A Beautiful Day for the 2019 Quad Rock

More often than not the weather seems to play a role at the Quad Rock Trail Races and the 2019 running was no exception with a midweek snowstorm forcing us onto the alternate ‘wet route’ for the first time in the race’s eight-year history. But while the midweek weather was cause for some concern, for race day itself we were blessed with fantastic conditions. Runners enjoyed firm but tacky trails and mild temperatures giving way to just a spot of rain and double rainbows in the late afternoon. The only thing missing it seems was a herd of wild unicorns galloping through the finish!

The alternate course delivered a couple hundred extra feet of elevation gain per lap and perhaps an additional half mile. As a result, the course ran an estimated 5-10 minutes slower per lap. Nonetheless, the day produced some fast times (including a new women’s 50 mile master’s record) and some dynamic racing.

Overall, we saw 194 runners start the 50 mile race and 221 start the 25 mile race for a total of 415 runners on course. Of the 194 runners that started the 50 mile race, 136 completed the full two loops for a 69 percent finisher rate. A total of 263 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

As part of our mission to promote responsible use of the public trails we are granted the right to race on each year for Quad Rock, we host an annual post-Quad Rock ‘Trail Runner Trail Work Day’ the weekend after the race. If you’d like to be added to our volunteer trail work mailing list to learn about these and other upcoming trail work opportunities, please visit our trail work page.

Race Action

Darren Thomas, winning and having fun.

In the men’s 25 mile race, a group of three to four runners took it out fast in the early going leading up to the opening climb of the morning. By the time the lead runners were through the Horsetooth Aid Station at Mile 10 it was a three-horse race with Darren Thomas and Clint Anders pulling into the aid station together, followed two minutes later by last year’s runner up Chris Mocko. Thomas would open up a two minute lead over Anders on the ensuing Horsetooth Rock climb and hold that through to the Arthurs Aid Station, before finally breaking things open on the last climb and going on to win in 3:24:09. Anders would hold on for second (3:30:57) with Mocko close on his heels in third (3:31:49).

Corey Conner on her way to a second fastest time ever.

In the women’s 25 mile race, Corey Conner and Kristen Mohror set the early pace, rolling through the Horsetooth Aid Station at mile 10 together. But, as in the men’s race, things broke apart on the second climb with Conner opening up a four-minute lead by Towers at mile 14 and six minutes by Arthurs at mile 18. Conner, who will be representing the US Mountain Running Team at the World Mountain Running Championships later this summer, ended up winning the day in a second-fastest time ever (despite the harder course) of 4:04:29. Mohror would hold on for second (4:18:07), with CSU grad student Olivia Bojan rounding out the podium positions in third (4:46:46).

Masters (40-49) wins in the 25 mile race went to Brazil’s Manuel Lago (4:03:49) and Fort Collins’ Julie Pitts (5:19:35). Our grandmaster’s (50+) winners were Kraig Koski (4:40:24) from Longmont and Rona Van Willigen (5:51:33) from Fort Collins.

Addie Bracy as seen by her competitors.

In the women’s 50 mile race, it was a close run thing through the first lap. Our top two finishers from last year – Addie Bracy and Michele Yates – were once again battling it out, with Denver’s Jana Wallsey firmly in the mix too. At the turnaround, it was 2013 Ultrarunner of the Year, Yates, in the lead with Bracy right on her heels and Wallsey just a couple minutes behind. In a repeat of last year’s action, Bracy would take the race by the scruff of the neck on lap two and go on to open up a lead of as much as 20 minutes. Her finishing time of 9:09:22 was good enough for third overall and – of course – the women’s win. In the race for second, Wallsey and Yates leapfrogged each other through the middle miles of lap 2, before Yates opened up gap on the fifth descent down to Horsetooth at Mile 40. Yates grew that gap all the way to the finish (9:25:20), with Wallsey holding on for third (9:45:48).

In the men’s 50 mile race, after some early company from last year’s third-place finisher Oliver Knauer, it was Boulder’s Tate Knight running off the front for the win in a clinical performance (7:49:23) in what appears to be his first ever 50 mile race. After running in third for much of lap one, Clark Messman took control of second place by the turn and held on through lap two to finish second in 8:13:03. He was followed by Tyler Keyworth in third (9:17:50).

Men’s 50 Mile Podium: Keyworth (3rd), Knight (1st), Messman (2nd)

In the master’s division, local favorite Tara Carter ran like a champ to finish fourth overall while also bringing home a new Quad Rock 50 master’s record (the only record to fall on the day) of 10:27:01. Another local favorite and many-time finisher of the Quad Rock 50, Mike Hinterberg, also finished fourth overall in the men’s race while bringing home the master’s title (9:29:48).

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 (last year), shine (this year) or managing last-minute course changes (this year), our volunteers are out there getting the job done and helping our runners get to the finish line safely. Thank You!

And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!

Altitude Running
Justin Liddle DMD Prosthodontist
Countryside Animal Hospital
Fort Collins Running Club

With generous product support from: VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest Bread Company, and BoBo’s.

Next Up

We look forward to seeing you again in 2020 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you July 27 at the Never Summer 100km or at one of our shorter events. On September 7 we’ll be hosting the seventh running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 19 by the 12th running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon. And, we do roads too. October 5th, we’ll be hosting the inaugural Long View Marathon and Half Marathon from Fort Collins to Loveland.

If you aren’t racing, consider volunteering for one of our next events. We are currently recruiting volunteers for the Never Summer 100K.


Quad Rock Pre-Race Details

Quad Rockers – we’re looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday morning at Lory State Park for the eighth running of the Quad Rock 25 & 50 mile trail races. Before we send you on your way on Saturday, we’d like to draw your attention to some important details for race weekend.  

Weather & Trails

There is some moisture in the forecast for today and Thursday, with clearing skies predicted for Friday and Saturday. If we get the moisture promised, our permitting agencies may require that we re-route part of the course early in the loop from the lower-lying Valley Trails onto better-draining higher trails (Mill Creek Link, Loggers, Stout). That decision (with course details) will be made and communicated Thursday evening / Friday morning. 

Please make every effort to stay on the trail and run through any mud that you encounter so we can keep our single track single. Avoid the temptation to jump to a side track or skirt around.  Embracing the mud is part of the fun. 

Packet Pickup

  • Friday, May 10 – 4-7p at Altitude Running (150 E. Harmony Rd #2B, 80525).
  • Saturday, May 11 – 4-7a at Soldier Canyon (race start/finish)
  • Picking up your bib either day tells us that you are starting the race.  If you pick up your bib, but miss the start, it is your responsibility to notify us. Texting RD Brad Bishop at (303) 946-9320 will be the best means of communication on race day.

Bib Numbers 

Have been assigned.  You can check yours at OpenSplitTime.  50 Mile25 Mile.


Parking for 50 mile runners will be available beginning at 4:00am, and for 25 mile runners beginning at 6:00am.

All runners registered for the race will receive a park pass – good for one vehicle – as part of their entry fee. Any other crew or spectator vehicles will be required to purchase a park entry for $8 if they don’t already have a CO State Parks annual pass.

Parking spaces adjacent to the Soldier Canyon start/finish area will be given to carpools of 2 or more registered runners on a first come – first serve basis. All other vehicles will be directed to park first in the Timber trailhead lot and then on the east side of the Lodgepole Drive spur road. Overflow parking will be at the Eltuck Picnic area, and then on the EAST side of the main park road, north of Eltuck.  

**Please give yourself an extra 20-30 minutes to park and get to race check-in on time. Late arrivals may have up to 1 mile or longer to walk to the start.**

Parking Map


The 50 mile race will be limited to 14 hours and will end at 7:30pm. Course cut-offs will be enforced at the following aid stations:

  1. Soldier Canyon (Mile 25) at 12:15pm. 6:45 Total time.
  2. Arthur’s Trailhead (Mile 32.4) at 2:10pm. 8:40 Total time.
  3. Horsetooth Trailhead (Mile 39.6) at 4:35pm. 11:05 Total time

This is a challenging course so some runners may find it difficult to meet these cut-off times. Any 50 mile runner who drops out or fails to meet the course cut-offs after completing the first 25 mile loop will be given a finish time in the 25 mile race, but will not be eligible for 25 mile overall and age group awards.

Check In @ Aid Stations

At each aid station (except the first time through Towers), volunteers will record runner bib numbers. Runners are responsible for making sure that aid station volunteers record their number. Please make sure that your bib number is visible from the front and call out and confirm your number when passing through an aid station. This is important so that we can keep track of runners and know that you are not lost or injured.

Dropping Out

If you need to drop out of the race for any reason, you must check out with the timing staff at the nearest aid station.  If you do not inform us that you have dropped, we will assume that you are lost on the course. 

Drop Bags

50 mile runners may leave a drop bag at the start to be transported to the Horsetooth Aid Station (mile 10.3 / 39.7). Both 25 mile and 50 mile runners can leave bags at the start/finish to use as finish and 25 mile drop bags. 

Drop bags will be collected on race morning only – don’t bring them to Friday’s packet pickup. They should be labeled with your Bib Number, Name, and Aid Location.

Timing and Runner Tracking

As runners come through each aid station, they will be recorded by our timing crews. Results will be near-live throughout the race for 50 Milers and 25 Milers.  For detailed results for a specific runner, click the runner’s name.

Note that some of our aid stations have weak or intermittent internet access, so some results may be delayed. We will do our best to keep the live results as current as possible.

Pace Planning

Using data from prior years, OpenSplitTime provides a planning tool to help you figure out your pacing for any finish time. You can plan your effort for the 50-mile and 25-mile courses.

Live Text and Email Updates

You can subscribe to free live updates on specific runners throughout the day:

1. Visit opensplittime.org and sign up for an account

2. Log in

3. Find your runner at one of the links provided above and click the name

4. Locate the box that says “Notify me” and click the email or text button

We will also be providing race coverage through our Twitter and Instagram accounts: @gnar_runners 

Trekking Poles
 are not allowed.  This is a running race on tight – sometimes heavily populated – trails. We do have one pregnant runner who has been granted an exception and will be using poles – look for her in the “Quad Rock for Two!” shirt. 🙂


Crew access is available at the Arthur’s Rock Aid Station, Horsetooth Aid Station, and the Soldier Canyon turnaround/finish area. Please make sure to pass the parking instructions above to your crews! Also note that access to the Horsetooth Aid Station requires a Larimer County Parks Pass or day-use pass ($9).

Park Visitors

The park is open to the public. Please be courteous to other users.  Yield when appropriate, especially to equestrians.

Thanks, and once again, we look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.

Gnar Runners Race Management.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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
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.


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.


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!


Registration for Gnar 2019 is Now Open!

  • May 11, 2019: Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail Races
    – 50 Mile Early Entry: $115
    – 25 Mile Early Entry: $95
    – Location: Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – Race Cap: 400
  • July 27, 2019: Never Summer 100km
    – Early Entry Fee: $195
    – Location: State Forest State Park, Gould CO
    – Race Cap: 300
  • September 7, 2019: Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon
    – Early Entry Fee: $70
    – Location: Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – Race Cap: 300
  • October 19, 2019: Blue Sky Trail Marathon
    – Early Entry Fee: $75
    – Location: Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – Race Cap: 300

Once again, we’re proud to be hosting all four of our trail running events in partnership with our top brand sponsor, Salomon Running.


Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon Finish at Lory State Park

What’s New for 2019?

  • 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 the new start time of 7:00.
  • The short re-route on the Spring Creek section of the Quad Rock, now in its third year, is likely a permanent fixture. There will also be a slight course modification in and out of the Arthurs aid station. Full details and maps will be published when plans are finalized in the spring.  
  • Never Summer will again be a qualifying race for the Western States 100. In addition, it will again serve as a qualifying race for the UTMB series of races, earning finishers 4 points under the new certification system. The Quad Rock 50 will be worth 3 points and the 25 worth 2 points. Blue Sky will again earn 1 UTMB qualifying point. 
  • 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 2020 Quad Rock Trail Races for all runners that complete the Quad Rock 50, Never Summer 100km, Black Squirrel Trail Half, and Blue Sky Marathon.
  • On the road side, we’ll once again be managing the Horsetooth Half Marathon, Northern Colorado’s largest and oldest half marathon. The race is on April 14 and we will be offering all the fun you’ve come to expect from the Horsetooth Half, with group training runs beginning January 6, a super-sized post-race party and the biggest half marathon purse ($8,000) in the state.
  • Stay tuned for other exciting plans and races currently in the hopper…

Great Partners

Part of the reason we’re able to offer such great race experiences is because we’ve worked tirelessly to partner with quality sponsors that share our vision for well-managed 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 & gear 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 2019 season include the following great businesses and brands:

Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy

Drymax Socks

Fort Collins Running Club Countryside 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 and training opportunities. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates as our 2019 season unfolds.

We’re incredibly excited for the 2019 season, and we can’t wait to welcome you to one, or perhaps all of our running events.