2012 Blue Sky Marathon

The 2012 Blue Sky Marathon has been officially scheduled for Sunday, October 7th. Registration will open on June 1st. This year we have eliminated the Half Marathon event to reduce congestion on the out and back portion of the course and enable us to increase the size of our marathon field. Registration is limited to 250 entrants and we expect to start 200 marathon runners on race day. SmartWool and Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists have signed on to sponsor the 2012 event and we would like to welcome Justin K. Liddle DMD, LLC and Countryside Animal Hospital as new sponsors this year. Our generous sponsors and contributors and hard working volunteers have helped make the Blue Sky Marathon a success each year. In 2011, we raised over $8,000 for our beneficiaries and we hope to continue to improve on this in 2012.


Quad Rock Training Preview 4/15

The Quad Rock training preview is coming up this Sunday, April 15th.

We will meet at the official race start at the Soldier Canyon Trailhead in Lory State Park to run the first 25 mile loop.

Group start time is at 8am. Pete will be available at the start at 7:30am if anyone new to the area has questions or needs any additional information.

This is not a guided group run so every runner is free to run at their own pace and modify the route to run whatever distance they want. Our goal is to simply coordinate a common start time to give runners an opportunity to meet and run together. We usually get a very good turn out from the local trail running group on weekend runs so there is a good chance that any runner from out of the area will have a chance to buddy up with locals who know the trail systems. If you end up starting earlier or later or run at your own pace by yourself, there will be plenty of other trail runners out in the park to cross paths with throughout the day.

There is a $7 Day use fee to access Lory State Park. Feel free to join and post to the Fort Collins Trail Runners list if you want to try to coordinate a carpool.

Water will be available at the pump at the entrance to Lory State Park at the visitor center and at the Horsetooth Trailhead. Be prepared to carry water to cover the 10.5 miles from the start to Horsetooth and the 14.5 miles back to the finish.

The course will not be marked so please make sure that you have a map and review our course description for directions.

On race day, we will have aid station junctions staffed with volunteers and all turns will be well flagged. Without course markings there are a few tricky turns to make note of:

  • At the top of the Horsetooth Rock trail, you will need to make a right to follow the Wathan sign post and then keep to your left to continue straight through to the Westridge trail that takes you back to Towers.
  • Halfway down the descent on Mill Creek, there is a sharp left hand turn to continue on course down Mill Creek. If you’re moving fast, the right turn onto Loggers looks like the obvious route and will add significant bonus miles to your training run.
  • After entering Lory State park at the end of Mill Creek, take the right turn to follow the Mill Creek link to the Arthur’s Trailhead. When you exit the Trailhead, start up the Arthur’s Rock trail and take a sharp left turn about half a mile up the trail in the meadow to connect to Howard.

For longer or shorter options, here are a couple suggestions:

19.8 Miles: Start out and follow the 25 mile route through to the Arthur’s Rock Trailhead (Mile 17.6). Skip the last climb around Arthur’s Rock and return to the finish on the 2.2 miles up the East Valley Trail.

34.6 Miles: Run the full 25 mile loop. Turn around and run the next section of the second loop back to the Arthur’s Rock Trailhead (mile 32.4). Return to the finish on the 2.2 miles up the East Valley Trail.

If anyone has questions, feel free to email me at pete@gnarrunners.com.



Runners Roost and Highgear Altimeters

We are excited to announce that we are bringing two more sponsors on board the Quad Rock train.

The Fort Collins Runners Roost exemplifies the mission of the local running store. Steve Cathcart and his team of knowledgeable staff are passionate about running and the running community, and this shines through at all levels of the sport from youth to elite and from roads to trail.

Next time you’re considering an online running purchase, remember that these guys are part of the lifeblood of our running community, and they offer the kind of invaluable advice on products, training and local running that you just can’t get from an online retailer out in who-knows-where land. Buy local folks!

We are also excited to welcome Highgear as a sponsor. The accumulated course elevation gain/ descent was measured with a Highgear Axio HR and we’ll be giving the same watches away as overall, age group and raffle prizes.

Highgear watches offer accurate altimeter, barometric pressure and compass readings, in addition to traditional chronograph/split functions among many other regular watch features. They are absolutely indispensable for adventurous long outings in the mountains.


Cornerstone Mortgage Prize Purse

Cornerstone Mortgage Company has kindly agreed to sponsor the inaugural Quad Rock 50 prize purse. We are starting with a modest purse of $600 ($200 for the win, $100 for second) in the 50 mile race, but hope to grow that as the race matures as the premier 50 miler on the Front Range. We’re just starting out here folks.

Age group winners in the 50-mile race will receive a pair of Pearl Izumi shoes, and second and third a pair of Smith sunglasses. For a full list of prizes, please visit the awards page.


Pearl Izumi

We here at Gnar Runners have made it a mission to work as closely as we can with local companies that share our passion for quality outdoor experiences. With that in mind we couldn’t be more excited to announce that we have partnered with Pearl Izumi as the official shoe and apparel sponsor of the Quad Rock 50.

Headquartered just 50 miles south of Fort Collins in Louisville, CO, Pearl Izumi has been an industry leader for years in the outdoor apparel market. Known primarily as a high-quality cycling apparel company, in the last ten years Pearl has been making significant headway into the running world with innovative, performance-oriented shoes and clothing.

All race entrants will receive a high quality, gender-specific Pearl Izumi tech T-shirt emblazoned with a wonderful race design as part of their race entry. In addition, age-group winners will receive a free pair of Pearl Izumi shoes as part of their prize package.

For full-on, let-‘er-rip trail performance, we recommend the Peak II as your racing shoe. If you want to save the quads a little, then try the Fuel Trail.


Quad Rock Registration Open

Registration for the inaugural Quad Rock 50 opened a week ago, and already we have seen very strong interest among runners looking to take advantage of the early bird fee, available until December 31. From January 1, registration fees will go up to $75 for the 25 mile race and to $85 for the marquee 50 mile event. With one-fifth of the 250 available slots already taken and with local buzz surrounding the race mounting, we expect the race to fill well in advance of race day.

In other news, runners from the Front Range were treated to a snowy preview of many parts of the course on December 10 at the second annual Chubby Cheeks Fat Ass 50k, hosted from the home of race director Nick Clark. Check out the report for images from the day and the race course. Or check out a little video action from the course before the snow began to fly: