News and Dates for the 2016 Gnar Race Season

Preparations for the 2016 season are well underway here at race HQ. We’ve got dates and a few news items to share for the 2016 Gnar Runners Race Series, which this year will be hosted in partnership with the generous support of Salomon Running.

Gnar_manSalomon

Registration for all Gnar Trail Races opens on December 15th, 2015.

Dates for the 2016 Trail Races

  • May 14, 2016: Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail Races
    – Registration Cap: 400 runners
    – 50 Mile Early Entry: $85 (same bargain pricing as the very first year).
    – Location: Lory State Park & Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – New This Year: Separate 25 & 50 mile start times
  • July 23, 2016: Never Summer 100km
    – Registration Cap: 330 runners
    – Early Entry Fee: $160
    – Location: State Forest State Park, Gould CO
    – New This Year: Qualifier for the 2017 Western States 100
  • September 10, 2016: Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon
    – Registration Cap: 350 runners
    – Early Entry Fee: $55
    – Location: Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – New This Year: Registration opens Dec. 15
  • October 2, 2016: Blue Sky Trail Marathon
    – Race Cap: 275 runners
    – Early Entry Fee: $55
    – Location: Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins Co
    – New This Year: Record-low early entry fee

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What’s New for 2016?

The 2016 running of the Quad Rock Trail Races will have two separate starts. The 50 miler will start as always with first light at 5:30, while the 25 mile race will start at 8:00. This should make the race check in and parking much easier and make for a larger, more social post-race BBQ.

2017 WS100 Qualifying RaceThe registration cap for the Never Summer 100km in July has been increased to 330 runners. Next year’s race will also serve as a qualifying event for the 2017 Western States 100.

We do roads too! We are incredibly honored and excited to be managing the 43rd running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon in April. The Horsetooth Half is an iconic point-to-point Fort Collins road race that hugs the eastern shoreline of Horsetooth Reservoir, navigating the challenging hills of Centennial Drive, before heading into the finish and a raucous party at New Belgium Brewing. The beer will be flowing until the last person leaves, so if you’re looking for a spring sharpener we suggest you look no further.

As always, we seek to offer the best bang for the buck that we possibly can, without scrimping on any of the things that make Gnar Runner events the top-shelf experiences that you’ve come to expect. In that spirit, we’ve maintained first-year pricing for the Quad Rock 50, which at $85 continues to represent great value. And get this: we’ve dropped the early entry fee for the Blue Sky Trail Marathon to $55, the lowest it has ever been in the nine-year history of the event. This is our end of season party and we really want you to come celebrate with us.

Part of the reason we’re able to offer such great value for all our races is because we’ve worked tirelessly to partner with quality sponsors that share our vision for well-managed, yet affordable events. This year we are incredibly excited to be partnering with Salomon Running, one of the greatest innovators in the sport. We’ll be offering special Salomon shoe deals with retail partner Altitude Running at all pre-race packet pickups. We’ll also be offering the opportunity to demo Salomon kicks at training runs and at race-day expos.

Altitude Running Logo - 2012 FinalOur other top sponsors for the 2015 season include the following great businesses and brands:

Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy

Formerly Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, same great care.

Drymax Socks

The Official Gnar Sock Sponsor. Keeping you blister free, no matter the conditions

Fort Collins Running Club Justin K. Liddle DMD, LLC
Countryside Animal Hospital Julbo

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.

We’re incredibly excited for the 2016 season, and we can’t wait to welcome you to one, or perhaps all of our running events.

Be Gnarful out there!

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2015 Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon Recap

Black-Squirrel-2015-Start

We were treated to another beautiful late summer day for the third running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon. The field of 315 runners enjoyed overcast early morning conditions, which transitioned to intermittent sunshine for the bulk of the field in the second half of the race and the post-race festivities.

Aaron-Black-Squirrel-Half- Winner

Men’s winner, Aaron Anderson

We saw both the overall and masters records go down in the men’s field, with Fort Collins’ Aaron Anderson (1:30:02) leading the charge in the men’s race and Boulder’s Brad Seng setting the new mark in the master’s division (1:36:08). In the overall standings, Aaron was pushed the whole way by Stephen Pretak (1:31:55) from Fort Collins, and Nathan Hornok (1:33:57) from West Jordan, UT.

Amanda-Lee-Black-Squirrel-Half-Marathon

Amanda Lee for the Win

In the women’s race, Boulder’s Amanda Lee was the first across the line in a time of 1:49:37. She was followed by local favorite Sarah Omann (1:55:23) who repeated her second place finish from last year, after passing Ruth Waller-Liddle in the final few miles of the race. The half marathon distance represented a big step up in distance for Ruth, a former NCAA D1 800 meter star. Our fastest master (although competing as a grandmaster) in the women’s race was Theresa Rudel (2:09:32).

It was great to see a couple of pre-teens competing this year as our youngest finishers ever. Devin Muzzy (12) from Colorado Springs won the battle of the youngsters, finishing in an impressive 2:20:28, beating out Bode Hogan (11) from Broomfield who finished in an equally impressive 2:33:11, becoming our youngest ever finisher. Our youngest female finisher was Claire Hayhow (16) from Laporte who posted a 2:29:11. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we had two impressive septuagenarian finishes from John Hagin (2:42:23, Fort Collins) and Jammie McMillin (3:53:25, Colorado Springs).

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Young-Gun-2-Black-Squirrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The open divisions (39 & under) were won by Eric Smith (1:34:48) and Laura Harger (2:00:31). In the grandmasters race, we had wins for Ben Kuster (1:56:10) and Theresa Rudel (2:09:32), who was defending her grandmaster’s division win from 2014.

Having-Fun-At-Black-SquirrelPrizes for overall and age group winners Squirrel-Girlsincluded Altra running shoes, gift certificates to Altitude Running, Ultimate Direction gear and Timex GPS watches. And, of course, the coveted Black Squirrel awards lovingly crafted in the Gnar Runners Gnarts and Crafts Department.

Black-Squirrel-Half-Marathon-Kisses

Ruth gets a squirrel and kisses from her husband, Justin.

As race directors, Pete and I are always thankful for the wonderful trail running community we have here in Fort Collins. Pulling together a volunteer crew is an essential part of putting on a successful race and as always our volunteers shone bright and provided a wonderful race experience for all participants. So, once again, a huge thank you to all our wonderful 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. So thank you Altra RunningColorado Physical Therapy Specialists, Cornerstone Home Lending, Altitude Running, Smartwool, Sierra trading PostFort Collins Running ClubJustin Liddle DMDCountryside Vet, Great Harvest, Whole Foods, VFuel, Mary’s Mountain Cookies, and Boulder Beer.

Altra-Black-Squirrel-Half-Marathon

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, Altra

Katie-Chanteau-Black-Squirrel-Half-Marathon

We hope to see you again in 2016. Or, if you want more Gnar-filled trail racing fun this year, then check out the eighth running of the Blue Sky Marathon on October 4th. This local favorite will be our last event of the year.

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Black Squirrel Half Marathon Pre-Race Information

All information relevant to the 3rd running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon is available on the race website.

Here are a few final details and reminders.

Currently, we’re looking at an overnight low in the mid 50s, an overcast morning, and a race-day high in the low 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, V-Fuel sports drink, snacks, and fruit (Arthurs only).

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

The race will start promptly at 7:00am. There will be a short pre-race briefing at 6:55am. Please give yourselves an extra 10-15min to get parked and over to the start. Late arrivals may need to walk up to a half mile to the start.

Parking at the Soldier Canyon start/finish area (limited to 50-60 cars) is reserved for carpools of two or more racers. 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. Please feel free to post to the Ft. Collins Trail Runners list to find people to carpool with.

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 on trail 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.

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

We have a great BBQ planned with burgers, veggie burgers, Whole Foods quinoa salad, Great Harvest cinnamon buns, cookies from Mary’s Mountain Cookies, chips, fruit, soda, and beer from Boulder Beer. First beer is free with the BBQ, for additional beers we ask that you make a donation ($4 suggested) to Animal House Rescue, one of the race beneficiaries. Additional meals can also be purchased at the BBQ for family and friends for a $10 donation to Animal House if not already purchased with registration.

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

In addition to finisher awards and T-shirts, we will also be giving out unique overall and age group awards to the top three (male and female) in the following categories: overall, under 40, masters (40 – 49), and grandmasters (50+).

We’ll have some other gear and goodies to raffle off during and after the awards.

Whole Foods are giving away $100 in groceries to one lucky Black Squirrel’er after the race. Follow this link to enter: http://woobox.com/t22obr

Massage and PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Kristel Liddle LMT (massage) and Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists.

Thank you to Altra Running, Colorado Physical Specialists, Justin Liddle DMD, The Hunter Team at Cornerstone Home Lending, Smartwool, Altitude Running, Countryside Animal Hospital, Sierra Trading Post, and the Fort Collins Running Club for their support in helping us make this event possible.

Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters. Please consider supporting these businesses who support our 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 sincerely look forward to seeing you all on Saturday morning!

Nick Clark & Pete Stevenson

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2015 Gnar Race Calendar

At the end of the 2014 season, we promised bigger and better things for 2015 and we
plan on delivering. Here’s what we’ve got in store for the 2015 Gnar Runners’ Race Series, Presented by Altra:

Gnar_man Altra Zero Drop
  • May 9, 2015: Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail Races
    – Race Cap: 350 total runners
    – 50 Mile Early Entry: $85 (same bargain pricing as the very first year).
    – Location: Lory State Park & Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins, CO
  • July 25, 2015: Never Summer 100km
    – Race Cap: 200 runners
    – Early Entry Fee: $140
    – Location: State Forest State Park, Gould CO near Cameron Pass
    – Stoke Levels: Through the Roof
  • September 5, 2015: Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon
    – Race Cap: 300 runners
    – Early Entry Fee: $50
    – Location: Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO
  • October 4, 2015: Blue Sky Trail Marathon
    – Race Cap: 275 runners
    – Early Entry Fee: $60
    – Location: Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins Co

What’s New for 2015?

First and foremost, we are extremely excited to be adding the Never Summer 100km RidgeRunto the Gnar Runners’ race calendar. We’ve been scouting this area and working with local land managers for well over a year now, in an effort to bring you the most outstanding course possible in this beautiful corner of Northern Colorado. Nestled between Rocky Mountain National Park and the Rawah Wilderness in the Cameron Pass area, this mountain-getaway event provides a huge alpine tour of the incredible Never Summer and Medicine Bow Mountains. Don’t miss out!

Jack JewelAs always, we seek to offer the best bang for the buck that we possibly can, without scrimping on any of the things that make Gnar Runner events the top-notch experiences that you’ve come to expect. We have maintained first-year pricing for the Quad Rock 50, which at $85 continues to represent great value. And get this: we’ve dropped the early entry fee for the Blue Sky Trail Marathon to $60, while extending the cut-off to nine hours. We really, really want you to come check out the fantastic Blue Sky trail this fall!

Part of the reason we’re able to offer such great value for all our races is because we’ve worked tirelessly to partner with quality local and regional sponsors that share our vision for affordable, top-shelf events. This year we are incredibly excited to be working with Utah-based Altra Running as the Presenting Sponsor for the whole series. We’ll be working with our retail partner Altitude Running at training runs and on race-day to get you in a pair of Altra shoes to try out, if you’re not already familiar with the benefits of zero-drop running and Altra’s unique foot shaped toe box.

Other series sponsors for the 2015 season include the following great local businesses, with more to come:

The Hunter Team - Cornerstone Home Lending
Justin K. Liddle DMD, LLC 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. I don’t think your excitement levels for the 2015 season could be quite as elevated as ours, but we sure hope they’re close.

Be Gnarful out there!

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Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon Recap

black squirrel half view

Looking east from the high point on the course. Photo: Jim Moy

The weather could not have been better for the second running of the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon. The field of 290 runners were treated to cool foggy conditions in the valley early in the morning, before making their way up the hill to break through the clouds into glorious sunshine at 7,000 feet on the high point of the course, with expansive views to Longs peak in the west and a gloriously fluffy cloud base to the east.

Two new records were set at the pointy end of the field, with Broomfield’s Korey Skattum (1:31:46) leading the charge in the men’s race and Boulder’s Melissa Dock (1:45:06) bettering her mark from the inaugural running by almost five minutes.

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Korey Skattum. Photo: Erin Bibeau.

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Melissa Dock. Photo: Erin Bibeau.

From the high point on the course, runners dropped into the Arthurs Aid Station on the technical and switchbacked Howard Trail, guided along the way by our oversized black squirrel course marshall.

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Katie – Black Squirrel – Robinson. Photo: Erin Bibeau.

By the time the meat of the field had made it into the finish, the clouds had parted allowing runners to kick back and enjoy the post-race BBQ and festivities in pure Colorado bluebird comfort.

At the front of the men’s race, Kory Skattum was followed by Aaron Anderson (1:33:09) and Rob Raguet-Schofield (1:40:30), both local to Fort Collins. Second and third in the women’s race were Sarah Hansen (1:52:36) and Molly Soasey (1:55:39), both from Fort Collins. The masters divisions were won by Elijah Flenner (1:42:20) and Monica Brackney (1:56:14), another repeat winner, while the open divisions (39 & under) were won by Chirs Kiel (1:41:05) and Jennifer Malmberg (2:00:14). In the grandmasters race, we had wins for Tim Flynn (1:59:07) and Theresa Rudel (2:07:01)

bs2014-18Prizes included Altra running shoes, gift certificates to Runners Roost Fort Collins, and the coveted Black Squirrel awards crafted in the Gnarts and Crafts Department of Gnar Runners, LLC.

As race directors, Pete and I are always thankful for the wonderful trail running community we have here in Fort Collins. Pulling together a volunteer crew is an essential part of putting on a successful race and as always our volunteers were the biggest source of bs2014-6post-race compliments that we received. So, once again, a huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you.

We also couldn’t put on the types of races that we aspire to put on without the help of our wonderful sponsors, all of whom are tireless supporters of the Northern Colorado running scene. So thank you Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, Cornerstone Home Lending, Fort Collins Running ClubJustin Liddle DMDCountryside Vet, Altra RunningRunners RoostSucceedGreat Harvest, Whole Foods, Tailwind Nutrition, and Boulder Beer.

Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists

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Black Squirrel Pre-Race Details

All information relevant to the event is available online here but here are a few final details and reminders.

  • Weather: Last year it was HOT, but this year things are looking a little more favorable. Currently, we’re looking at an overnight low of 50 and a race-day high of 70 with a good chance of rain in the afternoon, which means race morning should be just about perfect.
  • Nonetheless, please make sure you have adequate carrying capacity for your hydration needs between aid stations. We ask that all runners carry a water bottle or hydration pack. The three aid stations will be stocked with water, Tailwind sports drink, Succeed S-Caps, snacks, and fruit (Arthurs only).
  • Packet and bib pickup will be available on Friday afternoon from 4pm to 7pm at Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists located at: 115 E Harmony Rd., Ste. 160, Fort Collins, CO 80525 (southeast corner of College and Harmony).
  • Packet pickup will also be available on race morning from 5:30am to 6:45am.
    Late registration (cash & check only) will be available on Friday at packet pick up and on race morning.
  • The race will start promptly at 7:00am. The pre-race briefing will be at 6:45am. Please give yourselves an extra 10-15min to get parked and over to the start. Late arrivals may need to walk up to a mile to the start. If you arrive late, you will start late and finish results will be based on the starting gun time.
  • Parking at the Soldier Canyon start/finish area (limited to 50-60 cars) is reserved for carpools of two or more racers. All other cars will be directed to park on the Lodgepole loop road or Timber trailhead lot. If you can, please arrange a carpool with friends. Please feel free to post to the Ft Collins Trail Runners list to find people to carpool with.
  • Parking passes will be handed out at the park entrance when you arrive.
  • Bibs must be visible from the front. Do not remove your pull tag.
  • As a courtesy to other runners on the trail (and per the terms of our insurance policy), we ask that you not wear headphones.
  • Dogs are welcome on leash with family and friends at the start/finish area, but we ask that you not run with your dog on trail 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.
  • We will have a free 1km kids race/run beginning at 10:30 from the start/finish area.
  • We have a great BBQ planned with burgers, veggie burgers, a Whole Foods quinoa salad, Great Harvest cookies and cinnamon buns, chips, fruit, soda, and a couple of kegs from Boulder Beer that meets 3.2% State Park regulations. First beer is free with the BBQ, for additional beers we ask that you make a donation ($3 suggested) to Animal House, one of the race beneficiaries. Additional meals can also be purchased at the BBQ for family and friends for a $10 donation to Animal House. Please bring id if you want a post-race beer.
  • Altra Zero Drop will be demoing shoes for runners to try out after the race, and we’ll be giving away a pair to our top male and female finishers.
  • In addition to finishers awards and T-shirts, we will also be giving out unique overall and age group awards to the top three (male and female) in the following categories: overall, under 40, masters (40 – 49), and grandmasters (50+). We also have Runners Roost gift cards for all award winners.
  • We’ll have some other gear and goodies to raffle off during and after the awards.
  • Massage and PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Kristel Liddle LMT (massage) and Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists.

Thank you to Colorado Physical SpecialistsJustin Liddle DMD, Cornerstone Home Lending, Altra RunningCountryside Animal Hospital and the Fort Collins Running Club for their support in helping us make this event possible. Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters.

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

We sincerely look forward to seeing you all on Saturday morning!

Nick Clark & Pete Stevenson (GnarRunners, LLC)

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