Trigger Point Dry Needling Offer from Colorado In Motion

Colorado In Motion - Terry GebhardtDo you have a nagging ache or pain that’s limiting your running performance?

Do you have calf or hip muscle tightness that doesn’t resolve with massage or rolling?

Trigger Point Dry Needling may be the solution.

Trigger Point Dry Needling is a treatment technique which uses small filament type needles to release tight muscles with the goal of permanently reducing muscle pain and dysfunction. Learn more here.

Colorado In Motion is offering a 20 minute Trigger Point Dry Needling session for only $50 for Blue Sky Marathon participants to help get you prepared for race day.

Appointments available Thursday September 29th.  Call 970-221-1201 to schedule and mention this promotion.

Visit for more information.


2016 Black Squirrel & Blue Sky Training Runs

Blue Sky Trail Marathon Course

Photo by Eric Lee

Gnar Runners will be hosting several informal training runs leading up to the Black Squirrel Half Marathon and the Blue Sky Marathon.

Black Squirrel Half Marathon Training Runs
Thursday 8/18 and 9/1 starting at 6pm at the Timber Trailhead in Lory State Park.
4.5, 8, 9.5, and full 13.1 mile route options are available.
Follow us on Facebook here or join the Fort Collins Trail Runners Group for more info.

Blue Sky Marathon Long Run
Sunday 9/4 starting at 7:30am at the Blue Sky Trailhead
We’ll have an informal potluck social gathering back at the trailhead at about 11:30-Noon after the run. More info is online here:


2016 Blue Sky Marathon Registration Opens 12/15/2015

We’re opening registration for the 2016 Blue Sky Marathon with a super early discount of just $55 on 12/15/2015!

Preparations for the 2016 season are well underway here at race HQ. We’ve got dates and a few news items to share for the 2016 Gnar Runners Race Series, which this year will be hosted in partnership with the generous support of Salomon Running.

Click here for the full details.


Cool Temps, Fast Times at the 2015 Blue Sky Marathon


Reese Ruland on her way to setting a new Women’s CR. All photos: Terry Grenwelge

Cool weather conditions resulted in fast times at the eighth running of the Blue Sky Marathon, with a total of 204 runners crossing the finish line within the nine-hour cutoff.


Ginna Ellis on her way to a second-place finish

After setting a convincing new course record in the Quad Rock 25 mile race in June, Reese Ruland (Fort Collins) returned to her second Gnar Runners starting line of the season to lead from start to finish in the women’s Blue Sky Trail Marathon, setting a commanding new course record of 3:48:15 in the process. She bested Maria Petzold’s record from 2014 by six minutes. Ginna Ellis (Boulder) avenged a tough 2014 Blue Sky Marathon by finishing a very strong second (3:56:40), setting a 13 minute personal best in her third running of the race. Ginna now has the fourth and ninth fastest all-time marks. Rounding out the podium was former Olympic marathoner Nuta Olaru (Longmont) in a time of 4:21:40.

It was a youthful podium in the men’s race, with 24-year-old Oregon resident Kody Coxen leading the charge and setting the second-fastest time in the race’s history (3:16:19). Kody was closely followed by 20-year-old local, Cody Moore, who’s time of 3:18:48 was the third fastest ever run. Last year’s winner Nick Davis rounded out the podium in a new PR of 3:25:59.

Nick & Cody Blue Sky Marathon

Nick Davis and Cody Moore would finish third and second respectively

Cherilyn Sackal (4:36:59) and Clint Wall (3:58:23) won the master’s divisions, while the grandmaster’s divisions (50+) were won by Ben Kuster (4:36:20) and Marianna Inslee (5:30:58).


All Smiles at the Blue Sky Marathon


A seventh finish for Mark Warburton

In all, a record 18 runners dipped under the magical four-hour mark.

In addition to keeping track of our fastest finishers, we also like to keep track of our oldest, and we had new records on that front on both the women’s and men’s sides from our last two finishers of the day. Bill Moyle of Lone Pine was back for his third Blue Sky finish, resetting the record books at the age of 76. Bill finished just after Carol Young from Houston, TX, who was back in Fort Collins to avenge her 2014 DNF. At the age of 69, Carol becomes our oldest ever female finisher, describing Blue Sky as the toughest of all the 59 marathons that she’s completed.

And of course, our races would simply not be the same without the magnificent support of our volunteers from the local trail running community. From Towers to the Hunter turnaround, the Blue Sky volunteers were out there on course keeping runners motivated, fed and hydrated. As always, race participants were glowing in their praise of the volunteers, whether they were parking cars in the morning, marshaling runners at the turns or filling bottles at the aid stations.

To you all, a huge THANK YOU.


Rainbows: no; unicorns: yes

Prizes at the awards ceremony included Altra running shoes and Timex watches for our overall winners, and gift certificates to Altitude Running for our age group winners, in addition to framed award photos from our wonderful photographer, Erin Bibeau. Photos from Erin’s stand-in for the day, her husband Bryan, can be viewed here.

We also couldn’t put on the types of races that we seek 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 Altra RunningColorado Physical Therapy SpecialistsJustin Liddle DMDCountryside Vet, Altitude Running, Sierra Trading Post, SmartwoolCornerstone MortgageFort Collins Running ClubGreat Harvest, Whole Foods, VFuel, Boulder Beer, Kristel Liddle LMT, and Mary’s Mountain Cookies.

The Blue Sky Marathon marks the end of the 2015 season for us at Gnar Runners, but we are already looking forward to bigger and better things for 2016. If you enjoyed Blue Sky, consider running the Horsetooth Half Marathon in April, the 25 or 50 mile Quad Rock races in May, the Never Summer 100km in July, or the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in September.

Thank you all again for a wonderful season. See you in 2016!


2015 Blue Sky Marathon Pre Race Details

The eighth running of the Blue Sky Marathon is just a couple of days away. We hope your training has gone well and that you are fit and ready to race! All information relevant to the event is available from the race website here.

We would like to bring your attention to a few key details:

The weather forecast for Sunday is showing an overnight low in the mid 40s, a daytime high in the low 60s with a slight chance of rain early morning: just about perfect.

An optional packet pickup will be available on Saturday 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 trailhead for carpools of two or more runners (55 spaces, first come, first serve) and additional parking will be at the Marina off Shoreline Drive, a half 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.
A map of the parking setup is available on the race day info page.

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 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.

Late registration (cash & check only) will be available on Saturday at packet pickup and on race morning.

The race will start promptly at 7:00am.

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.

The four aid stations (six total, as the two Indian Summer aid stations are visited twice) will have water, VFuel sports drink, in addition to assorted snacks and fruit.

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.

As always we’ll be offering a full post-race BBQ with beef burgers, black bean burgers, Whole Foods quinoa salad, Mary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest cinnamon buns, Boulder Beer, and soft drinks.

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 Animal House Rescue, 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 and older, outside top three; Grandmasters: 50+). We have gift cards to Altitude Running for award winners, Altra running shoes for overall winners and a smorgasbord of sponsor gear to give away in the post-awards raffle.

Whole Foods is also giving away $100 in groceries to one lucky Blue Sky Marathoner after the race. Follow this link to enter:

Massage and PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Kristel Liddle LMT (massage) and Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists.

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

Altra Running, Colorado Physical Specialists, Justin Liddle DMD, The Hunter Team at Cornerstone Home Lending, Altitude Running, Countryside Animal Hospital, Sierra Trading Post, and the Fort Collins Running Club.

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

If you have questions that are not answered here 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 Sunday morning!

Nick Clark & Pete Stevenson
Gnar Runners, LLC


Blue Sky Marathon 2014 Wrap

BlueSkySignageThe weather for the seventh running of the Blue Sky Marathon lived up to the race’s name, with participants enjoying a perfect day for running. A total of 207 runners toed the line, with 196 crossing the finish line – an excellent finisher’s rate – but proving once again that the Blue Sky Marathon is a deceptively challenging course and a thoroughly honest test.

By popular demand, we maintained the short Herrington, Loggers and Carey Springs reroute near the top of the Towers climb, and will continue to do so for all future runnings of the race.

In the women’s race, two runners finished under Kaija Staley’s record from 2012 (3:57:39). Maria Petzold (Boulder) and Anita Ortiz (Eagle) finished just six seconds apart in an exciting finish to a very close race, with Sarah Hansen (Fort Collins) just four minutes back in third, and less than a minute behind the old course record. Maria, Anita and Sarah were 7th, 8th and 12th overall respectively. Maria’s new mark stands at 3:54:05.

Maria Petzold on her way to a new course record

Maria Petzold on her way to a new course record.

In the men’s race, local favorite Nick Davis won in a time of 3:37:29, finally winning the race after two second place finishes in 2012 and 2013. Somewhat ironically, this was Nick’s slowest finish of his three Blue Sky Marathons. And that’s why we race ’em. Black Squirrel Half winner, Kory Skattum (Broomfield) was second, four minutes behind Nick, followed a minute later by long-time race leader Antonio Molina (Nederland).

Stephanie Gore (4:11:27) and Tom Steidler (4:04:50) won the master’s divisions, while the grandmaster’s divisions (50+) were won by Cat Speights (5:37) and Richard Aster (4:38).  A total of 12 runners dipped under the magical four-hour mark.

We welcomed a good number of runners from out of state, many using the Blue Sky Marathon as their Colorado checkmark on their way to collecting a marathon finish in all 50 states. For many, this was their first trail marathon ever, so an extra special congratulations to all our finishers from out of state and from lower elevations. Our last two finishers, Leslie Stanfield (8:40, VA) and Kevin Brosi (8:42, TX) exemplified the race spirit, both finishing with big smiles. We hope to see all of you back again sometime in the not-too-distant future.


Leslie Stanfield.


Bill Moyle.

Our third-from-last finisher, Bill Moyle, also finished with a huge smile, being warmly welcomed home and clocking in as our oldest finisher ever at the tender age of 75.

And of course, our races could never have the fun atmosphere that we aspire to promote without the amazing support of our fantastic volunteers. As always, you guys were our biggest source of compliments and we simply could not do this without you. Thank you everyone – we consider ourselves extremely lucky to be part of such a supportive trail running community here in The Fort.

Blue Sky Vols

Animal House

Prizes at the awards ceremony included Altra running shoes for our winners, gift certificates to Runners Roost Fort Collins, in addition to photo prints from our wonderful on-course photographer, Erin Bibeau. Erin’s gallery from the race can be viewed here, with digital downloads starting at just a dollar.

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 SpecialistsJustin Liddle DMDCountryside Vet, Altra Running, Fort Collins Running ClubRunners RoostSucceedGreat Harvest, Whole Foods, Tailwind Nutrition, Salus Natural Body Care, Kristel Liddle LMT, and Mary’s Mountain Cookies.

The Blue Sky Marathon marks the end of the season for us at Gnar Runners, but we are already looking forward to bigger and better things for 2015. If you enjoyed Blue Sky, consider running the 25 or 50 mile Quad Rock races in May, the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in September, or – our newest event – the Never Summer 100km (details soon) in late July.

Thank you all again for a wonderful season. See you in 2015!

Nick & Pete