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.
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.
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 email@example.com) – it wouldn’t hurt to have this backup information with you if you are not familiar with the area.
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 (http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/aid-stations/):
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.
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: http://gnarrunners.com/2015/07/never-summer-100k-course-preview-pacing-estimates/
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:
Top Tier Support by:
Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists
With Generous Support From:
The Hunter Team at Cornerstone Mortgage
Justin K Liddle DMD
Countryside Animal Hospital
Fort Collins Running Club
Product and Service Support:
Whole Food Fort Collins
Mary’s Mountain Cookies
Great Harvest Bread Company
Erin Bibeau Photography