Quad Rock Spring Training Runs

As we round the corner and start looking forward to spring, it’s time to start putting in some longer miles in preparation for the summer racing season. To help get those long training runs banked, we’ll be organizing a few spring outings through March and April culminating with a loop of the Quad Rock course on April 5.

As we did last year, we’ll be hosting an informal Quad Rock Training Run from the race start/finish area at Soldier Canyon in Lory State Park. There will be multiple mileage options, from the full 25 mile loop to shorter, abbreviated versions of the course. We’ll look to get started at 8:30 on Saturday April 5. We’ll be providing burgers and veggie burgers for a post-run BBQ. Park regulations limit beers to 3.2, if you want to bring something to drink. If you want to chip in for the cost of food & site rental, we’ll have a donation jar, proceeds from which will go to race beneficiaries: Animal House Rescue, LCSAR, and Friends of Lory State Park. As an added bonus, Pearl Izumi will be at the BBQ to demo their super-popular E:Motion shoe line.


Date: April 5th.
Start: 8:30am at the Soldier Canyon Trailhead at Lory State Park.
BBQ Potluck: 1:00pm – 4:00pm (please bring something to share or a few dollars to contribute for picnic area rental, BBQ supplies, food and other misc.) Only 3.2% beer is allowed in the park.
Fees: No registration is required. Runners are responsible for their own park entrance fee ($7 day use per car if you don’t already have an annual state park pass. Carpooling strongly recommended.)

Other Runs

Kicking things off on March 23, there will be a run of between 21 and 36 miles around Horsetooth Reservoir. Dubbed March Mileage Madness, the run starts from Alex May’s house on the west side of Fort Collins. The shortest route – via the valley trails on the west side of the reservoir – is 21 miles, while the longest route which heads up into the hills of Horsetooth and Lory on the west side is about 36 miles with a good bit of climbing. Routes can be altered to find a middle ground between the two distances. Watch for updates on this one and Round Mountain (see below) via the Fort Collins Trail Runner list.

round-up-profile 2

29-30 miles & 10k’ of vert. Good Lord!

A week later, we’ll be meeting at the Round Mountain trailhead for a run on the infamous “Round Mountain Ladder,” a 30 mile, 10,000 foot jaunt up and down Round Mountain just west of Loveland. Although it’s only 4.5 miles to the summit, we squeeze 30 miles out of the mountain by out-and-backing from each of the mile markers along the way, with a final summit at the end. The group dynamic of this workout is invaluable in getting the work done. Shorter versions of the workout include: out and backs to mile 1, mile 3, and the summit; or 2, 4, summit; double summit; single summit, etc. This one is scheduled for 6:30am from the Round Mountain trailhead on Saturday March 29.

The training runs are open to all abilities and regardless of whether or not you are signed up for Quad Rock in May. We hope to see you at one or all of them.


2014 Quad Rock Supporters and Product Giveaways

In addition to the support of our main sponsors for 2014, Pearl Izumi and Cornerstone Mortgage, we feel incredibly fortunate to have the support of some amazing local businesses and gear companies.

Local trail and ultrarunners Cat Speights, Justin Liddle, and Terry Gebhardt have once again stepped up to show their support for the Fort Collins running community with sponsorship of the Quad Rock 25 & 50 mile races through their fantastic businesses.

Colorado Physical Therapy SpecialistsTerry Gebhardt is the owner of Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, a primary care provider for all your orthopedic needs. COLPTS specializes in sports injuries, neck and back pain, chronic pain, and women’s health. Ask any runner in town who puts them back together, and chances are Terry’s team will be first on the referral list.

Justin K. Liddle DMD, LLCJustin Liddle (DMD) is not only a talented trail runner and keen supporter of the local trail running scene, but he’s also an accredited prosthodontist. Justin’s dental practice can take care of pretty much any of your dental needs, but he specializes in implants and other complex reconstructive procedures. Take a nasty face-first fall and Justin will put your smile back together. Check out the ‘smile gallery‘.

Countryside Animal HospitalDr Catherine Speights is not only a highly accomplished distance runner, but the go-to small animal vet in the running community (and beyond). Her practice, Countryside Animal Hospital, specializes in personalized care of dogs and cats in a home-like setting. Funds from the Countryside sponsorship help support race beneficiary Animal House, which in turn provides volunteer support for the post-race BBQ. It’s a win-win, folks.

Product support for the Quad Rock races come from a range of great companies.

Headquartered in Estes Park, CO, VFuel will be providing on-course support with aid-station gels in a range of flavors. As the first true endurance gel, VFuel was made for tough mountain courses exactly like Quad Rock.

Additional on course fueling needs will be provided by Windsor-based Succeed. They will be providing S!CAPS, the gold standard in electrolyte replacement for endurance athletes.

Overall and age group prizes will come in the form of shoes, packs, sunglasses, running watches and running gift vouchers from five great companies: Pearl IzumiUltraspireSmith Optics, New Balance Watches & Runners Roost Fort Collins.

And it wouldn’t be a celebration of trail and ultrarunning in Fort Collins without a craft brewer helping out with the post-race festivities, so we’re super stoked that Pateros Creek will be back at the BBQ offering up their special batch of “51st Mile English Mild.” We’ll also be offering baked goods from Great Harvest and refreshing rehydration from IZZE Sparkling Juice.

Please support our sponsors – they are all local to Fort Collins or the Mountain West. We couldn’t do this without their kind support.


Cornerstone Mortgage Helps Bump Prize Purse to $1,600

The 2014 Quad Rock 50 Mile race will have a total prize pool of $1,600, made possible with kind support from the Hunter Team at Cornerstone Mortgage Company, a major race sponsor and enthusiastic supporter of the local running community.

The overall awards will be distributed as follows:

1. Award + $400 + Sponsor Product + free 2015 entry
2. Award + $200 + Sponsor Product + free 2015 entry
3. Award + $100 Runners Roost Voucher + Sponsor Product + free 2015 entry

Course Record Bonus
: $100
Course Record + Time Bonus: $200

To win the time bonus, winners must run under 7:30 (men) or 9:00 (women).

Age group awards (Open (under 40) & Masters)

1. Award + Pearl Izumi shoes
2. Award + Sponsor Product
3. Award + $25 Runners Roost Voucher

In the 25-mile race, prizes will be as follows:


1. Award + Pearl Izumi shoes + free 2015 entry
2. Award + Sponsor Product
3. Award + Sponsor Product

Age groups

1. Award + Pearl Izumi shoes
2. Award + $30 Runners Roost Fort Collins gift voucher
3. Award + $20 Runners Roost Fort Collins gift voucher

Sponsor Product will include: Smith sunglasses, New Balance watches, and Ultraspire packs.

All other finishers will receive an award for finishing. Other sponsor goodies will be raffled during the awards for each race.


2014 Quad Rock Presenting Sponsor: Pearl Izumi

We are excited to announce that for the third year in a row, local shoe and apparel company Pearl Izumi is once again showing its support for the local trail running community by stepping up as the Presenting Sponsor for the Quad Rock 25/50 Mile Races.

The M2, offering cushion and moderate mid-foot stability

All entrants will receive a high quality form-fitted Pearl Izumi blended tech T-shirt in both men’s and women’s sizing. Runners will also have the chance to win Pearl Izumi shoes from the wildly popular  E:Motion line and enjoy discount opportunities on Pearl Izumi merchandise at the Runners Roost packet pick-up the Friday before the race.

In addition, there will be opportunities to demo the E:Motion line at the spring training run, at packet pick-up, and also at the start/finish area on race day.

The New Pearl Izumi E:Motion Trail Racer – or – N1

We couldn’t be happier to be working with Pearl Izumi, a local company that shares our ideals of quality in performance, even in the Gnarliest of conditions and in the most demanding of locations.

Locally, the Pearl Izumi line is available through Runners Roost Denver and Fort Collins, in addition to other high quality run specialty stores – or online at Shop Pearl Izumi.



The Inaugural Running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon: Race Recap

The start of the inaugural running of the Black Squirrel Half marathon. Erin Bibeau Photography.

The start of the inaugural running of the Black Squirrel Half marathon. Erin Bibeau Photography.

It was a hot one for the inaugural running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon, hosted on the beautiful trails of Lory State park, but that didn’t deter 206 hardy runners from completing the challenging course.

Runners snake up the start of the Timber climb.

Runners snake up the start of the Timber climb. Erin Bibeau

Corey Hanson led the charge off the front of the race, with a colorful procession of runners following him up the snaking Timber trail through the opening 1,500 feet of climbing to the high point of the Park on the Westridge doubletrack trail.

From there views opened up to Longs Peak on the west and the City of Fort Collins to the east, before the precipitous plunge down the Howard trail to the Arthurs Rock aid station.


Human-sized Black Squirrel, aka, Katie Robinson. Erin Bibeau Photography.

Runners reported Black Squirrel sightings at both the bottom of the technical Howard descent and also at the Arthurs Rock aid station.

From the mile 8 Arthurs aid station, runners were treated to rolling hard pack singletrack on the south and east valley trails all the way into the finish. Although the majority of the climbing was over by the time runners hit the valley trails, this section proved to be the hardest for many due to the intense heat and lack of shade.

At the front of the field, Corey Hanson, who lives a half mile from the Park entrance, would hang on to win the inaugural running of the race and in doing so set the course record in an impressive 1:36:10. He was soon followed by Cory Linfield (1:37:33) and Christopher Knott  (1:41:26) in second and third respectively.

Corey Hanson in the lead at mile 8. Erin Bibeau

Corey Hanson in the lead at mile 8. Erin Bibeau

In the women’s race, Longmont resident Melissa Dock led pillar to post and crossed the finish line ninth overall in a time of 1:49:50. She was followed by Wyoming’s Esther Hartsky (1:56:50) and local favorite Jenn Malmberg (1:57:48).

The masters divisions were won by Ed Delosh (1:49:25) and Monica Brackney (2:04:10), while the open divisions (39 & under) were won by Adam St.Pierre (1:42:08) and Samantha Wood (1:58:36).

Our two final finishers, Ben Erickson and Gary Nelson, received a standing ovation before being escorted over to the post-race BBQ for burgers and beers along with the rest of the festive post-race crowd.

Prizes included gift certificates to Runners Roost Fort Collins, in addition to Black Squirrel awards crafted in the Arts and Crafts Department of Gnar Runners, LLC.

Melissa Dock on her way to winning. Erin Bibeau

Melissa Dock on her way to winning. Erin Bibeau

As race directors, Pete and I are always thankful for the wonderful trail running community we have here in Fort Collins. Pulling together a volunteer crew is an essential part of putting on a successful race and as always our volunteers were the biggest source of post-race compliments that we received. So, once again, a huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you.

We also couldn’t put on the types of races that we aspire to put on without the help of our wonderful sponsors, all of whom are tireless supporters of the Northern Colorado running scene. So thank you Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, Justin Liddle DMD, Countryside Vet, Runners Roost, Succeed, Great Harvest, IZZE and Powered by Plants.

The Arthurs Rock (1) crew. Erin Bibeau.

The Arthurs Rock (1) crew. Erin Bibeau.

We are greatly looking forward to the second running of the Black Squirrel Half, and hope to see you there too. Oh, and if you enjoyed the Black Squirrel, consider running it’s parent race, the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins’ first (and only) trail marathon.

The Creative Department at Gnar Runners, Mary Boyts, getting significant air. Erin Bibeau.

The Creative Department at Gnar Runners, Mary Boyts, getting significant air. Erin Bibeau.

Hanging out post-race. Erin Bibeau.

Hanging out post-race. Erin Bibeau.

Thanks for coming. See you next year! Erin Bibeau Photography.

Thanks for coming. See you next year! Erin Bibeau Photography.



2013 Quad Rock Race Recap

“With the exception of vertical and suffering (there was a ton of that) we experienced a little bit of everything out there with sun, rain, lightning, thunder, hail and mud.” ~ Kraig Koski in a post-race note.


Quad Rock Finish 1_Eskew

Mother Nature threw us a few spring curveballs out there on Saturday, but She deterred nobody. A huge and sincere congratulations to everyone who came out to toe the line this weekend, from the seasoned veterans to the crazy first-timers who chose to make the Quad Rocker their virgin 50 miler.

Trail love. Erin Bibeau Photography

Trail love. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography

We had some fast finishers on the trails and we had some great stories from the front of the pack to the back. Indeed our last 50 miler to the 25 mile turn posted perhaps the most impressive back 25 miles of anyone on the course. Oza Klanjsek was the only person who resisted the temptation of the post-race BBQ and actually upgraded to the full 50 … 25 miles and 6 hours 33 minutes into her race day.

The only view anyone had of Oza on the back 25. Photo: Milan Klanjsek.

All other 50 milers after her either dropped out or missed the cut offs. Oza not only finished but ran a negative split to pass 14 other runners and finish in 13:03:06. We haven’t checked all of the splits but we’re pretty sure no one runs a negative split on our course.

We’re also incredibly proud of our final 25 mile finishers Molly Watkins and Debra Powell. Molly decided early this year that after giving birth to her son Ewan she would challenge herself with the longest (and toughest) run of her life. Molly trained hard to get ready for the event, so all of us in the Fort Collins trail running community were super excited to see her get the job done, and she couldn’t have had a better trail companion than Deb Powell who stuck with her all day.

At the pointy end of the field, we had some fast times and exciting race action. In the women’s races we had two Boulder(area)’ites take top honors.

Kerry Bruxvoort rolling through the Arthur's Meadow. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography.

Kerry Bruxvoort rolling through the Arthur’s Meadow. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography.

Kerry Bruxvoort ran uncontested the whole day, staying strong for a comfortable win and new course record (9:23). She was followed by Wyoming’s Becky Wheeler (9:42) in her first race back after a long injury lay-off, and rounding out the top three was Kris Klotzbach (10:15), finishing in exactly the same position as she did last year.

Silke Koester from Boulder was our 25 mile winner, looking smooth all morning in setting a new course record (4:20). She was followed by soon-to-be Fort Collins’ite Emily Warner (4:28) who ran all morning with her significant other Ryan Quinnelly as they checked out what will soon be their new backyard trails. Rounding out the top three was Nancy Citriglia from Winter Park.

Silke Koester. Erin Bibeau Photography

Silke Koester. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography

The men’s 50 mile field featured some seasoned mountain ultra vets, a two-time Olympian, and a U.S. Olympic Marathon alternate. Mike Aish showed his Olympic pedigree by leading out the race through the early going, making the turn in approximately 3:30, followed in short order by Josh Arthur, Ryan Burch and Paul Hamilton.


Josh Arthur getting it done in the 50 mile race. Photo: Chris Gerber.

Josh took the race by the scruff of the neck on the return 25, making it three wins out of three in his 2013 campaign (7:44). Watch out for Josh at Leadville this summer. Local runner Paul Hamilton wasn’t looking so hot at the turnaround, but somehow managed to rally for a really impressive second lap in his first stab at the distance, finishing just six minutes off the winning pace in second. Rounding out the top three was local favorite, last year’s winner, and still the course record holder, Ryan Burch (8:00). After a slight wrong turn early in the second lap, pre-race favorite Mike Aish faded to fourth (8:14).

Dane Mitchell came back this year to avenge his navigational mishap from 2012, posting a flawless and uncontested 25 mile win in a new course record time of 3:25. Andrew Catalano (3:40) and Andrew Bock (3:45) rounded out the top three in a finishing field of 176 25 mile runners.

There were 111 50 mile finishers, with approximately 61 calling it a day after 25 miles.


Dane Mitchell charging up the final climb in the 25 mile race. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography

At 1:30 in the afternoon, we let loose the kids in the second annual Dirty Feet, Healthy Smiles one mile race. The kids all thoroughly enjoyed themselves before going back about the important business of rolling around in the mud.


The little Liddles making their parents proud. Photo: Shannon Price.

Of course, we couldn’t put on the kind of race we aspire to put on without the magnificent help of our sponsors and volunteers. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to live in the kind of town where people don’t even need to be asked to volunteer because hanging outside at an aid station, marking or tearing down a course, or helping with any other number of necessary jobs is their idea of fun. To our volunteers, a MASSIVE thank you; you were easily the biggest source of compliments we had all day from our runners.

And of course a big thank you to our very generous sponsors. Both Pearl Izumi and Cornerstone Home Lending (Hunter Team) came through in a big way to support our little event, and we ask that you consider supporting them if you’re in the market for high-quality race apparel and shoes, or a home mortgage (see reverse side of your race bib for a generous offer from Cornerstone Home Lending: tell Jimmy we sent you).

Cat Speights gets it done in the 50. Photo: Photo: Erin Bibeau

Cat Speights gets it done in the 50. Photo: Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography

We’re also heavily indebted to our community sponsors, all of whom are linchpins in the local running community: Countryside Vet (Dr. Cat Speights), Justin Liddle DMD, and Colorado Physical Therapist Specialists. On-course nutrition was provided by First Endurance, and post-race schwag by Smith Optics, Highgear Altimeters, and Ultraspire Hydration. As always, Runners Roost Fort Collins came through in a big way with equipment, supplies and post race awards. We had beer from local brewery Pateros Creek, drinks from IZZE and the Bellevue Bean, and killer cookies and cinnamon rolls from Great Harvest Bread Co.

Thank you all.


The Roost was on site. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography

The Roost was on site. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography

Pateros Creek Brewing fuels the post-race party. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography.

Pateros Creek Brewing fuels the post-race party. Volunteers from Animal House Rescue staff the BBQ. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography.

Arthur's Aid. Photo: Erin Bibeau

Arthur’s Aid. Larimer County Search and Rescue volunteers helped to staff our aid stations. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography

Lindsay Martin having a little too much fun. Photo: Erin Bibeau

Lindsay Martin having a little too much fun. Photo: Erin Bibeau

For more images from the day, please visit Erin Bibeau Photography. Digital images are available for download starting at 99 cents and print options are available too.

And a final note: if you left anything behind at the race, there is a good chance it is hanging out at Runners Roost in the lost and found pile. We also have one runner looking for a Polar GPS unit, so please email us if you found that.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in 2014 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you later in the summer at one of our shorter events. On August 31 we will be hosting the inaugural Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 6 by the sixth running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.

Be GNARful out there!

Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography

Mike Hinterberg leading the way under Arthur’s Rock. Photo: Erin Bibeau Photography