

While there’s still uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, our experience successfully holding safe and fun races in 2020 gives us full confidence moving forward.

In addition to our core races, keep your eyes peeled for additional announcements, as we hope to bring some tempting new offerings to our calendar next year!

Dates for 2021 Trail Races

Registration will open on December 15, 2020.

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Blue Sky Trail Marathon – Canceled

 The view from the Horsetooth Estates neighborhood, 1 mile from the Start/Finish Photo credit: Tara Carter-Radcliffe


The view from the Horsetooth Estates neighborhood, 1 mile from the Start/Finish
Photo credit: Tara Carter-Radcliffe

Due to increased activity in the southeast portion of the Cameron Peak Fire, trails comprising our course in Horsetooth Mountain Park and Devil’s Backbone Open Space closed the morning of Wednesday, October 14. 

After a full day’s firefighting and the updates the morning of Thursday, October 15 from the Incident Command Team, all information is pointing toward the closures and evacuations affecting our course remaining in place through the weekend.  Even if we could get permission to hold the race, we know it would be irresponsible to put any extra burden on first responders and public lands officials, and we are officially CANCELLING the Blue Sky Trail Marathon for this Saturday.

We know our runners and volunteers have questions regarding postponement and more.  So do we.  That conversation starts with our permitting land agencies, and they definitely have many higher priorities at this time.  We will update you once it’s possible.  Thank you for your understanding, and we appreciate your support.

This fire has now been burning more than two months, and is officially the largest in Colorado state recorded history.  If you would like to support relief efforts with donations of time or money, please check out this article from The Coloradoan.

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Black Squirrel and Blue Sky are ON!

We are very happy to announce that the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon (September 12) and Blue Sky Trail Marathon (October 17) have provisional approval from the Larimer County Department of Public Health, as well as Lory State Park (Black Squirrel) and Larimer County Department of Natural Resources (Blue Sky)! The approval is contingent on pandemic requirements remaining at (or improving from) their current levels of restrictiveness.  Help keep the curve flattened!

Many thanks to innumerable friends and resources who helped craft a plan where the events can safely happen.

There’s a lot to communicate.  Whether you are a runner, volunteer, pacer or crew – we need you to read it all – before you come to the race including our full list of safety protocols and race changes (Black SquirrelBlue Sky).  

As the pandemic continues to evolve, there is a strong chance some of these protocols will too.  We promise to communicate any changes via email, social media and our website – but it is ultimately your responsibility to read, understand and follow the full list. 

Here is a summary of the main points:

  • ALL participants (runners & volunteers) are required to:
    • Sign a COVID-specific waiver (Black SquirrelBlue Sky)
    • Wear a mask at all times, except when 1) running 2) eating/drinking
    • Have a contactless Temperature Check upon arrival.  Those with temperatures above 100.4F will be required to leave
  • Limited Service at Aid Stations, Changes to Drop Bag Policies
  • Wave Starts & changes to start times
  • No Awards Ceremony, Food/Drinks-To-Go
  • Discouraging attendance of families & spectators

We all look forward to a fun, relaxed atmosphere that feels normal, yet we all also know things will be different. Our approval to hold this race is contingent on following safety protocols submitted to and approved by the Larimer County Department of Public Health, and we appreciate you playing your part. Those not cooperating will be asked to leave and could be subject to disqualification.  We really don’t want to have to do that, so let’s all play by the rules and continue to gain trust as a responsible user group. 

For current registrants, if you feel unsafe taking part with the protocols we’ve put in place, or this year’s race experience will not be fulfilling for you, we encourage you to defer. 100% credit transfer to 2021 will remain open for another week, through the end of the day on August 20, after which point our normal deferral policies will resume.

We are reducing our field sizes.  Black Squirrel will be capped at 300 runners, and Blue Sky at 250.  Space is still remaining in each as of the date of this release.

As ultrarunners ourselves, we are doing our best to strike a balance between a fulfilling race experience and ensuring we can manage risks to your health and safety. Please contact us any time with questions.

Brad Bishop & Nick Clark
Gnar Runners

P.S. Wash your hands

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Quad Rock is a GO

We are very happy to announce that the Quad Rock 50mi/25mi has provisional approval from the Larimer County Department of Public Health, Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park! The approval is contingent on pandemic requirements remaining at (or improving from) their current levels of restrictiveness.  Help keep the curve flattened!

Many thanks to innumerable friends and resources who helped craft a plan where the event can safely happen.

There’s a lot to communicate.  Whether you are a runner, volunteer, pacer or crew – we need you to read it all – before you come to the race including our full list of safety protocols and race changes.  

As the pandemic continues to evolve, there is a strong chance some of these protocols will too.  We promise to communicate any changes via email, social media and our website – but it is ultimately your responsibility to read, understand and follow the full list. 

Here is a summary of the main points:

  • ALL participants (runners & volunteers) are required to:
    • Sign a COVID-specific waiver
    • Wear a mask at all times, except when 1) running 2) eating/drinking
    • Have a contactless Temperature Check upon arrival.  Those with temperatures above 100.4F will be required to leave
  • Limited Menu & Service at Aid Stations
  • Drop Bags available at all Aid Stations
    • (Towers/Horsetooth must be dropped off Friday night; Towers is strongly discouraged and only in place for runners with significant special needs)
  • Crew and Spectators Strongly Discouraged
  • Wave Starts & Earlier Overall Start Times
  • No Awards Ceremony, Food/Drinks-To-Go

We all look forward to a fun, relaxed atmosphere celebrating a return to racing, yet we all also know things will be different. Our approval to hold this race is contingent on following safety protocols submitted to and approved by the Larimer County Department of Health , and we appreciate you playing your part. Those not cooperating will be asked to leave and could be subject to disqualification.  We really don’t want to have to do that, so let’s all play by the rules and continue to gain trust as a responsible user group. 

If you feel unsafe taking part with the protocols we’ve put in place, or this year’s race experience will not be fulfilling for you, we encourage you to defer. 100% credit transfer to 2021 will remain open for another week, through the end of the day on July 14, after which point our normal deferral policies will resume.

We are reducing our field size.  The 50mi is limited to 150 runners and the 25mi to 200 runners.  Runners on the wait lists as of July 6 can expect to receive an entry invitation.  Further opening of entries is TBD.

As ultrarunners ourselves, we are doing our best to strike a balance between a fulfilling race experience and ensuring we can manage risks to your health and safety. Please contact us any time with questions.

Brad Bishop & Nick Clark
Gnar Runners

P.S. Wash your hands

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Never Summer 100km – Wave Starts & More

Are you excited?  In just 3.5 short weeks, our adventure together begins!  Thank you for your patience as we work through all of the changes for this year’s race.  There is plenty to communicate, and you can look forward to more messages highlighting specific parts of this year’s event.

The park has given us final details and approval.  The Safety Protocols document has been updated.  Here are the major updates you need to know:

Runners will be starting in waves of 10 every 5 minutes. Based on UltraSignup predicted times, runners start in order from fastest to slowest so additional spreading of the field occurs as the race progresses.

The first wave of runners will start at 3:00a and our final wave will leave just before the regular race start at 5:25a. We understand that the early start times are not optimal, but we have to balance wave starts with the need to have runners off Montgomery Ridge before afternoon thunderstorms become more likely.  Wave assignments can be found here.  Runners wanting to request a wave swap can email registration@gnarrunners.com with their request & rationale no later than July 19.

Cut-Offs will be enforced by wave groups.  This gives all runners roughly equal time on course, and removes the pressure for those chasing cut-offs to seek earlier starts.

The race is capped at 300 runners.  Limited waitlist invites are going out now.

The 60km option is remains open.  We appreciate those who can opt into the 60km in advance of race day, but you may also make the decision to divert when you reach Montgomery Aid (mile 23.2) during your 100km effort.

Clearly Canadian Aid (mile 37.7/44.0) will NOT be crew access.  We are adding a Crew Rally Point (mile 44.7) just down the road.  This will be a staffed area with water, and is the earliest point that pacers can join their runners.  Crews can get here by hiking 2.5mi in from the parking area at the north end of the main park road (CR41).

The final course map, aid station table, and GPX file are now online.  The approved course comes out to 61.0 miles, and retains its status/points as qualifiers for Western States and UTMB.  

Necessary Gear.  As additional safety margin this year, runners are STRONGLY recommended to carry a rain jacket, gloves, hat, and capacity for 40oz of water at all times, as well as a headlight upon leaving Ruby Jewel Aid (mile 29.4).

Crew/Pacer Registration & Additional Waiver for Runners.  Everyone – Runners, Crews, Pacers, etc – needs to sign and agree to this form, promising to adhere to safety protocols and proper contact tracing.  All signees will receive a personalized bib.  No signature -> no bib -> no participation.  Personal information will be kept confidential.

The deadline for full deferrals to 2021 has passed.  Requests to defer from now through July 19 will receive 50% credit toward a future race.

We are working to update all race information on our website as quickly as possible, and appreciate your patience.  If you have questions or find conflicting information, please email us.

We look forward to a memorable weekend in the woods and on mountain tops with you.  Stay safe, enjoy your taper, and you’ll hear from us again very soon.

Cheers,
Nick & Brad
Gnar Runners

P.S. Wash Your Hands

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Never Summer 100km IS A GO

We are very happy to announce that the 2020 Never Summer 100k will go ahead as planned on the weekend of July 25/26.

Many thanks to State Forest State Park, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, and innumerable friends and resources who helped craft a plan under which the event can safely happen.

There’s a fair bit to communicate. Whether you are a runner, volunteer, pacer or crew – we need you to read it all – before you come to the race including our full list of safety protocols and race changes.  

As the pandemic continues to evolve, there is a strong chance some of these protocols will change too. All changes will be communicated via email and on our website – but it is ultimately your responsibility to read, understand and follow the full list.  The intent of these protocols matters more than exact wording – so please don’t look for loopholes – and do your best to embrace the changes and our need to manage everyone’s safety. 

If you feel like you cannot or do not want to deal with this year’s changes, then we are offering a full deferral to next year’s race (see below).

Summary of main race changes for 2020:

  • ALL participants (runners, volunteers, crews, pacers) are required to:
    • Preregister
    • Wear a mask at all times, except when 1) running 2) eating/drinking
    • Have a contactless Temperature Check upon arrival.  Those with temperatures above 100.4F will be required to leave
  • Clear Lake (mile 39.4/43.9) and Canadian (mile 50.1) Aid will be combined into Clear-Canadian Aid (mile 37.7/44.0).
  • Slight course change on the north end, shortening total distance to just under 62 miles. 
  • Ranger Lakes Aid (mile 62.0) is eliminated
  • 55K option may be added (to be confirmed)
  • Limited Menu & Service at Aid Stations
  • Drop Bags available at all Aid Stations
  • Crew/Pacers limited to 2 total per runner
  • Wave Starts
  • No Sunday Awards/Breakfast

We all look forward to a fun, relaxed atmosphere celebrating a return to racing, yet we all also appreciate that things will look a little different. Our approval to hold this race is contingent on following the safety protocols that have been submitted to, and approved by, State Forest State Park and Jackson County. We appreciate you playing your part. Those not cooperating will be asked to leave and could be subject to disqualification.  We really don’t want to have to do that, so let’s all play by the rules and continue to gain trust as a responsible user group. 

If you feel unsafe taking part with the protocols we plan to put in place, or you feel like this year’s race experience will not be fulfilling for you, we encourage you to defer.  100% credit transfer to 2021 will remain open for another week, through the end of the day on June 16, after which point our normal deferral policies will resume. If you would like to defer your entry, please email: registration@gnarrunners.com

We will begin opening up available spots to waitlisted runners after June 16, once we have a clear picture of our entrant numbers.

As runners and race participants ourselves, we are doing our best to strike a balance between offering a fulfilling race experience and ensuring we can manage risks to your health and safety. Please contact us any time with questions and we will do our level best to respond within 24 hours: racedirector@gnarrunners.com

Nick Clark & Brad Bishop
Gnar Runners

P.S. We are working to update all race information in all locations as quickly as possible in light of our newly-approved COVID-19 Safety Protocols.  We appreciate your patience.  If you have questions or find conflicting information, please email us.

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