Never Summer 100km Wrap

Congratulations to everyone who came out and enjoyed the inaugural running of the Never Summer 100km. An amazing 147 of the 197 runners that started the race (75%) crossed the finish line. Of those, 13 were inducted into the Sunset Club, finishing as they did without the aid of a headlamp. But no matter how far along the course you got, or indeed at what time you finished, we hope you enjoyed your experience in the beautiful mountains of Northern Colorado.

Never Summer 100K Diamond Crags Richthofen

The view from the high point of the course looking back at South Diamond, the Nokhu Crags, and Richthofen.  -Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography.

This being the first running of the event, standards were set in all divisions. Leading from pillar to post in the men’s race was local favorite and Quad Rock course record holder, Ryan Burch. We were predicting an overall win time of between 12 and 13 hours. Ryan produced, posting the only sub-13 hour finish of the day, crossing the line in 12:42:49. He was pushed for much of the early going by eventual second and third place finishers, Bryan Williams (13:26) and Nick Pedatella (13:38).

The women’s race was won by peak-bagger extraordinaire, Alyson Kirk. Fittingly, Alyson took control of the race heading up the steepest climb of the day on North Diamond Peak. The mark to beat for next year in the women’s race will be 16:01:04. Leadville resident and mountain-lover, Dana Kracaw, showed her comfort with the terrain and altitude by finishing a strong second, just 20 minutes behind Alyson (16:21), while Jessica Hamel rounded out the podium spots with a well executed sub-17 hour performance (16:50).

Never Summer 100K Alyson Kirk

Alyson makes her way down to the Medicine Bow Ridge after topping out first for the ladies. -Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography.

The master’s marks were set by Bryan Williams (13:26) and Shannon Meredith (17:36), who finished an impressive second and fourth overall in the men’s and women’s races.

In recognition of the challenge that the course presents to all runners, we also awarded a Final Finisher award for the runner that showed the most dogged persistence to be out there the longest. This year, the award went to Lynn Hall who finished with the dawning of a new day in 23:49:14, just three minutes behind Alex May who beat the buzzer after a heartbreaking 90 second miss at the 2014 running of the Western States 100 (30:01:30).

Full results with aid station splits are online here.

Never Summer 100K Lynn Hall

Lynn was still smiling after crossing the finish line as our final finisher. -Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography.

The volunteer support that we received for the event was – quite frankly – outstanding, and testimony to the special place these less-visited (but by no means, inferior) Colorado mountains hold in the hearts of the Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming 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 that went above and beyond in ensuring that we had radio contact from every aid station on course, in addition to between medical and parks staff.
  • The Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol for offering up a team of skilled volunteers with first responder training and intimate knowledge of the mountains.
  • State Forest State Park (SFSP) and their incredible staff of park rangers. We have received nothing but enthusiasm from SFSP in the two years of planning leading up to this event, and their welcome and 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.

Just one of the many examples of our volunteers going the extra mile to support our runners…. Scott Slusher hiked his drum up North Diamond to give runners some encouragement on the steepest climb on the course. After this, he volunteered at the Canadian aid station until 1 am. -Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography.

And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!

Presented by:

Altra Zero DropTop tier support from:

Contributing support from:

Generous product support from: VFuel, Whole Foods Fort Collins, Black Diamond, Boulder Beer, Mary’s Mountain Cookies, and the Great Harvest Bread Company,

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.

Thank you all!

We look forward to seeing you again in 2016 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 September 5 we will be hosting the third running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 4 by the eighth running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.

Be GNARful out there!


Never Summer 100K Pre-Race Instructions

Before we set you on your way this weekend, we want to bring to your attention some final race instructions and reminders.

Safety and Communications:

This event is taking place in a remote and mountainous part of Northern Colorado. As such, runner safety is our number one concern. We will be tracking runners via ham radio communications at every aid station, so please be sure to check your bib number with volunteers at each and every stop along the way. If you need to drop out, you must notify the closest aid station captain before you leave the course. If you don’t officially check out of the race, we will assume you are missing on course.

For added safety, we will have first responders at every aid station and a team of backcountry paramedics located at strategic points along the course. It would be helpful to write any allergies or medical conditions on the back of your race bib to aid first responders in assessing any given situation in the unlikely event of emergency.

There is cell phone coverage (at least with Verizon) in most high areas with a clear view to the west so runners who carry phones can get messages out to crew periodically and may be able to make a call in the case of emergency. Potential hazards on course include: high altitude; steep, technical and rough terrain; downed trees and other obstacles; cattle & wildlife (watch out for moose!); significant temperature changes from daytime heat to overnight cold; storms and lightning; and dense vegetation that may trigger allergic reactions.

Our 24 hour cut off is very generous to give everyone enough time to get to the finish safely. With that in mind, we ask that you watch out for your fellow runners on course and run a smart and safe race.

Highway Crossings:

There are two crossings of Highway 14 during the course of the race. One at mile 18, just before the Diamond aid station, and one at mile 62 just before the Ranger Lakes aid station. Traffic will not stop for runners and cars and trucks may be traveling in excess of 60 MPH (the posted speed limit). Runners are required to follow the instructions of road crossing volunteers who will be directing you safely across the road.

Course Markings:

The route will be well marked with pink flagging, red pin flags, flour at key turns, and additional white reflectors and glow sticks after dark (from Clear Lake onwards). For nighttime navigation, we recommend as powerful a light setup as you have. And don’t forget backup lighting and batteries.

Parts of the course involve cross country travel. In these areas there will be flagging in line of sight at all times, so all runners who pay attention should have absolutely no problem staying on course. On more obvious parts of the course, confidence markers will be hung approximately every quarter mile and at every trail or road junction. With that said, there are many game trails, cow paths, and logging cuts in parts of the course that could lead you astray if you’re not paying attention. Never assume and always follow the course markings. Detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions are available to print out from the race website and the full course GPX file is available by request (email – it wouldn’t hurt to have this backup information with you if you are not familiar with the area.

Tricky Turns:

The right turn off the Montgomery Road onto the Yurt trail at approximately mile 26 (~9,600′) is easily missed if you zone out coming down the jeep road from the Medicine Bow Ridge. It will be heavily flagged and flour’ed, but if you get to the Montgomery Yurts, you have gone too far. Turn around and retrace a third of a mile.

There may be a short overlap (for an eighth of a mile) between the first and last runners on the Ruby Jewel Rd (mile ~29 out, ~53 back). Runners heading outbound (north) from the Montgomery Aid to the Ruby Jewel Aid will turn right onto the Ruby Jewel road and proceed up the road to the Yurt aid station. Front runners coming south from the Canadian Yurt will turn right to head down the Ruby Jewel Road towards the turn for the Lumberjack Trail. This junction will be heavily and unambiguously marked (likely with a course marshal), so there should be no cause for confusion. Nonetheless, everyone should be aware of these junctions to make sure that you can follow the route without guidance from a volunteer.

Crew Details (

The route and all access points are entirely within the boundaries of State Forest State Park, so all crew vehicles are required to purchase a park pass ($7) in order to access crew areas if they do not have an annual Colorado State Parks pass. Passes are available at the main park entrance, the Moose Visitor Center, or at the self-pay station on the Lake Agnes Road.

To save parking space at the start, we ask that crews drop off runners at the entrance to the Gould Community Center (the start area) and park .5 miles west at the Moose Visitor Center and walk over on the short connector trail. Crews can use the extra parking at the Visitor Center after hours before 9am and after 5pm. In the unlikely event that we run out of parking space at the finish, there is another large parking turn out off the highway about 1 mile to the east of the start that connects with the Gould trail leading to the finish.

Parking is allowed anywhere on park roads as long as vehicles do not block traffic and do not block any access gates.

We have updated crew access information for the Ruby Jewel aid station. Crew vehicles are now permitted to drive a mile up the Ruby Jewel Rd as far as the Francisco Forest Road (a left turn off Ruby Jewel Rd). Parking will be on the side of Ruby Jewel Rd (below Francisco Rd) or on the side of Francisco Road, but will not be allowed on the Ruby Jewel Road past the Francisco Road. Please park as tightly to the side of the road as possible so all additional park visitor traffic and race vehicles can pass through unimpeded. From the Francisco Road, it is a little less than a mile hike/run up the Ruby Jewel Road to the aid location and crew access point at the Ruby Jewel Yurt.

Crew vehicles should not enter the Bockman campground (near the Bockman aid station) – especially after dark – unless they have a camp spot. There is a public bathroom and water on the main park road by the Michigan Reservoir.

Pacing (

Pacers are allowed starting at the Clear Lake aid station (mile 39.4 or 43.9). Runners over 60 can pick up a pacer at the Ruby Jewel aid station. Clear Lake access is a 5 mile hike/run in from the trailhead at the north end of the main park road (CO 41). Pacers heading to Clear Lake to pace should be made aware that there is a junction a little over a mile from the trailhead that indicates a left for trail access to Clear Lake and a right for road access. The quickest way to the aid location is to take the right fork following the forest road. This could be somewhat confusing as course markers will be coming in from the left off the trail. If pacers follow the course markings and trail to the aid location (i.e. take a left at the junction), the run/hike in will be closer to 7.5 miles.

If you plan to have a pacer meet you at the Canadian Yurt aid station, the hike in is about 1.25 miles. The right turn for the yurt trail is .8 miles down the main access road, and is signed.

The Bockman aid station is accessible from the park road, and is about a half mile shy of the Bockman Campground. If you have somebody pacing you from Bockman, try to arrange a carpool to avoid crowding the area with too many parked cars. The aid station is just a small pull off on the Bockman Rd.

Pacers are there to provide company, moral support, but are primarily allowed for added safety for runners after dark. Muling (schlepping runner gear) and crewing outside of designated aid stations, or providing any other assistance is not allowed.

Race and Aid Station Pacing:

A few weekends ago, Pete ran the full course to try and provide a sense of pacing for this first-year event. He’s put together a pacing spreadsheet based on his aid station splits. You can adjust the spreadsheet based on your desired or projected finish time. Pete also wrote up a summary of his run with some useful course insights and strategies to take into consideration. Both the split calculator and route summary are available here:

Thank You:

We want to thank you for showing faith in us by registering for this inaugural running of the Never Summer 100km. We have been planning meticulously for over a year to make this event happen, and we are confident that we have all the pieces in place to make this a fun and successful weekend of long distance mountain running.

We have received considerable support along the way in bringing this event to fruition and we would like to extend a huge thank you to all of our fantastic sponsors. We encourage you to consider their products or services:

Presented by:

Altra Running


Top Tier Support by:

Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists

With Generous Support From:

The Hunter Team at Cornerstone Mortgage
Justin K Liddle DMD
Altitude Running
Countryside Animal Hospital
Fort Collins Running Club

Product and Service Support:

Whole Food Fort Collins
Boulder Beer
Black Diamond
Mary’s Mountain Cookies
Great Harvest Bread Company
Erin Bibeau Photography


Never Summer 100k Course Preview & Pacing Estimates

On July 4th, I completed a full run through of the Never Summer 100k course starting at the race start at 5:30am and finishing just before midnight in 18 hours and 12 minutes.

I trained and tapered for this run just like I would a real race. It’s been a long time since I’ve raced any ultra distance events and even longer since I’ve been able to race well. So there’s really no way to compare my 18:12 finish time to any other individual’s projected time. But I think I ran well and kept my pace and effort consistent throughout the entire run. I didn’t push too hard on any segment and never had a low point or crash during the entire run. I stayed hydrated and well fueled the entire day with 20 Vfuel gels, 2 PBJ’s, 6 cookies, and some corn chips and pretzels. So my splits are at least a good reference to make some rough estimates for pacing goals.

Click here to download an Excel spreadsheet pacing model. You can enter your goal time and your estimated aid station time to get pacing estimates for each segment. If you are aiming for the 24 hour cut off, please note that you will need to stay ahead of our intermediate cut offs. Our intermediate course cut offs are set with very generous times to give everyone the maximum time possible on course.

A few things that might affect pacing estimates…..

Many sections on the course are very rough and slow so there may be less of a difference between our fastest and slowest runners. I hiked every step of the way from the Canadian Yurt back to the Ruby Jewel Rd and I hiked a lot of the Lumberjack cross country section and the rough old logging roads from Grass Creek to Ranger Lakes.

I was lucky to have ideal running conditions with afternoon cloud cover and just a tiny bit of rain to keep cool. If race day is hot and sunny or if we get any severe mountain storms, times could be significantly slower.

I only had one headlamp after dark and could have moved faster with better lighting. I would recommend using a strong headlamp and a strong handheld light for the best visibility through the rough sections after dark.

Some recommendations from my experience…

Trekking poles were most helpful on the steep 7 Utes and Diamond climbs and somewhat useful on the American Lakes, Kelly Lake, and Clear Lake climbs. From Clear Lake to the finish, they mostly got in the way and I would have been better off trading them for another handheld light.

The course has a lot of water and mud so there are very few aid stations where you could benefit from changing socks or shoes. The mile 18 Diamond aid station might be a good location to take care of your feet if needed. The steep slope and uneven terrain above tree line and the hard rocky run down Montgomery Rd would be best done with dry feet. If you change at Ruby Jewel, you’ll have about 4.5 dry miles to Kelly Lake. There are several muddy sections and a river crossings between the Clear Lake aid station and the Canadian Yurt aid. And there is a muddy stream crossing 100 yards after the Canadian aid station and several swampy sections on the way to Bockman, so I wouldn’t bother with any extra foot care until you reach Bockman. You’ll have about 4 dry miles before going through a very swampy section on the old logging roads and then it’s dry all the way to the finish. I recommend applying a good coating of body glide to your feet before the start.

I wore calf sleeves and thought they were helpful to keep itchy, scratchy grass and weeds off my shins. I’ve had some itching reactions on past runs later in the summer from some of the sections on the course with heavy vegetation.

A few of the daytime aid stations will be stocked with bug spray and sunscreen. I highly recommend applying before the race and then supplementing at aid stations during the race. If we catch a clear day, the heat can be intense on the Medicine Bow ridge between the Diamond and Montgomery aid stations, and then on the climb to Kelly Lake. Mosquitos are also an issue in some areas of the course.

You will probably start to feel the heat in the last couple miles on the way to the Diamond aid station. We’ll have ice at aid stations, so take advantage of this to keep your drinking water cool. Fortunately there is plenty of water on the course to offer a lot of opportunities to cool yourself down if it gets really hot out there.

Watch out for cows on the Clear Lake trail and follow the course markers carefully. The cows have been tearing up the trail and making paths everywhere that could lead you off course if you don’t pay attention.

Be patient early in the race to keep up with your fueling and hydration in the early miles when you still feel good and the weather is cool. Take full advantage of our first aid station at Michigan Ditch. If you get behind on hydration and fueling, you may pay the price on the Diamond to Montgomery section, which is largely 11,000ft and above. So, try to get to mile 18 feeling as fresh, hydrated and well fueled as possible.

My final thoughts on the course….

Even though I’ve run every segment of the course several times, it was an incredibly cool experience to be able to link it all together in one grand tour of State Forest State Park. The course and terrain are unique. It’s rough and wild and it takes you through a huge variety of environments. At times the terrain can be frustrating, but the scenery makes it all worthwhile. Finishing the Never Summer 100k is going to be a very special and rewarding experience.

If anyone has any questions before race day, please don’t hesitate to email us at We’ll be very busy in the upcoming week but always try to respond to runner emails as quickly as possible.

I hope everyone enjoys running this course as much as I did!


Here are a few photos from my run:

7 Utes

First view of the Crags on the climb up 7 Utes

Silver Creek Trail

The view of the course to the north from the Silver Creek trail. North Diamond is straight ahead. Hidden Valley can be seen far to the north on the left edge of the mountains.

Lake Agnes

Early morning on the shore of Lake Agnes

Nokhu Crags American Lakes

The Crags from the top of the ridge over American Lakes.

Kelly Lake

A rocky, technical section across the saddle above Kelly Lake.

Kelly Lake Trail

A grove of huge aspen trees on the Kelly Lake trail.

Clear Lake Trail

The view south to North Diamond and the Nokhu Crags from the western edge of the Clear Lake Trail.

Clear Lake Trail

Dense vegetation and wildflowers on the Clear Lake trail.


One Exercise for Better Trail Running

Finishing a challenging trail race is a significant accomplishment but getting through the months of training to get to the starting line healthy and fit is half the battle.

Check out this article from our top tier sponsor, Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, to learn how the single leg mini-squat exercise can help you identify weakness and poor control in the hip muscles. Improving your hip muscle strength and control can dramatically reduce your risk of running injuries.


Quad Rock 2015 Post Race Wrap

The fourth running of the Quad Rock trail races will be one to remember. We schedule the event in early May for a number of different reasons, one being to avoid excessive heat. The flip side of that weather coin is that May is an unpredictable month. We dodged bullets the first three years, but took a direct hit this year with torrential downpours and a flooded course, forcing a race postponement. That excessive heat we try to avoid in May? Yeah, it was delivered for our June reschedule date.

Sunrise in Soldier Canyon at Lory State Park

Sensational colors over the cove at Soldier Canyon: Milan Klanjsek

Nonetheless, the race started out under perfect, nay, idilic conditions. The sunrise through the morning clouds was sensational, there was a light breeze and temperatures were reasonable. For the lead 25 mile runners this meant fast times. But by the time the new 25 mile course records had been set, the clouds had parted and the sun had taken control. For the rest of the day the course and runners would bake.

Congratulations to all our finishers for getting round on what is always a challenging course, but an extra nod of the head to those 50 milers who found the fortitude to get out there and complete a second lap, and also to our slower 25 mile runners who endured through the heat. Our 50 mile finisher rate was just 45%, easily our lowest to date.

In the 25 mile race, Mike Aish took full advantage of the reasonable early conditions and after a controlled first 10 miles surged to an impressive new course record of 3:17:29. Mike has an incredible running pedigree, including a couple of Olympic appearances, but his sights have been set on winning the Leadville 100 since retiring from the professional running scene a few years ago. He has come close the last couple of years, and he’ll try again this August. We wish him the best of luck. He’s clearly in great shape and you couldn’t find a more deserving guy.

Quad Rock 25 Mike Aish

Mike Aish on his way to a new course record in the Quad Rock 25 mile race.

Rounding out the men’s 25 mile podium was former CU Buff runner Seth Demoor (3:43:14) and last year’s second place finisher, Will Porter (3:43:27). Our master’s winner, Elijah Flenner (3:52:26), who lives less than 100 meters from the Horsetooth aid station, showed off his course knowledge with a strong run for sixth overall.

The women’s race was dominated by local runner Reese Ruland who shattered the course record and became the first lady to run the course in under four hours (3:58:07), good for 8th overall. Ginna Ellis (4:20:17) and Sarah Omann (4:30:34) rounded out the women’s podium.

Reese Ruland Course Record in the Quad Rock 25

Reese approaching the finish with a new CR. Photo: Joe Grant

As previously noted, the 50 mile field was somewhat decimated by the reschedule and heat. However, course record holder and veteran ultrarunner, Ryan Burch, wasn’t phased. He took advantage of the cooler early temperatures, making it to the turn in 3:42 (beating all but Mike Aish) and then hunkered down for the second-loop grind, finishing and winning in 8:17:49. Frank Pipp battled hard against the heat and cramps for his second place finish (8:38:16). He was followed in third by now-four-time-QR50 finisher, Mike Hinterberg (9:14:09). This was Mike’s slowest finish to date, yet his highest overall placement. And that’s why we race ’em. Scott Klopfenstein took home the master’s win with his 11:20:15 finish.

Ryan Burch Quad Rock 50 Win

Ryan on his way to his second QR50 win.

Mike Hinterberg 3rd Place Quad Rock 50

Mike Hinterberg taking things in stride on his way to an impressive third.

As in the men’s race, we had our first repeat winner in the women’s 50 mile race. Kerrie Bruxvoort is a veteran 50 mile racer and she showed that by running a smart and controlled race, staying on top of the heat with deliberate aid station stops and running a steady pace all day. Kerrie would finish sixth overall (10:11:18), almost 50 minutes slower than her 2013 win, and she looked comfortable doing it. Jeanne Cooper also ran a strong and controlled race for her second place finish (10:27:44), trailing Kerrie by a small margin all day but never quite being able to close the gap. Sandra Carpenter also appeared to take the heat in stride, looking as good as any finisher we saw all day in finishing third (11:41:38). Karen Smidt holds the QR50 master’s record and she showed her experience in taking home the master’s win (11:59:03), which was good for fourth overall woman.

Kerrie Bruxvoort Quad Rock 50 Win

Kerrie icing down at the 25 mile turn

Right behind Karen was our youngest 50 mile finisher (12:01:06), Solange Majewska, a CSU veterinary student from Singapore impressively running her first ever ultra. Almost exactly two hours after Solange, we welcomed home our last 50 mile finisher of the day, Catherine Dillon (14:01:35) from right here in Fort Collins. We received a nice email from Catherine after the race, which I think sums the day up nicely:

The volunteers were amazing and took such good care of all of the runners. They really played a large part in making the race the wonderful experience that it was. The race was an adventure I will never forget from rattlesnakes to supportive volunteers to an amazing sunrise and sunset. Coming in last felt like I won race.

We have always had exceptional community support from our volunteers, but this weekend they really showed off what a great trail running community we have here on the Front Range. Just about every runner that crossed that finish line praised the amazing support from our volunteers and cited them as one of the main reasons they were able to get the job done. We can’t thank our volunteers enough, but …. well …. THANK YOU. You were (and continue to be) the biggest source of compliments we get at all our races.

Quad Rock 50 Horsetooth Aid Station

Katie Robinson rallying her troops at the Horsetooth aid station before her first customers arrived.

Towers aid station volunteers cool off 2nd place 50-miler, Frank Pipp.

Towers aid station volunteers cool off 2nd place 50-miler, Frank Pipp. -Photo by Eric Lee.

Complete results with aid station splits have been posted online here.

And of course a big thank you to our very generous sponsors. Altra Running have stepped up this year to take on the Presenting Sponsor role for our 2015 race series and their support has been invaluable. Cornerstone Home Lending (Hunter Team) has supported the race from the outset and we continue to be indebted to Jim and his team. We had an Altra offer from our specialty run sponsor, Altitude Running, on the race bibs so check that out if you’re in the market for a pair of Altra running shoes. We also received amazing support this year from Steamboat Springs based Smartwool.

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 DMDColorado Physical Therapist Specialists, and the Fort Collins Running Club.

On-course nutrition was provided by VFuel, while post-race nutrition was offered up by Whole Foods Fort Collins, Mary’s Mountain Cookies (Old Town), Boulder Beer and Great Harvest Bread Co. And working hard all day long under the recovery tent was masseuse and ultrarunning star Kristel Liddle. And of course, we say a very special thank you to our hosts, Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park who maintain some of the best trails on all of the Front Range.

Thank you all.

We look forward to seeing you again in 2016 – our tentative race date will be on Saturday, May 14th (pending permit approval). Or even better, we’d love to see you later in the summer at one of our shorter events. On September 5 we will be hosting the third running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 4 by the eighth running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.

Quad Rock 50 2nd Place Finisher Frank Pipp


Quad Rock 2015, Take 2, Final Instructions

With just a few days to go until the (rescheduled) fourth running of the Quad Rock 25/50 Trail Races, some final thoughts and instructions:

Weather: The forecast for Sunday is looking warm, with a high in the low 80s and clear skies. Please plan your race-day hydration needs accordingly.

An optional packet pick up will be held at Altitude Running on Saturday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Altitude is located at 150 East Harmony Road just north of the Harmony/College intersection on the south side of town. If you can, we ask that you come by Saturday to pick up your race gear to help smooth race day parking and sign in. Those of you that can’t pick up packets and shirts Saturday afternoon can do so with your bibs on race morning.

Bib numbers will be distributed race morning beginning at 4:00 a.m until 5:15 a.m.Please keep bib numbers visible during the race and the pull tag at the bottom intact. We will be pulling 50 miler bib tags at the 25 mile turn and at the finish.

The race will begin at 5:30a.m. sharp, so we recommend you give yourself plenty of time to park (up to a half mile away from check-in), get your bib, and do whatever it is you do to get ready to run 25/50 miles. There are park toilets at the Timber parking lot (first one to fill on right as you come in), at the top of the Soldier Canyon parking lot, and at the bottom of the Soldier Canyon lot near the start. If you park near one of these locations, please use those facilities if you can. We will also have port-a-johns near the start/finish (always the longest line).

Parking passes will be distributed by parking volunteers at the entrance to the park in the morning. Lory Park will be open for parking at 4am. Carpools of two or more will be given priority parking close to the start at the Soldier Canyon trailhead. All others will be directed to the Timber trailhead parking area and down the main park road to loop left back towards the start on the Lodgepole Loop. Parking on Lodgepole will be on the right (east) side of the road. The earlier you get there, the closer to the start you’ll be parked. Directions and parking details are here ( If the park roads are muddy, PLEASE watch your speed to reduce impact.

Horsetooth and start/finish drop bags must be dropped off by 5:15 a.m. There will be a short pre-race briefing five minutes before the start. Bib numbers will be assigned on the Ultrasignup entrant list by Friday if you want to pre-label your drop bag with name and race number. Horsetooth drop bags will be returned to the start/finish area by 5:00 pm. It is a 20 minute drive from Lory to Horsetooth if you need to pick up your drop bag before then.

Aid station fare is detailed here ( Gel will be served from bulk containers, so we recommend that you carry a 5oz flask (or similar) if you want to use aid station gels. We will also have dixie cups at the aid stations for gel “shooters.”

Boulder Beer will be providing Singletrack Ale and Buffalo Gold lager for the post-race BBQ. Runners will receive a meal ticket with their finisher mug. For those bringing family/friends who didn’t order extra meals when registering, food and a brew will be available for $10 (cash). First beer is free for everyone, we then ask that you make a cash donation for additional beers. All proceeds will be donated to the Animal House Rescue along with race sponsorship funds from Countryside Animal Hospital.

Whole Foods Fort Collins will be providing a tasty quinoa salad to supplement the beer and BBQ fare. They are also offering a chance to win $100 in free food:

Presenting sponsor Altra Running will be on hand after the race demo’ing their trail running line up. Check out your race bib for an Altitude Running offer on Altra Running shoes. Also check out the back of your bib for an offer from the Hunter Team at Cornerstone Home Lending. During the awards and raffle, we’ll be giving away some great stuff from other race sponsors including Smartwool and Ultimate Direction.

Course markings will be pink ribbons, hung every 1/4 mile or so, with a run of three ribbons leading up to and beyond each turn. Flour markings or red pin flags will supplement at key intersections.

In-race updates will be via the Gnar Twitter feed, and race results will be posted the evening of the race on the Quad Rock Ultrasignup page.

Activities for family and friends:

Trails are open to everyone to enjoy all day; however, crewing outside of designated areas is not allowed. There is a BMX bike park right by the start/finish area, so feel free to bring a bike for the kids (or yourself). Trails are also open to bikes. The reservoir is just a short walk down from the start/finish area and there is a small cove ideal for paddling or submerging battered legs. There will be a one km kids race (half (closed) road, half trail) beginning at 1:30.

Crew access info is available here (

And, finally, if you have questions that can’t be answered here or on the website, feel free to drop us a line and we’ll do our very best to get back to you in short order.

On behalf of Pete, myself (Nick), all of our race sponsors, and our outstanding team of volunteers, we look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.


Gnar Runners Event Management


Twitter @gnar_runners