2019 Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon Wrap

It was another beautiful morning for the seventh running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon. A capacity field of 300+ runners again took on the perimeter trails of Lory State Park on a 13.3 mile tour of some of Northern Colorado’s finest running trails. And we saw some exciting race action in both the men’s and women’s races with late lead changes in both and a new course record in one.

Addie Bracy is a familiar name in the pantheon of Gnar champions. She holds course records for the Blue Sky Marathon and the Never Summer 100km, with a fourth-fastest time at the Quad Rock 50. This was Addie’s first time running Black Squirrel, so expectations were high that pressure might be put on Melissa Dock’s long standing (2014) course record of 1:45:04.

Coming into the Arthurs West aid station at mile 8.3, all signs looked to be pointing in just that direction, with Addie in the lead and on course record pace. However, her lead was not much more than a minute over a comfortable-looking Rachel Rudel, and by the return visit to the Arthurs Trailhead, some 2.5 miles later, the former CSU-standout had closed the gap to less than 30 seconds. With another 2.5 miles to the finish, the race was on, and it was Rudel who had ended up having the extra gas in the tank, breaking the tape 24 seconds ahead of Bracy in a new course record time of 1:42:35. In what would turn out to be a fast year in the ladies’ race, former champion Abby Depperschmidt rounded out the podium in a sixth fastest time ever (1:49:47), with fourth place finisher Chelsey Heiden would posting the race’s ninth best time ever (1:52:33).

Rachel Rudel – Race Winner

Addie Bracy – Second Place

 

We didn’t see any new course records in the men’s race, but we did see some fun racing action go down. Former Black Squirrel podium finisher Peter Goble took the race by the scruff of the neck early and held a decent  lead coming into the 8.3 mile Arthurs Aid station. But by the second visit to the Arthurs Trailhead at mile 10.3 it was all change. The lead had switched hands with Nathan Austin leading the field followed by David Leonard in second and Silas Thompson in third. Goble had dropped to fourth, now closely tracked by Adrian Macdonald in fifth. The top two positions would remain the same at the finish, with Austin taking the win in 1:38:30, holding off Leonard by just 12 seconds. The fastest closer of the bunch was Macdonald who jumped two spots in the last 2.5 miles to claim third (1:39:29) overall.  

Top honors in our 5 age group categories were as follows:

  • Under 30: Silas Thompson (1:40:05) and Chelsey Heiden (1:52:33)
  • 30-39: Peter Goble (1:40:47) and Jenn Malmberg (1:54:42)
  • 40-49: James Harmon (1:49:03) and Tara Carter (2:07:31) 
  • 50-59: Ed Delosh (1:54:23) and Cinthy Carson* (2:06:50)
  • 60+: Paul Jensen (2:15:59) and Annie Littlewood (3:05:21)

* New Grandmasters (50+) record. 

Results and Images

Prizes for overall and age group winners included Salomon running packs, bottles and belts in addition to Altitude gift certificates. Unique squirrel-themed awards were lovingly hand-crafted by Amy Hayman.

Of course, our races don’t happen without the help of an army of volunteers. The Liberty Middle & High School XC teams once again showed up in numbers and with great enthusiasm at the Arthurs aid stations, the CSU Food & Nutrution Club served up our post-race pancake breakfast, and as always, the Fort Collins Trail Runners community came out in force. Our volunteers shone bright and provided a wonderful race experience for all participants. So, once again, a huge thank you to all our fantastic volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you.

We also couldn’t do what we do without the help of our wonderful sponsors, all of whom are tireless supporters of the Northern Colorado running scene. Thank you to our top tier sponsors: Salomon RunningAltitude RunningColorado in Motion, and Justin Liddle DMD.

If you enjoyed Black Squirrel and are considering a step up in distance, why not join us on October 19 for the 12th running of the Blue Trail Sky Marathon? This local favorite will be our last event of the year.

Finally, a big thank you to the volunteers on our trail work crew who came out on Tuesday following Black Squirrel to leave the course even better than it was!  Part of our mission is to promote responsible use of the public trails we are granted the right to race on each year.  If you’d like to be added to our volunteer trail work mailing list to learn about these and other upcoming trail work opportunities, please visit our trail work page.

Top tier support from:

Salomon 
 Colorado In Motion Physical TherapyAltitude Running Justin Liddle DMD Prosthodontist

Contributing support from:
Countryside Animal Hospital Fort Collins Running Club 

Generous product support from:
VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain Cookies, and Great Harvest Bread Company.

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2019 Black Squirrel Half Pre-Race Details

All information relevant to the 7th running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon is available on the race website. Here are a few final details and reminders.

Registration is still open! As of right now, a dozen spots are available. If those are not claimed by the close of online registration tonight, we will offer late registration at Packet Pickup.

The current weather forecast is showing a race-day high in the low 80s, with race-start temps in the low 60s, rising to low 70s by 9:00a and mid 70s by 10:00a, with partly cloudy skies. It will be on the warm side, so please make sure you have adequate carrying capacity for your hydration needs between aid stations. Water cups will not be provided at the aid stations.

The three race aid stations will be stocked with water and V-Fuel sports drink. The Arthur’s aid station – visited twice – will also carry snacks and fruit.

Packet pickup will be available on Friday afternoon from 4pm to 7pm at Altitude Running located at 150 E Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80525 (northeast corner of College and Harmony). We will be distributing bib numbers, timing chips, race T-shirts, Justin Liddle DMD toothbrushes & toothpaste, and coupons from Great Harvest Bread Co.

You can pick up your friends’ shirt and bib IF you show a copy of their registration confirmation (on phone or printout)

We will also have additional Gnar Runners and Black Squirrel merchandise for sale (or distribution if you pre-ordered). Salomon Running will also be in store demoing their latest shoe line-up.

Packet pickup will also be available on race morning from 5:30am to 6:45am.

During in-store packet pickup, Altitude Running will be offering 10% off in-store purchases and 15% off Salomon purchases, or spend over $200 and get 20% off.

The race will start promptly at 7:00am. There will be a short pre-race briefing at 6:50am. Late arrivals will need to walk up to a mile to the start from the overflow parking at the Eltuck Picnic area, so we recommend getting to Lory State Park no later than 6:00am if you need to check in on race morning.

Parking at the Soldier Canyon start/finish area (limited to 50-60 cars) is reserved for carpools of two or more race entrants. All other cars will be directed to park on the Lodgepole loop road or at the Timber trailhead lot. If you can, please arrange a carpool with friends – or try the Fort Collins Trail Runner Facebook pageParking passes will be handed out at the park entrance when you arrive. Please place on your dash so they are visible to park staff. 

Bibs must be visible from the front. Please do not remove your pull tag until you finish. Bib numbers can be found here.

Everyone will receive 2 Timing Chips, which need to be attached to each of your shoes. Do not bend, fold or tuck the chips under your laces, and please return your timing chips at the finish line.

Dogs are welcome on leash with family and friends at the start/finish area, but we ask that you not run with your dog during the race.

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 and hikers.

We will have a free 1 mile kids race/run beginning at 10:30 from the start/finish area.

After your finish, stick around for our post race party and Great Harvest pancakes plus sausage and bacon. In addition to fruit, soft drinks and other trimmings, we’ll have cookies from Mary’s Mountain Cookies and brews from New Belgium Brewing. Please be prepared to show ID if planning to enjoy a post-race beer.

Additional post-race food and beer for family and friends can be purchased for a $10 cash donation, if not already purchased with registration.

All finishers will receive a commemorative pint glass. And we’ll be giving out unique overall and age group awards to the top three finishers (male and female) in the following categories: Overall, Under 30, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60+. We’ll also have sponsor gear and goodies to raffle off during and after the awards.

Salomon Running will be demoing shoes for runners to try out after the race, and we’ll be giving away Salomon packs to our top male and female finishers.

Massage and PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Colorado in Motion and Diane Bergstedt. If you’re having foot issues, be sure to see Ultrapodiatrist Dr. Mike at the finish. UCHealth will also be on hand at the finish to take care of bumps, bruises or any other health concerns.

Thank you to our very generous top sponsors: Salomon Running, Colorado in Motion, Justin Liddle DMDAltitude Running, Countryside Animal Hospital, and the Fort Collins Running Club for their support in helping make this event possible.

Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters. Please consider supporting these businesses who support the race.

If you have questions that are not answered here or on the website, then please email us at racedirector@gnarrunners.com. We will do our level best to respond in a timely manner.

We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday morning!

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2018 Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon Wrap

It was a beautiful morning for the sixth running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon. A sellout field of 320 runners took on the perimeter trails of Lory State Park on the 13.1 mile tour of some of Northern Colorado’s finest running trails.

With defending champion and course record holder Stephen Pretak playing human-sized black squirrel and course marshal at the Howard turn, the race for the men’s win was wide open. Coming into the Arthurs West aid station at 8 miles, Frank Pipp had a small lead over Clint Anders and Chris Rom. Second at both the Quad Rock 50 and Never Summer 100k, Frank would hold his lead through the flatter valley miles to claim the win and set a new master’s record of 1:32:02. Frank is now a favorite to set a new record for the Gnar Slam, which will culminate next month at the 11th running of the Blue Sky Trail Marathon. Also riding high in the Gnar Slam standings this year is Clint Anders, who would also hold onto his Arthurs 8-mile position to finish second in 1:33:22. Chris Rom (1:36:13) rounded out the podium in his first Black Squirrel finish.

Men’s podium. L-R: Clint Anders, Frank Pipp, Chris Rom

Third in 2015, Ruth Waller-Liddle was back to run her second Black Squirrel Half, and this time she lead the race from pillar to post, with an impressive 1:52:43 finish, just narrowly pipped at the post by husband and race sponsor, Justin Liddle DMD. Broomfield’s Alisyon Hummelberg (1:56:49) followed four minutes later in second in her first Black Squirrel Half. Rounding out the podium in third, Coach Rachel Hulse was one place better and a minute quicker than in 2016, beating three-time runner up Sarah Roberts to the line by a scant 17 seconds.  

Women’s Podium. L-R: Alisyon Hummelberg, Ruth Waller-Liddle, Rachel Hulse

This year, we expanded the age groups to include an under 30 and over 60 category. Top honors in our 5 age group categories were as follows:

  • Under 30: Peter Goble (1:41:27) and Alicia Grove (1:59:12)
  • 30-39: Craig Depperschmidt (1:42:42) and Hilary Freese (2:02:31)
  • 40-49: Christoph Justen (1:52:13) and Sarah Roberts (1:58:19) 
  • 50-59: Ed Delosh (1:49:18) and Jeanne Bascuk (2:19:46)
  • 60+: Ivan Rezucha (2:21:31) and Paula Murray (3:22:58)

Results and Images

Prizes for overall and age group winners included Salomon running packs, Altitude gift certificates and Drymax running socks. Unique squirrel-themed awards were lovingly hand-crafted by Amy Hayman.

Of course, our races don’t happen without the help of an army of volunteers. The Liberty Middle School XC Team was once again out at the Arthur’s aid stations, the CSU Food & Nutrution Club served up our post-race pancake breakfast, and as always, the Fort Collins Trail Runners community came out in force. Our volunteers shone bright and provided a wonderful race experience for all participants. So, once again, a huge thank you to all our fantastic volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you.

The Liberty XC Team with teacher and race participant Lauren Calvert

We also couldn’t do what we do without the help of our wonderful sponsors, all of whom are tireless supporters of the Northern Colorado running scene. Thank you to our top tier sponsors: Salomon RunningAltitude RunningColorado in MotionDrymax Socks, and Justin Liddle DMD.

If you enjoyed Black Squirrel and are considering a step up in distance, why not join us on October 20 for the 11th running of the Blue Trail Sky Marathon. This local favorite will be our last event of the year.

Top tier support from:

Salomon Drymax Socks 
Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy Altitude Running Justin Liddle DMD Prosthodontist

Contributing support from:
Countryside Animal Hospital Fort Collins Running Club 

Generous product support from:
VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain CookiesSquirrel’s Nut Butter, and Great Harvest Bread Company.

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2018 Black Squirrel Half Marathon Pre-race Details

All information relevant to the 6th running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon is available on the race website. Here are a few final details and reminders.

The current weather forecast is showing a race-day high in the mid 80s. Please make sure you have adequate carrying capacity for your hydration needs between aid stations. Water cups will not be provided at the aid stations.

The three race aid stations will be stocked with water and V-Fuel sports drink. The Arthur’s aid station – visited twice – will also carry snacks and fruit.

Packet pickup will be available on Friday afternoon from 4pm to 7pm at Altitude Running located at 150 E Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80525 (northeast corner of College and Harmony). We will be distributing bib numbers, race T-shirts, Squirrels Nut Butter samples, Justin Liddle DMD toothbrushes, and will have additional Gnar Runners and Black Squirrel merchandise for sale. 

Packet pickup will also be available on race morning from 5:15am to 6:30am.

The race will start promptly at 7:00am. There will be a short pre-race briefing at 6:50am.

Late arrivals will need to walk up to a mile to the start from the overflow parking at the Eltuck Picnic area, so we recommend getting to Lory State Park no later than 6:00am if you need to check in on race morning.

Parking at the Soldier Canyon start/finish area (limited to 50-60 cars) is reserved for carpools of two or more runners. All other cars will be directed to park on the Lodgepole loop road or at the Timber trailhead lot. If you can, please arrange a carpool with friends – or try the Fort Collins Trail Runner Facebook page

Parking passes will be handed out at the park entrance when you arrive.

Bibs must be visible from the front. Please do not remove your pull tag.

Dogs are welcome on leash with family and friends at the start/finish area, but we ask that you not run with your dog during the race.

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 and hikers.

We will have a free 1 mile kids race/run beginning at 10:30 from the start/finish area.

After your finish, stick around for our post race party and Great Harvest pancake breakfast. In addition to fruit, soft drinks and other trimmings, we’ll have cookies from Mary’s Mountain Cookies and Fat Tire beer (3.2) from New Belgium Brewing.

Additional post-race food and beer for family and friends can be purchased for a $10 cash donation to our post-race beneficiary, the CSU Food & Nutrition Club, if not already purchased with registration.

For post-run entertainment, the Swashbuckling Doctors will be serving up their unique brand of Fort Collins Ska.

Salomon Running will be demoing shoes for runners to try out after the race, and we’ll be giving away Salomon packs to our top male and female finishers.

All finishers will receive a commemorative pint glass. And we’ll be giving out unique overall and age group awards to the top three finishers (male and female) in the following categories: overall, under 30, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60+. We’ll also have sponsor gear and goodies to raffle off during and after the awards.

Massage and PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Colorado in Motion, Diane Bergstedt and Kristel Liddle.

Thank you to our very generous top sponsors: Salomon Running, Colorado in Motion, Justin Liddle DMD, Drymax SocksAltitude Running, Countryside Animal Hospital, JAX Mercantile, and the Fort Collins Running Club for their support in helping make this event possible.

Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters. Please consider supporting these businesses who support the race.

If you have questions that are not answered here or on the website, then please email us at racedirector@gnarrunners.com. We will do our level best to respond in a timely manner.

We 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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Blue Sky Marathon & Black Squirrel Half Training

Need some motivation to train for the Blue Sky Marathon or Black Squirrel Half Marathon?

Click here for a 15 week training program for the marathon and a 9 week training program for the half marathon. 

We will be hosting a series of Tuesday evening training runs at Lory State Park starting August 7th. Stay tuned for more info.

Sign up for the Blue Sky Marathon by 6/30 to take advantage of our $65 early registration deal!

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