2018 Gnar Slam Update

With three races down and just one left to go in the Gnar Runners 2018 season, there are 11 runners remaining in the 2018 Gnar Slam standings. And there is pressure being put on both the men’s and women’s overall records.

Frank Pipp on 7 Utes Mountain on his way to a second place finish at the Never Summer 100km

After winning the sixth running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon on September 8, Frank Pipp has consolidated his place at the top of the 2018 standings with a current cumulative time of 21:51:40. The overall four-race record, set by Elijah Flenner in 2016, stands at 27:14:14, which means Frank would need to finish the Blue Sky Trail Marathon in under 5:22:34 to claim a new cumulative Gnar Slam best.

In the points standings, Frank has all but clinched the 2018 Gnar Slam title. Clint Anders would need an overall win at Blue Sky and Frank would need to finish with less than 70 points (~4:40:00) to lose his lead.

The women’s standings are currently topped by Gnar Team member Colleen Weitzel who has a three-race cumulative time of 32:08:41. To better Kristen Kovatch‘s record-setting time from last year (37:33:51), Colleen will need to run 5:25:09 or faster at next month’s Blue Sky Trail Marathon.

In this year’s standings, Colleen has less than a 16 point lead on second place Tina Duncan, which equates to an approximately 45 minute spread for Blue Sky. Tina and Colleen were neck and neck at the Black Squirrel Half with Colleen edging Tina out by less than a minute. Tina has a faster Blue Sky PR (4:42:21) than Colleen (4:56:56), but can she beat her by more than 45 minutes to take the overall win in the 2018 Gnar Slam? Anything can happen. 

Shari Green rounds out our women’s field of Gnar Slammers. 

Colleen getting the work done at a rainy 2018 Quad Rock 50

Among our other male Slammers, Ed Delosh and Rob Broomfield are on track to repeat their 2017 Slam finishes, both with a shot at going quicker than last year. At the age of 66, Ivan Rezucha will become our oldest ever Gnar Slammer with a Blue Sky Trail Marathon finish.


Ivan Rezucha & Ed Delosh at the Black Squirrel Half Marathon. 

For current and historical standings for all runners, check out the Gnar Slam page. 

The Gnar Slam is recognition of those runners that complete all Gnar Runners trail running events in one calendar year. All finishers will receive a commemorative award plus free entry into the 2019 Quad Rock.

The Gnar Slam consists of the following four races:

  • Quad Rock 50 mile (14 hours)
  • Never Summer 100km (24 hours)
  • Black Squirrel Half Marathon (5:30 hours)
  • Blue Sky Marathon (9 hours)
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2018 Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon Wrap

It was a beautiful morning for the sixth running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon. A sellout field of 320 runners took on the perimeter trails of Lory State Park on the 13.1 mile tour of some of Northern Colorado’s finest running trails.

With defending champion and course record holder Stephen Pretak playing human-sized black squirrel and course marshal at the Howard turn, the race for the men’s win was wide open. Coming into the Arthurs West aid station at 8 miles, Frank Pipp had a small lead over Clint Anders and Chris Rom. Second at both the Quad Rock 50 and Never Summer 100k, Frank would hold his lead through the flatter valley miles to claim the win and set a new master’s record of 1:32:02. Frank is now a favorite to set a new record for the Gnar Slam, which will culminate next month at the 11th running of the Blue Sky Trail Marathon. Also riding high in the Gnar Slam standings this year is Clint Anders, who would also hold onto his Arthurs 8-mile position to finish second in 1:33:22. Chris Rom (1:36:13) rounded out the podium in his first Black Squirrel finish.

Men’s podium. L-R: Clint Anders, Frank Pipp, Chris Rom

Third in 2015, Ruth Waller-Liddle was back to run her second Black Squirrel Half, and this time she lead the race from pillar to post, with an impressive 1:52:43 finish, just narrowly pipped at the post by husband and race sponsor, Justin Liddle DMD. Broomfield’s Alisyon Hummelberg (1:56:49) followed four minutes later in second in her first Black Squirrel Half. Rounding out the podium in third, Coach Rachel Hulse was one place better and a minute quicker than in 2016, beating three-time runner up Sarah Roberts to the line by a scant 17 seconds.  

Women’s Podium. L-R: Alisyon Hummelberg, Ruth Waller-Liddle, Rachel Hulse

This year, we expanded the age groups to include an under 30 and over 60 category. Top honors in our 5 age group categories were as follows:

  • Under 30: Peter Goble (1:41:27) and Alicia Grove (1:59:12)
  • 30-39: Craig Depperschmidt (1:42:42) and Hilary Freese (2:02:31)
  • 40-49: Christoph Justen (1:52:13) and Sarah Roberts (1:58:19) 
  • 50-59: Ed Delosh (1:49:18) and Jeanne Bascuk (2:19:46)
  • 60+: Ivan Rezucha (2:21:31) and Paula Murray (3:22:58)

Results and Images

Prizes for overall and age group winners included Salomon running packs, Altitude gift certificates and Drymax running socks. Unique squirrel-themed awards were lovingly hand-crafted by Amy Hayman.

Of course, our races don’t happen without the help of an army of volunteers. The Liberty Middle School XC Team was once again out at the Arthur’s aid stations, the CSU Food & Nutrution Club served up our post-race pancake breakfast, and as always, the Fort Collins Trail Runners community came out in force. Our volunteers shone bright and provided a wonderful race experience for all participants. So, once again, a huge thank you to all our fantastic volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you.

The Liberty XC Team with teacher and race participant Lauren Calvert

We also couldn’t do what we do without the help of our wonderful sponsors, all of whom are tireless supporters of the Northern Colorado running scene. Thank you to our top tier sponsors: Salomon RunningAltitude RunningColorado in MotionDrymax Socks, and Justin Liddle DMD.

If you enjoyed Black Squirrel and are considering a step up in distance, why not join us on October 20 for the 11th running of the Blue Trail Sky Marathon. This local favorite will be our last event of the year.

Top tier support from:

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

Contributing support from:
Countryside Animal Hospital Fort Collins Running Club 

Generous product support from:
VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain CookiesSquirrel’s Nut Butter, and Great Harvest Bread Company.

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2018 Black Squirrel Half Marathon Pre-race Details

All information relevant to the 6th running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon is available on the race website. Here are a few final details and reminders.

The current weather forecast is showing a race-day high in the mid 80s. Please make sure you have adequate carrying capacity for your hydration needs between aid stations. Water cups will not be provided at the aid stations.

The three race aid stations will be stocked with water and V-Fuel sports drink. The Arthur’s aid station – visited twice – will also carry snacks and fruit.

Packet pickup will be available on Friday afternoon from 4pm to 7pm at Altitude Running located at 150 E Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80525 (northeast corner of College and Harmony). We will be distributing bib numbers, race T-shirts, Squirrels Nut Butter samples, Justin Liddle DMD toothbrushes, and will have additional Gnar Runners and Black Squirrel merchandise for sale. 

Packet pickup will also be available on race morning from 5:15am to 6:30am.

The race will start promptly at 7:00am. There will be a short pre-race briefing at 6:50am.

Late arrivals will need to walk up to a mile to the start from the overflow parking at the Eltuck Picnic area, so we recommend getting to Lory State Park no later than 6:00am if you need to check in on race morning.

Parking at the Soldier Canyon start/finish area (limited to 50-60 cars) is reserved for carpools of two or more runners. All other cars will be directed to park on the Lodgepole loop road or at the Timber trailhead lot. If you can, please arrange a carpool with friends – or try the Fort Collins Trail Runner Facebook page

Parking passes will be handed out at the park entrance when you arrive.

Bibs must be visible from the front. Please do not remove your pull tag.

Dogs are welcome on leash with family and friends at the start/finish area, but we ask that you not run with your dog during the race.

Please pocket any trash and dispose of it at aid stations or at the start/finish.

Trails are open to the public. Watch for bikers and yield to horses and hikers.

We will have a free 1 mile kids race/run beginning at 10:30 from the start/finish area.

After your finish, stick around for our post race party and Great Harvest pancake breakfast. In addition to fruit, soft drinks and other trimmings, we’ll have cookies from Mary’s Mountain Cookies and Fat Tire beer (3.2) from New Belgium Brewing.

Additional post-race food and beer for family and friends can be purchased for a $10 cash donation to our post-race beneficiary, the CSU Food & Nutrition Club, if not already purchased with registration.

For post-run entertainment, the Swashbuckling Doctors will be serving up their unique brand of Fort Collins Ska.

Salomon Running will be demoing shoes for runners to try out after the race, and we’ll be giving away Salomon packs to our top male and female finishers.

All finishers will receive a commemorative pint glass. And we’ll be giving out unique overall and age group awards to the top three finishers (male and female) in the following categories: overall, under 30, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60+. We’ll also have sponsor gear and goodies to raffle off during and after the awards.

Massage and PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Colorado in Motion, Diane Bergstedt and Kristel Liddle.

Thank you to our very generous top sponsors: Salomon Running, Colorado in Motion, Justin Liddle DMD, Drymax SocksAltitude Running, Countryside Animal Hospital, JAX Mercantile, and the Fort Collins Running Club for their support in helping make this event possible.

Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters. Please consider supporting these businesses who support the race.

If you have questions that are not answered here or on the website, then please email us at racedirector@gnarrunners.com. We will do our level best to respond in a timely manner.

We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday morning!


Top Tier Sponsors

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

Race Support

Countryside Animal Hospital Fort Collins Running Club 

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The 4th Running of the Never Summer 100K is a Wrap

Lake Agnes at the 2018 Never Summer 100K

The fourth running of the Never Summer 100km was another one for the record books. Once again we saw course records in both the men’s and women’s fields (as we have at every running of the race) and once again we welcomed a record number of runners to both the start and finish lines. And not only did we have a record number of runners, but we’re also pretty sure we had a record number of volunteers who, once again, came out en masse to help competitors reach their goals. Congratulations runners and thank you volunteers

When it was all said and done, 264 (200 men, 64 women) of the race’s 341 starters (250 men, 91 women) beat the race’s cut-offs and  made it back to the Gould Community Center. This represents a 76 percent finisher rate (80 percent men, 70 percent women). Of those finishers, 34 joined – or renewed their membership in – the Sunset Club by making it home without the use of a headlamp (15.5 hours). This includes three new female inductees – Addie Bracy, Clare Gallagher and Kristi Knecht – who join Alyson Kirk and Heidi Sauerland in the exclusive club. 

But of course, no matter how far along the course you got, or indeed at what time you finished, we sincerely hope you enjoyed your experience in the beautiful mountains of Northern Colorado.

Montgomery Pass at the 2018 Never Summer 100K


Results with full aid station splits are available through OpenSplittime.org here.

Race Photos


North Diamond at the 2018 Never Summer 100K

Mark Marzen summiting North Diamond on his way to the overall win and a new course record..

Addie Bracy at the 2018 Never Summer 100K

Addie Bracy on her way to the women’s win and a new course record.

In both the men’s and women’s races new overall records were set. For the men, Mark Marzen from Denver took home top honors setting a new sub-12 hour standard of 11:47:46. He was followed home by Frank Pipp (12:11:56) from Longmont, CO who posted the race’s third fastest time ever. And rounding out the men’s podium was Fort Collins’ very own Ryan Burch who came home in 12:45:01, just two minutes slower than his winning time from the inaugural year in 2015.

In the women’s race, we crowned a new champion after three years straight of awarding the big axe to Alyson Kirk. And 2018 is Addie Bracy’s year when it comes to Gnar Runners events. Fresh off her win at the Quad Rock 50 in May, Addie scored a dominant win in the Never Summer Mountains, resetting the record books by over 90 minutes and beating decorated ultrarunner Clare Gallagher (14:11:06) by over an hour. If the new women’s record of 13:10:39 is to once again go down next year, we feel like it will take a pretty special performance. Rounding out the women’s podium behind Clare was Flagstaff, AZ’s Kristi Knecht (14:28:53) who finished in the race’s third fastest time ever. 

A fast year all around!

Kristi Knecht rolling into the Montgomery aid on her way to a third-place finish.

Former winner and course record holder, Ryan Burch, on his way to another Never Summer podium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The master’s categories (40-49) were won by familiar faces, Elijah Flenner (13:41:23) and Sandra Carpenter (16:26:09). Both Sandra and Elijah are multi-time winners of master’s awards at both the Never Summer 100km and the Quad Rock 50. This year, they finished 7th and 4th overall in their respective gender divisions. 

In the grandmasters division (50+), it was Wisconsin’s Dede Gibbs who took home top honors in a time of 20:08:37. For the men, it was Gnar Team member Ed Delosh bringing home the grandmaster’s hardware in a new divisional course record time of 15:35:00. 

In recognition of the challenge that the course presents to all runners, we also give out a Final Finisher award for the runner that shows the most dogged persistence in being out there the longest. We were delighted to be able to hand off that award to Fort Collins local, Sarah Beck. 

We also like to make sure that we recognize our volunteers appropriately at the post-race breakfast awards ceremony by giving out the Never Summer Trail Boss award. While this award is given to one person who has shown particular dedication to the race, it is offered in the spirit of a broader recognition of the whole volunteer team who come together before, during and after the race. This year, we were honored to be able to recognize Ruby Jewel aid caption, Brian Walter as our 2018 Trail Boss for his dedication to trail running and racing within the Fort Collins running community for well over a decade.

Ruby Jewel at the 2018 Never Summer 100K

Brain Walter overseeing the action at the Ruby Jewel aid station.

As always, the volunteer support that we received for the event was – quite frankly – outstanding, and testimony to the special place the mountains of Northern Colorado hold in the hearts of the local outdoors community. Thanks to each and every one of you. And a special thank you to:

  • The Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club and their team of ham radio operators all of whom went above and beyond in ensuring that we had radio contact from every aid station on course, in addition to between medical and park staff.
  • The Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol for offering up a team of skilled volunteers with first responder training and an intimate knowledge of the Never Summer and Medicine Bow Mountains.
  • The Teaching Tree for preparing the post-race awards breakfast.
  • State Forest State Park (SFSP) and their incredible staff of park rangers. We have received nothing but enthusiasm from SFSP in the years of planning and executing this event, and their professionalism on race weekend was second to none.
  • The Fort Collins Trail Runners. Though completely informal in affiliation, this group of trail running enthusiasts has been the backbone of the Gnar Runners operation from its inception. A continued Thank You to you all.
  • Poudre Valley Hospital’s team of medical professionals for going above and beyond in coordinating our emergency medical plans.
  • The Gould Community Association for their support and the use of the Gould Community Center.

And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!

Top tier support from:

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

Contributing support from:
Countryside Animal Hospital Fort Collins Running Club

Generous product support from:
VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain CookiesSquirrel’s Nut Butter, Boulder Organic, Founding Foods, and the Great Harvest Bread Company.

We look forward to seeing you again in 2019. We’d also love to see you later in the year at one of our shorter events. On September 8 we’ll be hosting the sixth running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 20 by the 11th running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.

Remember, if you finish all four events in the calendar year you become a Gnar Slammer and receive an end-of-season award in addition to free entry into the following year’s Quad Rock. We will be updating our Gnar Slam page this week, with a list of all those in contention for the 2018 Slam. 

Thank you all!

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Never Summer 100K Training Weekend

Never Summer 100K Training Weekend

Join us this weekend (6/30-7/1) for an informal training and/or trail maintenance weekend on the Never Summer course. 

Saturday, 8:00am: meet at the day parking area for the Ranger Lakes campground to run the southern section of the course. From Ranger Lakes to the Diamond aid station it is roughly 16 miles (with 2 mile jog on hard shoulder of Hwy14 back to Ranger Lakes – or car drops/shuttle can be arranged). A bigger loop from Ranger Lakes to North Diamond, across to Montgomery and down to Bockman and back to Ranger Lakes via the Grass Creek/Gould Mtn section of the course would be in the 32 mile range. 

Sunday, 8:00am: meet at Ruby Jewel TH (or at the bottom of the Ruby Jewel Rd at 7:30am to carpool up to the TH). Run Kelly Lake/Hidden Valley, northern loop and back to Ruby via Canadian/North Yurt for 20/24 miles (with/without Clear Lake spur). A shorter option would be to shortcut on the access road to Canadian from the Kelly Lake junction (~16 miles).

Trailwork volunteers can meet up with us either day. We’ll mainly be working the southern Never Summer section of the course.

We have Bockman site 334 reserved for anyone to check in and find us Friday or Saturday evenings. There are plenty of additional sites available at Bockman and the Crags campgrounds that can be reserved in advance. 
http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/StateForest/Pages/Camping.aspx

Additional first-come, first-serve sites will be available for late arrivals at the Crags, dispersed park sites, or in the national forest to the south of Gould.

Updates and additional details (including route maps/GPX tracks) are being posted to our Facebook event page.

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A Muddy Quad Rock 2018 – Post Race Wrap

May is an unpredictable month here in Northern Colorado, and once again the weather played a role at the 2018 Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail Races. After enjoying (and suffering through) toasty conditions in 2017, this year we were served up a wet, cool day which left the trails uncharacteristically muddy (see below for a note on trail work). Nonetheless, the day produced a commanding new course record in the men’s 25 mile race and fast winning times in both the 50 mile races and also the women’s 25 mile race. In addition, we saw record finisher numbers in the 50 miler and a whole host of wonderful finishes across our full field of runners. 

Overall, we saw 196 runners start the 50 mile race and 223 start the 25 mile race for a total of 419 runners on course. Of the 196 runners that started the 50 mile race, a record 142 completed the full two loops for a 72 percent finisher rate. A total of 267 runners finished the 25 mile race or the first 25 mile loop of the 50 miler (all are included in the final 25 mile results). 


Trail Work Day

The race this year was held on unusually muddy trails. Sections of some of the lower trails saw some trail damage as a result. We are currently in discussions with managers at both Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park to arrange a trail work day, which we hope to make an annual ‘Trail Runner Trail Work Day’. We will make announcements as we have them on dates and times. 


Race Action

Jackson Brill was flying.

In the men’s 25 mile race, Jackson Brill – just 19 years of age – took control of the race in the early going and was able to maintain a two- to three-minute lead over Chris Mocko for the full loop, coming home in a new course record of 3:13:06. Mocko would also dip under Mike Aish’s 2016 course record on his way to finishing second (3:15:56). On a quick day all around, Quincy O’Connor rounded out the podium in a time that ranked eighth all time (3:26:52).

In the women’s 25 mile race former champion, Ginna Ellis, led it out from the gun and came very close to holding her lead all the way to the finish. However, Abigail Levene was just too good on the final Timber descent, passing Ginna with a couple of miles to go and beating her to the finish by less than a minute. Abigail’s 4:05:01 finish time ranks second all time (closely followed by Ginna’s winning time from 2016). Castle Rock’s Corrine Shalvoy rounded out the podium in a time of 4:17:35.

Abigail Levene on her way to winning the 25 mile race.



Masters (40-49) wins in the 25 mile race went to Longmont’s Tim Fahy (4:24:25) and Boulder’s Kelly McConnell (4:54:09). Our grandmaster’s (50+) winners were Blaise Brochard (4:36:35) from New York and Marianne Osteen (5:33:49) from Steamboat Springs.

In the women’s 50 mile race, it was a close run thing between two decorated names in the

Addie Bracy, 50 mile champion

sport. Michele Yates was named Ultrarunner of the Year in 2013 by Ultrarunning Magazine, while Addie Bracy has made her name in the trail running world over shorter distances, twice having won the US Mountain Running Championships and last year being named US Mountain Runner of the Year. It was the more seasoned ultrarunner, Yates, who took control of things on the opening 25 mile lap, before being caught and passed on the way out from the 25 mile turnaround. Bracey would go on to build and consolidate a lead during the second lap, ultimately finishing in 8:51:18, 13 minutes ahead of Yates in second. For Bracey it was just her second 50-mile finish as she gets ready for the Leadville 100 in August. Esther Erbe came home in third (10:22:54) in what was – impressively – a first ever ultramarathon finish for the Texas resident.

In the men’s 50 mile race, it was another relative newcomer to the sport, Jimmy Elam,

Jimmy Elam, 50 Mile Champ

who would take top honors. In his first 50 miler, Elam ran like a seasoned veteran tracking early leaders Bobby Peavey, Aaron Robson, Gavin Coombs, Oliver Knauer and Frank Pipp around the opening 25 mile loop before opening up a gap on the second loop and holding onto it in commanding fashion. Elam registered the third fastest finish ever (7:40:25) on his way to besting Frank Pipp (8:07:41) and Oliver Knauer (8:29:21) for second and third. 

 

In the master’s division, Gnar Runners Team member Elijah Flenner (8:43:59) defended his title finishing an impressive fourth overall, while Vermont’s Alexandra Ambros (10:50:14) took home top honors for the master’s women – also registering an impressive fourth place overall. 

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 (this year) or shine (last year), you guys are out there getting the job done and helping our runners get to the finish line safely. Thank You!

In a cloud the whole day, the Towers team and all our volunteers rocked!

And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!

SalomonDrymax SocksAltitude Running                            Justin Liddle DMD ProsthodontistCountryside Animal HospitalFort Collins Running Club

With generous product support from: VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest Bread Company, the Fort Collins Food Coop, Squirrels Nut Butter, and Boulder Organic!

Thank you all!

And A Great Day for the Gnar Team!!!

50 Milers
Elijah Flenner: 4th Male (1st Master), 8:43
Kris Tyson: 9th Male, 9:07
Rob Raguet-Schofiled: 16th Male, 9:28
Ed Delosh (1st Grandmaster): 9:38
Brett Harkey: 10:28
Colleen Weitzel: 11:35
Marlin Yoder: 13:34
Shari Green: 13:42
25 Miler:
Elise McKnight: 5:43   

Next Up

We look forward to seeing you again in 2019 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you July 28 at the Never Summer 100km or at one of our shorter events. On September 8 we’ll be hosting the sixth running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 20 by the 11th 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.

 

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