Sunny Skies & Fast Times at the 2017 Quad Rock Trail Races

Sunrise over Soldier Canyon, Lory State Park

Sunrise over Soldier Canyon at the start of the 2017 Quad Rock 50.

May is an unpredictable month here in Colorado, and once again the weather played a significant role at the Quad Rock Trail Races. After last year’s unexpected cool and damp conditions, this year we were served up sun and early afternoon temperatures that topped out in the mid-80s. While not so bad for our hard working volunteers and race staff, the early season heat presented a significant challenge for the runners. Nonetheless, the day produced a commanding new course record in the women’s 50 mile race, a fast winning time in the men’s race, and a whole host of wonderful finishes from the rest of the field. 

Overall, we had 178 runners start the 50 mile race and 250 start the 25 mile race for a total of 428 runners on course. Of the 178 runners that started the 50 mile race, 106 completed the full two loops for a 60 percent finisher rate. A total of 305 runners finished the first 25 mile loop, including 50 mile drops, and all are included in the final 25 mile results. There were a total of 17 runners that did not complete the first 25 mile loop.

2017 Quad Rock Winner Brent Kocis

Brent Kocis on his way to winning the 25 mile race.

For full results and aid station splits, please see the results page on the race website.  For pictures from the day, please visit Erin Bibeau’s gallery:

Race results   
Race photos (Erin Bibeau)

In the men’s 25 mile race, it was Blue Sky Trail Marathon champion Brent Kocis who took control midway through the loop to become the day’s first runner to break the tape in a time of 3:28:07. Brent was followed home by Quad Rock 50 mile course record holder Ryan Smith (3:34:16) and Gnar Runners team member Stephen Pretak (3:37:29).

In the women’s 25 mile race, defending champion Ginna Ellis led it out from the gun, but was passed soon after the 10 mile Horsetooth aid station by eventual race winner Taylor Nowlin who crossed the finish line in a time of 4:10:13. Boulder’s Abby Mitchell put in a strong finish to claim second (4:16:29), while Ginna would hang on for third, finishing five minutes behind Abby.

2017 Quad Rock 25 Women's Podium

Women’s 25 mile podium. Ginna Ellis, Taylor Nowlin and Abby Mitchell.

Masters awards in the 25 mile race went to Brazil’s Manuel Lago and Thornton’s Sarah Bunting Lamos. Lago’s performance was particularly impressive as it rounded out a 140 kilometer week during which he led a Colorado training camp that culminated in his group of Brazilian runners taking on the Quad Rock 25. 

The day’s headline race was the women’s 50 miler, which included a deep field of talented ladies. Canadian-born Boulder resident Marianne Hogan stamped her authority on the proceedings early in the race and went on to lay down a commanding performance that saw her best Becky Wheeler’s 2014 course record by over half an hour and finish fifth overall in a time of 8:29:27. Watch for Marianne next month as she heads to Chamonix, France to take on some of the world’s best at the Mont Blanc 80k (50 mile) race.

Kaci Lickteig, Anna Mae Flynn, Clare Gallagher

Kaci Lickteig, Anna Mae Flynn and Clare Gallagher (2, 3, and 4) in the early going.

Some 8 minutes behind Marianne was Kaci Lickteig (8:37:26) who ran a controlled effort all day as she gets ready to defend her Western States 100 mile title next month. Rounding out the podium was a hard charging Anna Mae Flynn (8:40:23) who closed to within three minutes of Kaci at the finish after being adrift by as much as 11 minutes at the 50k point. 

In the 50 mile men’s race, it was 2014 winner Jim Rebenack who led from pillar to post in a controlled and very impressive performance that suggests he’ll be a serious contender when he lines up in August for the Leadville 100. Despite the heat, Jim’s run ranks him third all time in the Quad Rock 50 record books. Jim was followed some 23 minutes later by Daniel Metzger (8:04:07) who for much of the race had been running a close second to Jim. Rounding out the top three was current Never Summer 100 champion Gabe Joyes (8:16:52).

2017 Quad Rock 50 Winner Jim Rebenack

Jim Rebenack went pillar to post for the win in an impressive 7:41

In the master’s division, locals Elijah Flenner (9:04:40) and Tara Carter (11:37:36) took home top honors. Elijah moves onto Western States next month, while Tara will be lining up for the Never Summer 100k in late July as the second leg of her attempt to complete the 2017 Gnar Slam. 

Gnar Runners Team member, Ed Delosh

Gnar team member, Ed Delosh on his way to completing his first ultra as the first leg of the 2017 Gnar Slam.

And speaking of Gnar Slammers, here’s a run down of how the class of 2017 got on this weekend:

  • Ed Delosh – 10:26:10
  • Dave Boyd – 10:31:57
  • Mike Adams – 10:47:55
  • Jeremy Bradford – 11:07:28
  • Tara Carter – 11:37:36
  • Joshua Andert – 12:25:43
  • Diane Bergstedt – 13:01:20
  • Elise McKnight – 13:31:19
  • Rob Broomfield – 13:46:59

In addition to those pushing the pace up front, we of course had a full field of talented and enthusiastic runners behind. By far the best part of our job as race directors is watching finishers come home, especially those who are out there working their way through their first trail race or their first 50 miler. Seeing that sense of accomplishment in the faces of so many finishers is something that never gets old and the main reason we love our job so much, so congratulations to you all. And 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 or shine, you guys are out there getting the job done and helping our runners get to the finish safely. Thank You!

And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!

SalomonDrymax SocksAltitude Running                            Justin Liddle DMD ProsthodontistCountryside Animal HospitalFort Collins Running Club

With generous product support from: VFuel, Trader Joe’sNew Belgium, Intersect BrewingMary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest Bread Company, the Fort Collins Food Coop, Morning Fresh Dairy, and Mugs Coffee Lounge.

Thank you all!

We look forward to seeing you again in 2018 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you July 22nd at the Never Summer 100km or at one of our shorter events. On September 9 we’ll be hosting the fifth running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 21 by the 10th 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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Quad Rock 2017 Pre-Race Information

With a week to go until the 6th running of the Quad Rock 50 & 25 Mile Trail Races, here are some final thoughts and instructions:

Weather: The current forecast is looking pretty good, with mid-week moisture giving way to clearer skies for the weekend. Race day looks like it could be on the hot side, so come prepared for that, but as we’ve learned from previous years, anything can happen. It’s spring time in the Rockies. Should there be any weather-related last minute changes, details will be emailed to participants, published on our blog, and posted on Facebook.

Course Conditions: The trails are currently in great shape, the park is green and the creeks are flowing. We have a slight re-route this year due to an eagle-nesting closure on the Spring Creek trail. The reroute around the closure on the Herrington & Stout trails will add a mile to the section between the Towers and Horsetooth aid stations. To compensate, we are taking a mile out of the course in the opening section of the race from the start to Towers. Mileage will be almost exactly the same and there will be a net loss of 200 of vertical gain per lap. Time-wise the course may be a touch quicker, but the re-route adds a mile of technical singletrack and removes a mile of dirt road so it’s pretty much a wash. 

Pre-race packet pick up will be held at Altitude Running on Friday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 150 East Harmony Road just north and east of the Harmony/College intersection on the south side of town. Race partner Salomon Running will be offering a gift with the purchase of any pair of Salomon shoes at packet pickup. There is also an Altitude Running coupon on the back of your race bib that is good for 15% off any Salomon or Drymax Socks products bought at the store.

We are chip timing the race this year so bibs will be handed out at Friday packet pickup. If you can, we ask that you come by Friday to pick up your bib and race gear to help smooth race day check in. Those of you that can’t pick up your bib and packet Friday afternoon can do so in the morning from 4:00 – 5:15 for 50 milers and from 6:00 – 7:45 for 25 milers.

The 50 mile race will begin at 5:30 a.m. and the 25 mile race will begin at 8:00am. The official race start will be on gun time. You will be directed over a timing mat shortly after the start to be officially recorded as a starter and confirmed on course.

If you wish to switch from the 50 mile race to the official 25 mile race start at 8am, please notify us by the end of packet pickup on Friday.

50 mile starters who drop out at 25 miles will receive a finish time and finisher award but will not be eligible for overall or age group awards.

Bib numbers must be worn on the front and visible at all times. Do not remove, fold, or damage the attached chip tag on the back of your bib. 

We will be at full capacity on Saturday, so we recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to park (up to a mile away from check-in), get your bib, and get ready to run. If you can carpool, please do. Not only is it one less vehicle on the road but it helps reduce stress on Lory State Park’s limited parking infrastructure, and it gets you priority parking near the start.

There are park toilets at the Timber parking lot, at the top of the Soldier Canyon parking lot, at the bottom of the Soldier Canyon lot near the start, and at the South Eltuck trailhead at the far end of the spur road which overflow cars will be parked on. We will also have port-a-johns near the start/finish (always the longest line).

Parking passes will be distributed by parking volunteers at the entrance to the park in the morning. Make sure your pass is visible on your dash. Vehicles without a park pass may be ticketed.

Lory State Park will be open for parking at 4am. Carpools of two or more participants for both races will be given priority parking close to the start at the Soldier Canyon trailhead. All others will be directed first to the Timber trailhead parking area and then down the main park road to loop left back towards the start on the Lodgepole Loop. Parking on Lodgepole will be on the right (east) side of the road. The earlier you get there, the closer to the start you’ll be parked. Directions and parking details are here.

Horsetooth drop bags (mile 10.3 and 39.5) must be dropped off by 5:00 a.m. before the 50 mile race start. 25 Mile runners may drop off a Horsetooth drop bag at Friday packet pickup. Finish drop bags may be left any time before each race start. 

Bib numbers will be assigned on the Ultrasignup entrant list by Wednesday if you want to pre-label your drop bag with name and race number. Horsetooth drop bags will be returned to the start/finish at about 5:00pm after the aid station team returns to the finish. It is a 20 minute drive from Lory to Horsetooth if you need to pick up your drop bag before then.

Aid station fare is detailed here. VFuel gel will be served from bulk containers, so we recommend that you carry a 5oz flask (or similar) if you want to use aid station gels. We will also have dixie cups at the aid stations for gel ‘shooters.’

This year at the post-race BBQ we will have beer from New Belgium Brewing (Fat Tire Amber Ale) and a refreshing raspberry weiss from Intersect Brewing. Runners will receive a meal ticket with their finisher mug. For those bringing family/friends who didn’t order extra meals when registering, food and a beer will be available for a $10 donation to our race beneficiary (cash/check). First beer is free for everyone, we then ask that you make a cash donation for additional beers. Our BBQ will be well stocked with burgers, brats, Amy’s vegan burgers, vegan quinoa salad from the Fort Collins Food Co-OpMary’s Mountain Cookies, Trader Joe’s fruit, Great Harvest buns, Eldorado Vitamin Water, Morning Fresh Dairy Chocolate Milk, and lots of other goodies. All BBQ proceeds will be donated to the Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center.

Salomon Running will be on hand after the race demo’ing their trail running line up. Check out the back of your race bib for an Altitude Running offer on Salomon shoes and also Drymax socks. Also check out your bib for an offer from our physical therapy partners, Colorado in Motion. During the awards and raffle, we’ll be giving away some great stuff from those sponsors and other race sponsors.

Course markings will be pink ribbons, hung every 1/4 mile or so, with additional marking at all junctions.  Flour markings and/or pink pin flags will supplement at key intersections.

Limited in-race updates will be via the Gnar Twitter feed, and we will be attempting to publish updates to OpenSplitTime.org; however, this is our first year trying to update the race with live splits, and data connections can be fickle at Lory, so please have patience if this doesn’t work out quite as planned.

Activities for family and friends:

Trails are open to everyone to enjoy all day; however, crewing outside of designated aid stations is not allowed. There is a BMX bike park right by the start/finish area, so feel free to bring a bike for the kids (or yourself). Trails are also open to bikes. The reservoir is just a short walk down from the start/finish area and there is a small cove ideal for paddling or submerging battered legs. The Healthy Smile, Dirty Feet One Mile Kids Race (half (closed) road, half trail) – sponsored by long-time race supporter Justin Liddle DMD – will begin at 2:00 from the race start.

Crew access info is available here.

And, finally, if you have questions that can’t be answered here or on the race website, feel free to drop us a line and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.

Cheers!

Pete & Nick
racedirector@gnarrunners.com
Gnar Runners Event Management
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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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News and Dates for the 2017 Gnar Race Season

The fall permitting season has been a busy one for us here at Gnar Runners headquarters, with more than a few twists and turns to keep us on our toes. But the pieces are now in place and we’re ready to announce our dates and news for the 2017 season, which we’ll once again be hosting with the generous support of our top brand sponsor, Salomon Running.

Gnar_manSalomon

Registration for all Gnar Trail Races opens on December 15th, 2016.

Dates for the 2017 Trail Races

  • May 13, 2017: Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail RacesFallsDescent_QuadRock
    – New This Year: Cap increase to 400 starters
    – 50 Mile Early Entry: $85 (same bargain pricing as our very first year in 2012).
    – Location: Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO
  • July 22, 2017: Never Summer 100km
    – New This Year: Cap increase to 350 starters
    – Early Entry Fee: $175
    – Location: State Forest State Park, Gould CO
  • September 9, 2017: Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon
    – Race Cap: 300 runners
    – Early Entry Fee: $60
    – Location: Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO
    – New This Year: All-new picnic area and beefed-up after party
  • October 21, 2017: Blue Sky Trail Marathon
    – Race Cap: 275 runners
    – Early Entry Fee: $65
    – Location: Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins Co
    – New This Year: Date pushed back 3 weeks to improve parking logistics

NeverSummer2015-305-XL-SoGood2016 Never Summer 100K

What’s New for 2017?

  • In 2016, we experimented with separate start times for the 25 and 50 mile Quad Rock Trail Races and things worked out well, so we’ll be continuing that format for 2017. The 50 miler will start as always with first light at 5:30, while the 25 mile race will start at 8:00. We implemented this change for a number of logistical reasons, but most importantly we wanted to create a larger and more social post-race BBQ. It’s that community vibe that makes trail and ultra running so special, so bring a chair and hang out for a while! 
  • 2018 Western States Qualifier

    The Never Summer 100km will be a 2018 Western States 100 Qualifying Race.

    In partnership with our permitting agencies, we have negotiated cap increases for both Quad Rock and the Never Summer 100km. Both races have been sellouts from their opening years, so we’ve worked hard to figure out ways to build capacity and meet demand, while doing it in a sustainable manner. The cap for Quad Rock across both races has been increased to 400 starters and for Never Summer to 350. These caps are as high as we are comfortable raising them so they will remain in effect moving forward.

  • Aside from the cap increase, much will remain the same for the third running of the Never Summer 100km. We are working hard to improve a number of behind-the-scenes logistical pieces, but the most significant changes from a runner/crew perspective will be the relocation of the Diamond Peaks aid station from the Highway 14 pullout down course to the Lake Agnes Rd. In addition, we have worked with our start/finish hosts at the Gould Community Center to significantly expand and improve the parking areas and will be offering a limited number of car camping spots on site.
  • We’re ‘formalizing’ the Gnar Slam with an end-of-season award and a free entry into the 2018 Quad Rock Trail Races for all finishers. To be eligible for the award and free 2018 Quad Rock entry, participants must complete the Quad Rock 50, Never Summer 100km, Black Squirrel Trail Half, and Blue Sky Marathon. To date we have had just four finishers – all male – with Elijah Flenner (2016) our fastest Slammer. Who’ll take on the challenge in 2017? And who’ll be our first female finishers? Click here for more details.  
elijah_gnar_slam

Elijah’s 2016 Slam Award Haul

We continue to do roads too!

The Fort Collins Running Club has extended our contract to manage the 44th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon in April 2017. If you’re looking for an early spring road event that offers something a little more challenging than the road norm, then consider taking the journey from the Holiday Twin Drive In to New Belgium Brewery by way of the challenging hills of the easternmost hogbacks of the Northern Colorado Rockies. The beer and music at the finish will be flowing and rocking until the last person leaves, so if you’re looking for a spring sharpener we suggest you look no further.

horsetoothhalfstart

Snow

Horsetooth11

…or shine, the show goes on.

Value for Money

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 some of the best value in Colorado ultrarunning. And, as always, at all Gnar events you can expect:

  • Hot food and cold beer after your run
  • A fantastic post-race vibe
  • Great courses on well-marked trails
  • Unique awards
  • Great swag giveaways
  • High quality event t-shirts
  • (Free) on-course training opportunities leading up to each event

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 again with Salomon Running, one of the greatest brand innovators in the sport.

Altitude Running Logo - 2012 FinalWe’ll be offering special Salomon shoe deals with our retail partners 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.

Our other top sponsors for the 2017 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 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.

We’re incredibly excited for the 2017 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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Quad Rock Post-Race Wrap

Spring Creek - 2016 Quad Rock 50

Runners coming up Spring Creek. Photo: Brandon Yonke

May is an unpredictable weather month here in Colorado, and we were again reminded of that at the fifth running of the Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail Races with damp, cool conditions despite a forecast that looked decidedly more comfortable. While not the best conditions for our fantastic team of volunteers to be working in, the weather ended up making for fantastic running conditions, leading to a number of new course records and generally fast times across the board.

RMR Ryan Smith - 2016 Quad Rock 50

Ryan Smith heading home during a dominating CR performance. Photo: Brandon Yonke.

In the 50 mile men’s race, Boulder-based Brit, Ryan Smith took it out hard from the gun and never looked back. He would run in the lead from pillar to post and better Ryan Burch’s long-standing course record by an impressive 20 minutes (7:20:27). Ryan was followed 20 minutes later by reigning Blue Sky Marathon champion Kody Coxen in his first 50 miler, and last year’s runner up Frank Pipp who ducked under the 8 hour mark by five seconds.

On the women’s side, there was no new course record but the race was a close run affair with the podium positions being decided by just four minutes and the top five by 12 minutes. Wyoming’s Marina Fleming (10:15:54) took the lead in the final two miles, beating out Meghan Spieker by less than a minute. Never Summer 100km champion Alyson Kirk rounded out the podium positions with a well run third-place finish.

Sandra Carpenter - 2016 Quad Rock 50

Sandra Carpenter (foreground) cruising early on her way to a new master’s course record. Photo: Terry Grenwelge

Both Sandra Carpenter and Elijah Flenner came into the weekend with one goal in mind, to better the existing master’s course records. And both of them accomplished their goals. Sandra finished fifth in the women’s race, setting the new master’s mark at 10:27:57, while Elijah finished sixth with a strong 8:32:04.

Ginna Ellis has a bit of a history with second place finishes at Gnar Runners events, with silver at last year’s Quad Rock 25 and also at the 2015 and 2013 Blue Sky Marathons, so we were excited to see her come home to a commanding win in the morning’s 25 mile race, posting the second fastest women’s time in the process (4:05:12). Ginna was followed by Jeanne Copper, second in last year’s 50 mile race, and Cat Bradley.

Ginna Ellis - 2016 Quad Rock 25

A focused Ginna Ellis on her way to the 25 mile win. Photo: Terry Grenwelge

Mike Aish repeated as the men’s 25 mile champion, running a couple minutes slower (3:20:08) than he did last year when setting the course record. Mike was pushed the whole way by fellow Golden’ite Matt Kempton who finished second in an impressive 3:20:50. Recent Horsetooth Half Marathon men’s winner Stephen Pretak rounded out the podium, rolling home in 3:22:37.

Master’s awards went to Mike Neal, owner of race supporter Mary’s Mountain Cookies, and Nancy Goodman.

In addition to those pushing the pace up front, we of course had a full field of talented and enthusiastic runners behind. The best part of our job is watching finishers come home, especially those who are out there working their way through their first trail race or their first 50 miler. Seeing that sense of accomplishment in the faces of so many finishers is something that never gets old and the main reason we love our job so much, so congratulations to you all. And thank you!

Happy Runners - 2016 Quad Rock Trail Races

Megan Kunkel and Ann Labosky enjoying the day. Photo: Terry Grenwelge

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 or shine, you guys are out there getting the job done and helping our runners get to the finish safely. Thank You!

And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!

SalomonDrymax SocksAltitude Running                    JulboJustin Liddle DMD ProsthodontistCountryside Animal HospitalFort Collins Running Club

With generous product support from: VFuel, Trader Joe’sNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest Bread Company, Cafe Richesse, and Kristel Liddle, LMT.

For more images from the day, please visit Erin Bibeau Photography. Or check out the Gnar Runners Facebook page for photo shares from other photographers out on the course.

Thank you all!

We look forward to seeing you again in 2017 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you July 23rd at the Never Summer 100km or at one of our shorter events. On September 10 we’ll be hosting the fourth running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 2 by the ninth 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.

Horsetooth Falls - 2016 Quad Rock 50 and 25 Trail Races

Runners dropping down to Spring Creek. Photo: Mahting Productions.

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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

NeverSummer2015-305-XL-SoGood

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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Quad Rock 2015 Post Race Wrap

The fourth running of the Quad Rock trail races will be one to remember. We schedule the event in early May for a number of different reasons, one being to avoid excessive heat. The flip side of that weather coin is that May is an unpredictable month. We dodged bullets the first three years, but took a direct hit this year with torrential downpours and a flooded course, forcing a race postponement. That excessive heat we try to avoid in May? Yeah, it was delivered for our June reschedule date.

Sunrise in Soldier Canyon at Lory State Park

Sensational colors over the cove at Soldier Canyon: Milan Klanjsek

Nonetheless, the race started out under perfect, nay, idilic conditions. The sunrise through the morning clouds was sensational, there was a light breeze and temperatures were reasonable. For the lead 25 mile runners this meant fast times. But by the time the new 25 mile course records had been set, the clouds had parted and the sun had taken control. For the rest of the day the course and runners would bake.

Congratulations to all our finishers for getting round on what is always a challenging course, but an extra nod of the head to those 50 milers who found the fortitude to get out there and complete a second lap, and also to our slower 25 mile runners who endured through the heat. Our 50 mile finisher rate was just 45%, easily our lowest to date.

In the 25 mile race, Mike Aish took full advantage of the reasonable early conditions and after a controlled first 10 miles surged to an impressive new course record of 3:17:29. Mike has an incredible running pedigree, including a couple of Olympic appearances, but his sights have been set on winning the Leadville 100 since retiring from the professional running scene a few years ago. He has come close the last couple of years, and he’ll try again this August. We wish him the best of luck. He’s clearly in great shape and you couldn’t find a more deserving guy.

Quad Rock 25 Mike Aish

Mike Aish on his way to a new course record in the Quad Rock 25 mile race.

Rounding out the men’s 25 mile podium was former CU Buff runner Seth Demoor (3:43:14) and last year’s second place finisher, Will Porter (3:43:27). Our master’s winner, Elijah Flenner (3:52:26), who lives less than 100 meters from the Horsetooth aid station, showed off his course knowledge with a strong run for sixth overall.

The women’s race was dominated by local runner Reese Ruland who shattered the course record and became the first lady to run the course in under four hours (3:58:07), good for 8th overall. Ginna Ellis (4:20:17) and Sarah Omann (4:30:34) rounded out the women’s podium.

Reese Ruland Course Record in the Quad Rock 25

Reese approaching the finish with a new CR. Photo: Joe Grant

As previously noted, the 50 mile field was somewhat decimated by the reschedule and heat. However, course record holder and veteran ultrarunner, Ryan Burch, wasn’t phased. He took advantage of the cooler early temperatures, making it to the turn in 3:42 (beating all but Mike Aish) and then hunkered down for the second-loop grind, finishing and winning in 8:17:49. Frank Pipp battled hard against the heat and cramps for his second place finish (8:38:16). He was followed in third by now-four-time-QR50 finisher, Mike Hinterberg (9:14:09). This was Mike’s slowest finish to date, yet his highest overall placement. And that’s why we race ’em. Scott Klopfenstein took home the master’s win with his 11:20:15 finish.

Ryan Burch Quad Rock 50 Win

Ryan on his way to his second QR50 win.

Mike Hinterberg 3rd Place Quad Rock 50

Mike Hinterberg taking things in stride on his way to an impressive third.

As in the men’s race, we had our first repeat winner in the women’s 50 mile race. Kerrie Bruxvoort is a veteran 50 mile racer and she showed that by running a smart and controlled race, staying on top of the heat with deliberate aid station stops and running a steady pace all day. Kerrie would finish sixth overall (10:11:18), almost 50 minutes slower than her 2013 win, and she looked comfortable doing it. Jeanne Cooper also ran a strong and controlled race for her second place finish (10:27:44), trailing Kerrie by a small margin all day but never quite being able to close the gap. Sandra Carpenter also appeared to take the heat in stride, looking as good as any finisher we saw all day in finishing third (11:41:38). Karen Smidt holds the QR50 master’s record and she showed her experience in taking home the master’s win (11:59:03), which was good for fourth overall woman.

Kerrie Bruxvoort Quad Rock 50 Win

Kerrie icing down at the 25 mile turn

Right behind Karen was our youngest 50 mile finisher (12:01:06), Solange Majewska, a CSU veterinary student from Singapore impressively running her first ever ultra. Almost exactly two hours after Solange, we welcomed home our last 50 mile finisher of the day, Catherine Dillon (14:01:35) from right here in Fort Collins. We received a nice email from Catherine after the race, which I think sums the day up nicely:

The volunteers were amazing and took such good care of all of the runners. They really played a large part in making the race the wonderful experience that it was. The race was an adventure I will never forget from rattlesnakes to supportive volunteers to an amazing sunrise and sunset. Coming in last felt like I won race.

We have always had exceptional community support from our volunteers, but this weekend they really showed off what a great trail running community we have here on the Front Range. Just about every runner that crossed that finish line praised the amazing support from our volunteers and cited them as one of the main reasons they were able to get the job done. We can’t thank our volunteers enough, but …. well …. THANK YOU. You were (and continue to be) the biggest source of compliments we get at all our races.

Quad Rock 50 Horsetooth Aid Station

Katie Robinson rallying her troops at the Horsetooth aid station before her first customers arrived.

Towers aid station volunteers cool off 2nd place 50-miler, Frank Pipp.

Towers aid station volunteers cool off 2nd place 50-miler, Frank Pipp. -Photo by Eric Lee.

Complete results with aid station splits have been posted online here.

And of course a big thank you to our very generous sponsors. Altra Running have stepped up this year to take on the Presenting Sponsor role for our 2015 race series and their support has been invaluable. Cornerstone Home Lending (Hunter Team) has supported the race from the outset and we continue to be indebted to Jim and his team. We had an Altra offer from our specialty run sponsor, Altitude Running, on the race bibs so check that out if you’re in the market for a pair of Altra running shoes. We also received amazing support this year from Steamboat Springs based Smartwool.

We’re also heavily indebted to our community sponsors, all of whom are linchpins in the local running community: Countryside Vet (Dr. Cat Speights), Justin Liddle DMDColorado Physical Therapist Specialists, and the Fort Collins Running Club.

On-course nutrition was provided by VFuel, while post-race nutrition was offered up by Whole Foods Fort Collins, Mary’s Mountain Cookies (Old Town), Boulder Beer and Great Harvest Bread Co. And working hard all day long under the recovery tent was masseuse and ultrarunning star Kristel Liddle. And of course, we say a very special thank you to our hosts, Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park who maintain some of the best trails on all of the Front Range.

Thank you all.

We look forward to seeing you again in 2016 – our tentative race date will be on Saturday, May 14th (pending permit approval). Or even better, we’d love to see you later in the summer at one of our shorter events. On September 5 we will be hosting the third running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 4 by the eighth running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.

Quad Rock 50 2nd Place Finisher Frank Pipp

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