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

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

Cut-Offs

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. 🙂

Crewing

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Volunteer!

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.

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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
SOLD OUT
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.

Volunteer!

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.

Merch!

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!

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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.

Gnar_manSalomon

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.

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2018 Blue Sky Marathon Race Recap

We had perfect running weather for the 11th Blue Sky Trail Marathon. And we had a fast field ready to take full advantage of the ideal running conditions, with new course records being set in both the men’s and women’s races, and a total of 265 runners hitting the finish line from a total of 279 starters.

Addie Bracy winning the 2018 Blue Sky Marathon

In the women’s race, Addie Bracy was toeing her third Gnar Runners start line of 2018, after having claimed wins at both the Quad Rock 50 and the Never Summer 100km. As in her previous starts this season, Addie would be pushed through the early miles but would ultimately come out on top. At the 9 mile aid station, Addie was running shoulder to shoulder with Estes Park’s Michelle Hiland, but through the southern section of the course she would open a gap and grow it steadily by the finish, coming home in a new course best of 3:45:37. Michelle held steady in second, finishing with a flourish to sneak under the four hour mark (3:59:39). Rounding out the podium was Sarah Roberts (4:11:31) in her third Blue Sky Marathon finish and second overall podium. 

The men’s race was close from start to finish, with a large pack coming through the nine-mile aid station, all on course-record pace. By the Hunter turnaround at mile 18, the pack had been whittled down to just two – Bobby Peavey and Brian Condon – and they would remain connected all the way to an exciting sprint finish, where Denver’s Peavey edged out Longmont’s Condon by just a second in a new course best of 3:11:47. The new mark bests a Steve Folkerts record that has stood since 2009. Coming in third was Frank Pipp, who rounded out his Gnar Runners racing season with yet another podium after a win at the Black Squirrel Half Marathon and two seconds at the Never Summer 100km and Quad Rock 50. With his season filled with podiums, Frank took top honors in the Gnar Slam standing, setting a convincing new cumulative best time in the process (see below). 

Bobby Peavey out-sprints Brian Condon for the win and new course record at the 2018 Blue Sky Marathon.

The master’s wins went to Terry Grenwelge (4:02:44) and Candy Granger (4:30:36). The grandmasters winners were Sabrina Naftel (5:34:12) and Blaise Brochard (4:04:57). All award winners took home beautiful pottery awards from local artisan Amy Hayman in addition to gift cards from Altitude Running. 


Race Photos:


This year we saw 11 runners complete the Gnar Slam. The Gnar Slam is a recognition of those runner that complete all four Gnar Runners trail races in a calendar year:

As noted above, Frank Pipp came away top in the points standings on the men’s side. His cumulative time of 25:09:02, bested Elijah Flenner’s 2016 record by over two hours. In the women’s standings, Colleen Weitzel also posted a new record time (36:45:26), besting Kristen Kovatch’s record from 2018 by 48 minutes.

A hearty congratulations to all of our 2018 Gnar Slam finishers.

And of course, our races would simply not be the same without the magnificent support of our volunteers. 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.

We also couldn’t put on our trail races without the help of our wonderful sponsors, all of whom are tireless supporters of the Northern Colorado running scene. Thank you Salomon RunningColorado in MotionDrymax SocksAltitude RunningJustin Liddle DMDCountryside Animal Hospital, Jax Mercantile and the Fort Collins Running Club for your incredible race support.

And also to our fantastic product sponsors: VFuelNew Belgium BrewingGreat Harvest Bread Co.Squirrel’s Nut ButterMary’s Mountain Cookies, Juice Performer, and Boulder Organic!

The Blue Sky Trail Marathon marks the end of the 2018 season for us at Gnar Runners, but we’re already looking forward to 2019 with excitement.

Thank you all again for a wonderful season, and see you in 2019!

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2018 Blue Sky Marathon Pre-Race Information

The 11th running of the Blue Sky Trail Marathon is this Saturday. 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 through the rest of the week and into Saturday looks great with daytime highs in the low 60s. However be aware that the Blue Sky course is very exposed over the last 18 miles and the trail can get pretty toasty, so please plan accordingly if we get warmer than predicted temperatures.

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.

Altitude Running will be offering a 20% discount on both Salomon and Drymax products at packet pickup. Salomon will also be offering a gift with any Salomon purchase.

Packet and bib pickup will also 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.

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.

There is a 10am cut off at the mile 9.2 Blue Sky aid station. Indian Summer South cut off times are 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, 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 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 checking bib numbers as runners 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 bratwurst and vegan burgers, and soup from Boulder Organic (both gluten free and vegan options). Also look for Mary’s Mountain CookiesGreat Harvest cinnamon buns, New Belgium beer, and Juice Performer. If you want a beer after your run, please remember to bring your id. 

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 our race beneficiaries Athlete’s in Tandem and Beyond Rescue.

In addition to finisher awards, we have overall and age group awards, with Altitude Running gift cards for award winners, Salomon running packs for overall winners and a smorgasbord of sponsor gear to give away in the post-awards raffle. We will also be recognizing the 2018 Gnar Slam finishers. 

PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Colorado in Motion, with massage offered by Diane Bergstedt.  

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, the Fort Collins Running Club, and Jax Mercantile.

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 (racedirector@gnarrunners.com). We will do our level best to respond in a timely manner.

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


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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