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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2018 Quad Rock Competition Preview

It’s looking like we’ll have fast running weather for the 2018 Quad Rock 50 & 25 Mile Trail Races. And with fast fields in all four races, we feel like a few of the races’ course records might come under a bit of pressure this weekend.

Here are a few names to look out for on the race Twitter feed (@gnar_runners, #quadrock #QR25 #QR50) and via the OpenSplitTime race tracking site.

Women’s 50 Mile Race:

2017 Quad Rock 25 Female Podium

Ginna Ellis, Taylor Nowlin and Abby Mitchell

We saw an incredible race last year, with all three of our podium finishers going under the previous course record. Marianne Hogan ended up beating out Kaci Lickteig to reset the women’s mark at 8:29:27. And while none of last year’s podium finishers will be toeing the line this year, we’ve still got a potential barn burner on tap. Former Ultrarunner of the Year, Michele Yates will be continuing her comeback from injury and will be among the favorites on the start line. She will be joined by two-time US Mountain Running Champion Addie Bracy who is dipping her toe into the ultra running world with a second go at the 50 mile distance after an impressive second-place debut at the Behind The Rocks 50 Miler earlier this spring. Nikki Kimball has an incredible race resume to her name, including multiple Western States 100 mile wins. We’re excited to have her on the start line as she gets ready for the 2018 Hardrock 100. We’re also excited to have an equally experienced and decorated Suzanna Bon toeing the line. Should any of the above falter, look for local favorite and winner of many a local race, Jenn Malmberg, to pick up the pieces.

Men’s 50 Mile Race:

Boulder’s Ryan Smith reset the 50 mile course record at an incredibly fast 7:20:27 in 2016, some 20 minutes quicker than Ryan Burch’s record from the inaugural running of the event in 2012. Those likely to be pushing the pace this year include an unbeaten (over 3 races) Bobby Peavey, 2017 second place finisher Daniel Metzger, Oregon speedster Duncan Hoge, two-time podium finisher Frank Pipp, the guy who always punches above his weight Nick Pedatella, and holders of all manner of segment CRs on the Quad Rock course Elijah Flenner and (Cookie) Mike Neal. We’ve also been informed by one of our Twitter correspondents to keep an eye out for Gavin Coombs.

Women’s 25 Mile Race:

Reese Ruland is the only woman to have gone under 4 hours in the 25 mile race (3:58:07, 2015). While she will not be running this year, second to Reese in 2015 and second fastest ever over one loop is three-time podium finisher Ginna Ellis, who is back on the starting line this Saturday and perhaps starting as favorite. Ginna will be pushed by two former 50 mile Quad Rock winners, Becky Wheeler & Kerrie Bruxvoort. In addition, Boulder’s Abby Levene (winner of last year’s Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50k), Longmont’s Becky Lynn (winner Pike’s Peak Ultra 50) and Windsor’s Katharine Kissane (winner 2017 Steamboat 50) will all be challenging for podium spots.

Men’s 25 Mile Race:

Chris Mocko

2017 Blue Sky Trail Marathon champion, Chris Mocko

Michael Aish holds the two fastest 25 mile times with a best of 3:17:29 dating back to 2015. He will not be back this year, but Brent Kocis will be back to defend his 2017 title (3:28:07). Pushing Brent will be last year’s Blue Sky Trail Marathon winner Chris Mocko, former 50 mile record holder and local favorite Ryan Burch, Boulder youngster (and speedster) Jackson Brill, and 2017 Never Summer 100k Trail Race champ Tyler Fox. Add in previous Blue Sky Champ Sam Malmberg and dark horse, Chris Copenhaver, and we’ve got ourselves a race!

We’re looking forward to watching the action unfold. Be sure to check into the gnar_runners Twitter feed during the day for lead updates, pictures and commentary. And for aid station splits across the whole field, we’ll be doing our best to post as close to real time as we can on OpenSplitTime.org.

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Train for Quad Rock with the Gnar Runners Team

Gnar Runners Team

As we gear up for the 2018 Gnar Runners race season, we’re extremely proud to be able to introduce a passionate group of 15 local trail runners who together will make up the 2018 Gnar Runners Racing and Training Team.

MEET THE TEAM

Not only will you see the team out and about representing Gnar Runners at local and regional races this season, but they’ll also be helping to lead local training and social runs throughout the year to help you get ready for your target Gnar Runners races. The team has a broad range of running backgrounds and abilities, and will be available at local training runs to offer advice and company out on the trail.

Not only do these individuals have a passion for trail running, but importantly they also share the ideals and mission of Gnar Runners as trail stewards and Northern Colorado trail running community-builders.

Quad Rock Training

If you’re looking for some structure and a plan for your Quad Rock training, then take a look at our 18-week training outline, which offers plans for both the 50 and 25 mile races.

We will host a course preview training run on April 7 beginning and ending at the Soldier Canyon trailhead (the race start/finish). All abilities are welcome to attend and we will have many local runners attending to guide those coming in from out of town.

Follow us on Facebook or join the Fort Collins Trail Runners group to get additional updates on local training runs leading up to Quad Rock.

REGISTRATION FOR QUAD ROCK IS NOW OPEN

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2018 Gnar Race Registrations to Open Dec 15

Registration for all four races in the 2018 Gnar Trail Racing Series will open on December 15. Once again, we’re proud to be hosting all four of our trail running events in partnership with our top brand sponsor, Salomon Running.

Gnar_manSalomon

Registration for all Gnar Trail Races opens on December 15th, 2017.

Dates for the 2018 Trail Races

  • May 12, 2018: Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail Races
    – 50 Mile Early Entry: $95
    – Location: Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – Race Cap: 400
  • July 28, 2018: Never Summer 100km
    – Early Entry Fee: $175
    – Location: State Forest State Park, Gould CO
    – Race Cap: 300
  • September 8, 2018: Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon
    – Early Entry Fee: $65
    – Location: Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – Race Cap: 300
  • October 20, 2018: Blue Sky Trail Marathon
    – Early Entry Fee: $65
    – Location: Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – Race Cap: 300

Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon Finish at Lory State ParkNever Summer 100K Climb up North Diamond

What’s New for 2018?

  • The Quad Rock Trail Races will again have separate start times for the 25 and 50 mile events. The 50 miler will start as always with first light at 5:30, while the 25 mile race will start at 8:00.
  • The short re-route on the Spring Creek section of the Quad Rock course may be implemented again next year. Final plans will be published in April and will be dependent on where and if the eagles nest in the crags above Spring Creek.
  • Due to the logistical challenges of getting into and out of the Clear Lake aid location at the Never Summer 100km, we have removed it as a crew/pacer access point for 2018.
  • The cap for Never Summer has been cut slightly to 300 starters.
  • Never Summer will again be a qualifying race for the Western States 100. In addition, we have submitted applications for both Quad Rock and Never Summer to serve as UTMB qualifying races.
  • We have added a couple of extra age group award categories for the Black Squirrel Half and Blue Sky Marathon, with 10-year increments from <30 to 60+.
  • With the success and excitement surrounding the Gnar Slam this year, we will again be offering end-of-season awards and a free entry into the 2019 Quad Rock Trail Races for all runners that complete the Quad Rock 50, Never Summer 100km, Black Squirrel Trail Half, and Blue Sky Marathon.
Gnar Slam Class of 2017 Finishers

The Gnar Slam class of 2017.

  • Once again we’ll be managing the Horsetooth Half Marathon in 2018. This year, we’ll be celebrating the 45th running of Colorado’s oldest half marathon. The race will be offering all the fun you’ve come to expect from the Horsetooth Half, with group training runs beginning in January, a super-sized post-race party at New Belgium Brewing and the biggest half marathon purse ($8,000) in the state.

Great Partners

Part of the reason we’re able to offer such great value for all our races is because we’ve worked tirelessly to partner with quality sponsors that share our vision for well-managed, yet affordable events. This year we are incredibly excited to be partnering again with Salomon Running, one of the greatest brand innovators in the sport.

Altitude Running Logo - 2012 FinalWe’ll be offering special Salomon shoe deals with our retail partner, Altitude Running, at all pre-race packet pickups. We’ll also be offering the opportunity to demo Salomon kicks at training runs, community events and race-day expos.

Our other top sponsors for the 2017 season include the following great businesses and brands:

Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy

Getting Fort Collins runners back on their feet

Drymax Socks

The official sock of the 2018 Gnar Runners race series.

Fort Collins Running ClubCountryside Animal Hospital

We’ll have other exciting sponsor deals to promote as the season gets underway, in addition to tons of sponsor swag to give out during the BBQ awards and raffle at each and every race.

Stay tuned for updates about new events, training opportunities, and our expanded Gnar Running Team. Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates as our 2018 season unfolds.

We’re incredibly excited for the 2018 season, and we can’t wait to welcome you to one, or perhaps all of our running events.

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2017 Blue Sky Marathon Pre-Race Details

The 10th running of the Blue Sky Trail Marathon is less than a week away. Hopefully your training has been on point and you’re ready for a strong run.

All information relevant to the event is available from the race website here. In addition, we’d like to bring your attention to a few key details.

The weather forecast for Saturday is showing daytime highs near 60 degrees, which would be ideal; however, the forecast during the week up to Friday looks decidedly warmer with highs in the mid-70s. The Blue Sky course is very exposed over the last 18 miles and the trail can get pretty toasty, so please plan accordingly if the warmer temperatures carry over to the weekend.

An optional packet pickup will be available on Friday from 4pm to 7pm at Altitude Running. We will be handing out bibs on race morning to ensure we have an accurate list of starters. Altitude Running is located at: 150 E Harmony Rd on the northeast corner of College and Harmony.

Packet and bib pickup will be available on race morning at the Blue Sky trailhead from 5:30am to 6:30am.

Limited parking is available at the Blue Sky trailhead by the race start for carpools of two or more *runners* (55 spaces, first come, first serve) and additional parking will be at the Marina off Shoreline Drive, 3/4 of a mile from the start. If you are driving solo and parking in the Marina, please give yourself adequate time to get from your car to the start. Race day parking passes will be handed out when you arrive at the Marina or Blue Sky trailhead entrance.

Runner Drop Off will be just off Shoreline Drive around the corner from the Blue Sky Trailhead. 

**Parking is not allowed anywhere on 38E, along Shoreline Drive, or on any connecting residential street.**

Additional details and a map of the parking setup is available on the race website here.

We will have a start/finish gear drop area, if you want to avoid heading back to your car before the race starts – or think you might need or want to drop or pickup something when coming back through at mile 9.2 of the race after the Horsetooth loop. Bags should be labeled (we’ll have duct tape and sharpies at the start). There are no other drop bag locations on course.

The race will start promptly at 7:00am.

We have added a 10am cut off at the mile 9.2 Blue Sky aid station. Indian Summer South cut off times will remain the same as previous years at 12:30pm outbound (15.6 miles) and 1:45pm inbound (20.3 miles). 

Aid stations will be checking bib numbers. Please make sure your bib is visible from the front. It would also be helpful if you could call out your number as you leave and/or enter the aid station.

This is a cup-less race. We ask that all runners carry a water bottle or hydration pack for refills at the aid stations. Be sure you have adequate carrying capacity so you can hydrate adequately between aid stations

One of several well stocked aid stations.

The four aid stations (six total, as the two Indian Summer aid stations are visited twice) will have water, VFuel sports drink (Cool Lime or Black Cherry Cola), in addition to assorted snacks and fruit. The first Towers aid station will have water and Vfuel drink only.

We will have VFuel bulk gel (Mountain Berry, Cool Citrus, and Vanilla) at the start of the race and at the Blue Sky aid station at mile 9.2. Bring your own flask to fill if you would like to use gel from the aid stations during the race – packets will not be available.

The South Hunter turnaround is a checkpoint only – no water or aid. A volunteer will be marking bibs as people come through to make sure the loop is completed.

As a courtesy to other runners on the trail (and per the terms of our insurance policy), we ask that you not wear headphones.

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.

We’ll be offering a full post-race BBQ with beef burgers and vegan burgers and soup from Boulder Organic (both gluten free and vegan options). Also look for Mary’s Mountain CookiesGreat Harvest cinnamon buns, and New Belgium beer.

The BBQ is free to all participants. If you did not purchase extra tickets with your registration, additional meals can be purchased at the BBQ for family and friends for a $10 donation to The Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center, one of the race beneficiaries.

In addition to finisher awards, we have overall and age group awards (Open: under 40, outside top three; Masters: 40-49, outside top three; Grandmasters: 50+). We have gift cards to Altitude Running for award winners, Salomon running shoes for overall winners and a smorgasbord of sponsor gear to give away in the post-awards raffle. We will also be recognizing the 2017 Gnar Slam finishers and Blue Sky Five-Year Finishers. 

PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Colorado in Motion.

Thank you as always to our fabulous race sponsors in helping us make this event possible:

Salomon RunningColorado in MotionJustin Liddle DMDDrymax SocksAltitude RunningCountryside Animal Hospital, and the Fort Collins Running Club.

Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters. Please consider supporting these businesses that support our races.

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

We sincerely look forward to seeing you all on Saturday morning!

Nick & Pete
Gnar Runners, LLC
racedirector@gnarrunners.com
Twitter/Instagram: @gnar_runners
www.facebook.com/gnarrunners


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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A Roundup from the 5th Running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon

Lory State Park offers some of the best trail running on Colorado’s Northern Front Range, so it was once again our great honor to be able to host a tour of the perimeter trails at the fifth running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon. And, with a beautiful sunrise popping up over the eastern shores of Horsetooth Reservoir, a record 330 runners set off on the 13.1 mile tour of Lory State Park on Saturday morning.

In the men’s race, defending champion Stephen Pretak had a good group of runners to work with as he entered the Timber climb, one mile into the race, but by the time he popped out onto the Arthurs Trail at the bottom of the Howard descent some 7 miles later, he was all alone off the front. Pretak would go on to hold his position and notch a second consecutive race win in 1:35:48. In a close battle for second, Pretak was followed home by an exuberant Peter Goble (1:39:23) with Craig Depperschmidt less than 30 seconds back in third (1:39:51).   

Two-time winner, Amanda Lee, was a late drop from the women’s field, leaving the race for top honors wide open. Local road running favorite Abby Depperschimdt took to the trails for her first go at the Black Squirrel Half and never looked back, winning the race in a time of 1:52:47. Abby finished a convincing seven minutes ahead of Sarah Omann (2:00:37) who notched her third second-place finish in as many attempts. Rounding out the women’s podium was Loveland’s Stephanie Forrest-Swedenborg in a time of 2:03:00.


Abby Depperscmidt (photo: Danielle Clark); Stephen Pretak (Bryan Bibeau)

The race for the 40+ honors was a battle, as you might expect from our crowd of wily veteran race tacticians. The top three master’s runners in the male division went 8th, 10th and 12th respectively with a good amount of in-race position shifting according to the post-race banter. Ultimately it would be Colorado Spring’s Bryan Beiner bringing home the master’s title in a time of 1:44:33. He was followed into the finish by Mike Neal (1:45:42) and Dan Clark (1:46:21) who, incidentally, went one and two in the master’s race at April’s Horsetooth Half Marathon (where Clark bettered Neal by just six seconds).  

In the female 40+ division, we had a repeat winner in the form of Fort Collins’ Catherine Thomas Broom who, on a much warmer day, finished six minutes faster than in 2016 (2:04:57). Rounding out the women’s 40+ division was Steamboat Spring’s Kristi Foster (2:09:53) and Bellvue’s very own Sarah Melby (2:16:24), both of whom we should mention have been enthusiastic volunteers at our races for many years. 


Bryan Beiner, Catherine Thomas Broome, Kristi Foster

Our youngest finisher this year was Omaha’s (and CSU’s) Malik Abdessalam at a very mature 18 years of age. On the other end of the age spread, we had two impressive 68 year-old finishes from Mary Gilbert (another stalwart race volunteer) and Steve Joyce. 

Prizes for overall and age group winners included Salomon running shoes and packs, Altitude gift certificates and Drymax running socks. And, of course, the coveted Black Squirrel awards lovingly crafted in the Gnar Runners Gnarts and Crafts Department.

Of course, these races don’t happen without the help of an army of volunteers. The Liberty Middle School XC Team was out at our 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 Middle School XC Team reporting in for Arthurs Aid Station duty. The race will make a donation to Athlete’s in Tandem on their behalf in return for their time. Pic: Danielle Clark

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 21 for the tenth 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 ButterGreat Harvest Bread Company, the Fort Collins Food Co-op, and Blue Phoenix Massage.

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