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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A Muddy Quad Rock 2018 – Post Race Wrap

May is an unpredictable month here in Northern Colorado, and once again the weather played a role at the 2018 Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail Races. After enjoying (and suffering through) toasty conditions in 2017, this year we were served up a wet, cool day which left the trails uncharacteristically muddy (see below for a note on trail work). Nonetheless, the day produced a commanding new course record in the men’s 25 mile race and fast winning times in both the 50 mile races and also the women’s 25 mile race. In addition, we saw record finisher numbers in the 50 miler and a whole host of wonderful finishes across our full field of runners. 

Overall, we saw 196 runners start the 50 mile race and 223 start the 25 mile race for a total of 419 runners on course. Of the 196 runners that started the 50 mile race, a record 142 completed the full two loops for a 72 percent finisher rate. A total of 267 runners finished the 25 mile race or the first 25 mile loop of the 50 miler (all are included in the final 25 mile results). 


Trail Work Day

The race this year was held on unusually muddy trails. Sections of some of the lower trails saw some trail damage as a result. We are currently in discussions with managers at both Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park to arrange a trail work day, which we hope to make an annual ‘Trail Runner Trail Work Day’. We will make announcements as we have them on dates and times. 


Race Action

Jackson Brill was flying.

In the men’s 25 mile race, Jackson Brill – just 19 years of age – took control of the race in the early going and was able to maintain a two- to three-minute lead over Chris Mocko for the full loop, coming home in a new course record of 3:13:06. Mocko would also dip under Mike Aish’s 2016 course record on his way to finishing second (3:15:56). On a quick day all around, Quincy O’Connor rounded out the podium in a time that ranked eighth all time (3:26:52).

In the women’s 25 mile race former champion, Ginna Ellis, led it out from the gun and came very close to holding her lead all the way to the finish. However, Abigail Levene was just too good on the final Timber descent, passing Ginna with a couple of miles to go and beating her to the finish by less than a minute. Abigail’s 4:05:01 finish time ranks second all time (closely followed by Ginna’s winning time from 2016). Castle Rock’s Corrine Shalvoy rounded out the podium in a time of 4:17:35.

Abigail Levene on her way to winning the 25 mile race.



Masters (40-49) wins in the 25 mile race went to Longmont’s Tim Fahy (4:24:25) and Boulder’s Kelly McConnell (4:54:09). Our grandmaster’s (50+) winners were Blaise Brochard (4:36:35) from New York and Marianne Osteen (5:33:49) from Steamboat Springs.

In the women’s 50 mile race, it was a close run thing between two decorated names in the

Addie Bracy, 50 mile champion

sport. Michele Yates was named Ultrarunner of the Year in 2013 by Ultrarunning Magazine, while Addie Bracy has made her name in the trail running world over shorter distances, twice having won the US Mountain Running Championships and last year being named US Mountain Runner of the Year. It was the more seasoned ultrarunner, Yates, who took control of things on the opening 25 mile lap, before being caught and passed on the way out from the 25 mile turnaround. Bracey would go on to build and consolidate a lead during the second lap, ultimately finishing in 8:51:18, 13 minutes ahead of Yates in second. For Bracey it was just her second 50-mile finish as she gets ready for the Leadville 100 in August. Esther Erbe came home in third (10:22:54) in what was – impressively – a first ever ultramarathon finish for the Texas resident.

In the men’s 50 mile race, it was another relative newcomer to the sport, Jimmy Elam,

Jimmy Elam, 50 Mile Champ

who would take top honors. In his first 50 miler, Elam ran like a seasoned veteran tracking early leaders Bobby Peavey, Aaron Robson, Gavin Coombs, Oliver Knauer and Frank Pipp around the opening 25 mile loop before opening up a gap on the second loop and holding onto it in commanding fashion. Elam registered the third fastest finish ever (7:40:25) on his way to besting Frank Pipp (8:07:41) and Oliver Knauer (8:29:21) for second and third. 

 

In the master’s division, Gnar Runners Team member Elijah Flenner (8:43:59) defended his title finishing an impressive fourth overall, while Vermont’s Alexandra Ambros (10:50:14) took home top honors for the master’s women – also registering an impressive fourth place overall. 

Thank You

As always, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our team of wonderful volunteers. Year after year we receive heaping compliments from our runners about how fantastic our volunteer team is, and they are absolutely right. Come rain (this year) or shine (last year), you guys are out there getting the job done and helping our runners get to the finish line safely. Thank You!

In a cloud the whole day, the Towers team and all our volunteers rocked!

And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!

SalomonDrymax SocksAltitude Running                            Justin Liddle DMD ProsthodontistCountryside Animal HospitalFort Collins Running Club

With generous product support from: VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest Bread Company, the Fort Collins Food Coop, Squirrels Nut Butter, and Boulder Organic!

Thank you all!

And A Great Day for the Gnar Team!!!

50 Milers
Elijah Flenner: 4th Male (1st Master), 8:43
Kris Tyson: 9th Male, 9:07
Rob Raguet-Schofiled: 16th Male, 9:28
Ed Delosh (1st Grandmaster): 9:38
Brett Harkey: 10:28
Colleen Weitzel: 11:35
Marlin Yoder: 13:34
Shari Green: 13:42
25 Miler:
Elise McKnight: 5:43   

Next Up

We look forward to seeing you again in 2019 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you July 28 at the Never Summer 100km or at one of our shorter events. On September 8 we’ll be hosting the sixth running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 20 by the 11th running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.

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

 

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2018 Quad Rock Competition Preview

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

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

Women’s 50 Mile Race:

2017 Quad Rock 25 Female Podium

Ginna Ellis, Taylor Nowlin and Abby Mitchell

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

Men’s 50 Mile Race:

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

Women’s 25 Mile Race:

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

Men’s 25 Mile Race:

Chris Mocko

2017 Blue Sky Trail Marathon champion, Chris Mocko

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

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

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Quad Rock 2018 Pre-Race Information

With a week to go until the 7th running of the Quad Rock 50 & 25 Mile Trail Races, here are some final thoughts and instructions:

Weather: The current forecast is looking pretty good, but as we’ve learned from previous years, anything can happen. It’s spring time in the Rockies. Be prepared for heat, cold, sun, or rain. Should there be any weather-related last minute changes, details will be emailed to participants, published on our blog, and posted on Facebook.

Course Conditions: The trails are currently in great shape, the park is green and the creeks are flowing. We will be following the same 2017 re-route this year due to an eagle-nesting closure on the Spring Creek trail. The re-route around the closure on the Herrington & Stout trails will add a mile to the section between the Towers and Horsetooth aid stations. To compensate, we are taking a mile out of the course in the opening section of the race from the start to Towers. Mileage will be almost exactly the same and there will be a net loss of 200 of vertical gain per lap. Time-wise the course may be a touch quicker than the original route, but the re-route adds a mile of technical singletrack and removes a mile of dirt road so it’s pretty much a wash. 

Pre-race packet pick up will be held at Altitude Running on Friday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 150 East Harmony Road just north and east of the Harmony/College intersection on the south side of town. Race partner Salomon Running will be on site demo’ing their latest offerings, including the new S/LAB Ultra. Altitude Running will be offering 15% off any Salomon or Drymax Socks products bought at the store. There will also be a coupon on the back of your race bib that is good for 15% off Drymax and Salomon products bought at the store after the race.

Bibs will not be handed out at Friday packet pickup. If you can, we ask that you come by Friday to pick up your race shirt, schwag, and any pre-ordered merchandise to help smooth race day check in. Those of you that can’t pick up your bib and packet Friday afternoon can do so in the morning from 4:00 – 5:00 for 50 milers and from 6:00 – 7:30 for 25 milers.

The 50 mile race will begin at 5:30am and the 25 mile race will begin at 8:00am

If you wish to switch from the 50 mile race to the official 25 mile race start at 8am, please notify us by the end of packet pickup on Friday.

50 mile starters who drop out at 25 miles will receive a finish time and finisher award but will not be eligible for overall or age group awards.

**New Soldier Turnaround Aid Station for 50 Milers**
50 Milers will not check through the finish line at the 25 mile Soldier Canyon Aid station. All 50 Milers will be directed to the new aid location next to the shed by the race start to check in and out after the first lap. Drop out times will be recorded and 25 mile finisher awards will be handed out at the aid station for any 50 miler who decides to stop after the first lap. Drop outs should not run through the finish line to avoid confusing our timing staff. 

**New 25 Mile Early Start Option**
If you think you will need more than 9 hours to finish the 25 mile race, you can start with the 50 milers at 5:30am. Arthur’s Aid Station at mile 17.5 will close at the 50 mile cut off at 2:10pm and anyone over a 9 hour pace will not make make it on time.
Please email racedirector@gnarrunners.com to request the 5:30am start option.

Bib numbers must be worn on the front and visible at all times. Please do not remove, fold, or pin your bib tag – this will be used for your official finish time. 

We will be at full capacity on Saturday, so we recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to park (up to a mile away from check-in), get your bib, and get ready to run. If you can carpool, please do. Not only is it one less vehicle on the road but it helps reduce stress on Lory State Park’s limited parking infrastructure, and it gets you priority parking near the start.

There are park toilets at the Timber parking lot, at the top of the Soldier Canyon parking lot, at the bottom of the Soldier Canyon lot near the start, and at the South Eltuck trailhead at the far end of the spur road which overflow cars will be parked on. 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. Make sure your pass is visible on your dash. Vehicles without a park pass may be ticketed.

Lory State Park will be open for 50-mile parking at 4am. Carpools of two or more participants for both races will be given priority parking close to the start at the Soldier Canyon trailhead (while spots last). All others will be directed first to the Timber trailhead parking area and then down the main park road to loop left back towards the start on the Lodgepole Spur Road. Parking on the Lodgepole Spur Road 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.

Horsetooth drop bags (mile 10.3 and 39.5) must be dropped off by 5:00 a.m. before the 50 mile race start. 25 Mile runners may drop off a Horsetooth drop bag at Friday packet pickup. Finish drop bags may be left any time before each race start. 
**Horsetooth trailhead parking is not guaranteed for crews as it is a very busy trailhead that fills early every weekend. If you need any specific items that aren’t provided by our aid station, make sure you include them in your drop bag.**

Bib numbers will be assigned on the Ultrasignup entrant list and on OpenSplitTime by end of day Wednesday if you want to pre-label your drop bag with name and race number. Horsetooth drop bags will be returned to the start/finish at about 5:00pm after the aid station team returns to the finish. 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. VFuel 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.

This year at the post-race BBQ we will have beer from New Belgium Brewing (Fat Tire Amber Ale). 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 beer will be available for a $10 donation to our race beneficiary (cash/check). First beer is free for everyone, we then ask that you make a cash donation for additional beers. Our BBQ will be well stocked with burgers, brats, Amy’s vegan burgers, vegan quinoa salad from the Fort Collins Food Co-Op, Boulder Organic SoupMary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest buns, fruit, and lots of other goodies.

Salomon Running will be on hand after the race demo’ing their trail running line up. Check out the back of your race bib for an Altitude Running offer on Salomon shoes and also Drymax socks. Also check out your bib for an offer from our physical therapy partners, Colorado in Motion. During the awards and raffle, we’ll be giving away some great stuff from those sponsors and other race sponsors.

Course markings will be pink ribbons, hung every 1/4 mile or so, with additional marking at all junctions.  Flour markings and/or pink pin flags will supplement at key intersections.

Limited in-race updates will be via the Gnar Twitter feed (gnar_runners, #QR50), and we will be attempting to publish aid station split updates to OpenSplitTime.org; however, data connections can be fickle at Lory, so please have patience if this doesn’t work out quite as planned.

Activities for family and friends:

Trails are open to everyone to enjoy all day; however, crewing outside of designated aid stations 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. The Healthy Smile, Dirty Feet One Mile Kids Race (half (closed) road, half trail) – sponsored by long-time race supporter Justin Liddle DMD – will begin at 2:00 from the race start.

Crew access info is available here.

** Please note that if the weather is nice, both Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park may reach capacity. Parking space at Horsetooth or Arthur’s trailheads is not guaranteed. Crews and spectators are highly encouraged to meet at the starting line after the start of each race to try to carpool together to the Horsetooth aid station. 

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

We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday!


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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Salomon S/LAB Ultra Review

Released last October, the Salomon S/LAB Ultra is a trail running shoe designed by trail runners. It incorporates many new features from the Salomon product innovators.

Local Salomon rep Ryan Lassen promotes it as “a shoe that I would 100% recommend to Quad Rock runners (along with the Sense Ride, and S/LAB Sense 6 SG)”

 

Ed DeLosh Salomon S/LAB Ultra

Ed DeLosh

Key Innovations:

Progressive Stack Height – Unique to any shoe on the market, Salomon has introduced a variable stack height for the S/Lab Ultra to help standardize the shoe’s drop and offset as it wears. As shoes compress differently across sizes, the stack height of the S/Lab Ultra increases slightly for larger shoes to ensure a standard ride for all, regardless of the size or mileage of the shoe.

Hydrophobic Materials – The S/LAB Ultra incorporates the hydrophobic material made popular in the XA Amphib. This means when the shoe gets wet, the weight hardly changes.

Energy Save – The design adds a special piece of EVA foam in the forefoot that does not pack out over time. 

Adaptive Sensifit – The shoe warms up as your foot does, allowing it to adjust the way it wraps around your foot as the race goes on and foot swell occurs.

Premium Wet Traction – The outsole retains the same lug pattern as its predecessor and uses Salomon’s stickiest rubber compound.

Gnar Team Members Testify:

Elijah Flenner – I brought one trail shoe on my five week trip to France, the S/Lab Ultra. There were no other contenders.

Ed DeLosh – I love the endofit inner sleeve and the lacing that Salomon uses. They provide for a good, stable fit and really allow you to dial it in. The outsole is just like the previous version, which I found to provide pretty good traction without feeling like you’re running on big knobby tires.
When I saw this new version, my immediate concern was that the more rigid upper could cause hot spots on long runs, and when I put them on, they definitely gave the sensation of having less give than the prior version. The shoe also has a tongue that comes up higher on the ankle, raising the concern the it’d irritate the tendons on the top of the foot. But I’m happy to say that after a couple of short runs and now a 25 miler, I experienced no issues at all, and so far find them to be a solid shoe that I enjoy running in. For me, they are an improvement over the previous version and may well be the shoe that I end up turning to for my racing this year, after I get a chance to try them out on a couple more long runs.

Salomon will be joining Gnar Runners for our Quad Rock Preview Run, April 7 at Lory State Park, with shoes to wear test. Come out for miles, fun, food and try out a new pair of kicks.

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