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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Join us for an evening of trail talk 8/23 at Altitude Running

Do you have questions about trail running or want to learn more about the sport? Join us for a fun night of trail running discussion on August 23rd at Altitude Running. The evening will feature a Q&A discussion with a diverse panel of trail runners, beginning at 6:00pm.

The panel Q&A will be mixed in with gear giveaways from Salomon Running, Drymax Socks and other race sponsors. We will also be featuring a Black Squirrel video course preview, with time afterwards for questions and discussion specific to the route and race strategy. During the evening, enjoy a beverage or two from our friends at New Belgium Brewing. 

The panel

Cat Bradley 2017 Western States ChampionCat Bradley shot to trail and ultrarunning stardom this June when she defied the odds in winning the famed and historic Western States Endurance Run. Hear her thoughts from that day and garner tips on how to improve your race performance. 

 

Lucas Mouttet owns and operates the Never Summer Outdoor School, teaching avalanche safety and wilderness first aid. A trail runner, mountain biker and backcountry skier, Lucas is uniquely qualified to discuss any and all issues related to trail safety. 

 

Sara Callor is the store manager at Altitude Running. She ran the Pikes Peak Ascent as her first trail race some 10 years ago and returned to the trails last year to run the Black Squirrel Half. Come armed with gear questions. Sara has answers. 

 

 

Stephen PretakStephen Pretak is the current men’s champion and only person to have run under 90 minutes on the Black Squirrel course. Despite these impressive accolades, Stephen is still relatively new to trail running and sometimes feels like he’s still trying to figure it out. You’ve got questions about transitioning to the trails, he’ll come up with answers.

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Pacing, Fueling, and Hydration for the Quad Rock 50

For runners hoping to finish the Quad Rock 50 within our 14-hour cut off, the following pacing chart can help you plan for a successful day. This plan includes a generous amount of time at aid stations (50 minutes total) that should be more than enough for any runner who is organized and efficient getting in and out of each station. There is a good opportunity to save a lot of time by being quick and efficient at each aid stop.

Aid StationMile
Leg
Distance
Aid
Station
Time
Leg
Time
Leg
Pace
Total
Time
Arthur’s
2.0
2.0
None
0:27
13:30
0:27
Towers
7.1
5.1
3:00
1:20
15:41
1:50
Horsetooth
10.3
3.2
5:00
0:40
12:30
2:35
Towers
14.1
3.8
3:00
1:00
15:47
3:38
Arthur’s
17.5
3.4
5:00
0:43
12:39
4:26
Soldier
24.9
7.4
10:00
1:55
15:32
6:31
Arthur’s
32.3
7.4
5:00
1:55
15:32
8:31
Towers
35.7
3.4
3:00
1:15
22:04
9:49
Horsetooth
39.5
3.8
10:00
1:05
17:06
11:04
Towers
42.7
3.2
4:00
1:10
21:52
12:18
Arthur’s
47.8
5.1
2:00
1:10
13:44
13:30
Finish
50.1
2.3
0:27
11:44
13:57
Total
50:00
13:07
15:43
13:57

Our intermediate course cut offs are: 12:15pm at Soldier Canyon (mile 25), 2:10pm at Arthur’s (mile 32.4), and 4:35pm at Horsetooth (mile 39.6). These are set up to give runners the maximum possible time on the course. Realistically to make the final 14-hour cut off, you should plan to be about 15 minutes ahead of the 25-mile cut off, and about 10 minutes ahead of the Arthur’s mile-32.4 cut off. If you make it through Horsetooth on time by 4:35pm, you’ll have a good chance of finishing under 14 hours but will need to work hard to push through to the finish.

Fueling & Hydration

Our aid stations are set at fairly even intervals on the course and we will have an unmanned water drop set out on the longer 7.4 mile segment from Arthur’s aid station to the finish.

All runners will need to carry their own water on the course. Faster runners should be able to run with 1 bottle and mid-to-back-of-the-pack runners should be comfortable with 2 bottles. If we have warm weather, plan to carry more water – some of the exposed trails (like the Howard climb) can get very hot in the afternoon.

Ultimate Direction

A race pack, such as the Ultimate Direction AK Race Vest, has become a popular alternative in recent years, especially as designs have improved. The AK vest is ideal for Quad Rock 50 needs. It’s super light, holds two 20oz bottles and has room for 2 gel flasks (or your own packets or bars) and just enough space to stash a light jacket, shirt, and/or gloves in case we get hit with some rough weather on race day.

Our primary fuel at all aid stations will be Vfuel vanilla, cool citrus, and mountain berry gel and Vfuel lime drink. The new Vfuel drink mix is primarily dextrose to give you simple calories that are easy to digest and absorb. Vfuel drink will have 200 calories per 20 ounce bottle. All Vfuel gel will be served from bulk containers at the aid stations. If you plan to use gel from the race aid stations, please bring your own flask to carry it.

If you don’t have a flask, they are available from race sponsors Ultimate Direction or
Altitude Running (where we’ll be hosting packet pickup on Altitude Running Logo - 2012 FinalFriday afternoon). And please consider carrying an extra flask or small bottle for soda or Vfuel drink. While we do not stock our aid stations with water cups, we go through a tremendous amount of small cups for soda, gels and food. Stashing an extra flask and/or plastic baggie in your shorts or pack to use at aid stations would really help cut down on the amount of trash our event produces.

VFuelOur aid stations will also be stocked with a variety of soda and snacks. If you feel you need more sodium or just need a break from sweet gels and drink mix, we’ll have plenty of salty chips and pretzels. If you don’t care for gel or drink mix, we’ll have plenty of soda, cookies, gummy bears, and M&M’s to give you enough carbs to keep going for the day. PBJ and turkey rolls will be available if anyone needs a bite of something a bit more substantial.

Remember to drink and eat early and consistently throughout the race. Every year almost everyone runs right through the first two aid stations and doesn’t start to refuel or drink until the third stop at mile 14.2 on Towers. The Quad Rock 50 is a very long, hard day and if you get dehydrated or into a calorie deficit, it becomes hard to recover. But always drink to thirst. If you aren’t thirsty, have a sloshy upset stomach, or water just tastes bad, don’t force it. There are also serious risks associated with over-hydrating, which, in the most extreme cases can lead to hyponamtremia, a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low due to dilution.

Consume steadily all day, but keep it in moderation and don’t forget to replace electrolytes, either through capsules or by eating salty snacks at the aid stations.

If anyone has any questions about the course, aid stations, or race day planning that hasn’t been covered on our website, feel free to email us.

Have a great day out there, and see you at the finish!

Pete Stevenson and Nick Clark
racedirector@gnarrunners.com

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