Quad Rock Cancelled

Dear Runners – sorry to have to inform you that tomorrow’s race has been officially cancelled. We’ve done everything we can to work with park management, but unfortunately the parks will be closed to the entire public this weekend due to heavily saturated grounds and heavy rains today. Management could not make an exception for us.

We’ll follow up with additional details once we’ve had time to evaluate all of our possible options, including the potential for a rescheduled event.

Nick Clark and Pete Stevenson

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Final Quad Rock Race Instructions

With under a week to go until the fourth running of the Quad Rock25/50 Trail Races, some final thoughts and instructions:

Weather: The forecast for Saturday and pretty much the whole week leading up to the race is overcast with a chance of showers and/or thunderstorms. Current trail conditions are good, but that could change on lower sections of the course with significant rain. Our lines of communication are open with park managers and will remain so throughout the week. Should we need to organize a re-route then we have a number of contingency plans in place. We will keep you updated if significant course changes are required. Also keep an eye on the Gnar Runners Facebook page for additional updates. All final decisions are in the hands of park managers.

An optional packet pick up will be held at Altitude Running on Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Altitude is located at 150 East Harmony Road just north of the Harmony/College intersection on the south side of town. If you can, we ask that you come by Friday to pick up your race gear to help smooth race day parking and sign in. Those of you that can’t pick up packets and shirts Friday afternoon can do so with your bibs in the morning.

Bib numbers will be distributed race morning beginning at 4:00 a.m until 5:20 a.m. Please keep bib numbers visible during the race and the pull tag at the bottom intact. We will be pulling 50 miler bib tags at the 25 mile turn and at the finish.

The race will begin at 5:30 a.m. sharp, so we recommend you give yourself plenty of time to park (up to a half mile away from check-in), get your bib, and do whatever it is you do to get ready to run 25/50 miles. There are park toilets at the Timber parking lot (first one to fill on right as you come in), 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. If you park near one of these locations, please use those facilities to smooth race morning flow. 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. Lory Park will be open for parking at 4am. Carpools of two or more will be given priority parking close to the start at the Soldier Canyon trailhead. All others will be directed to the Timber trailhead parking area and 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 here. If the park roads are muddy, PLEASE watch your speed to reduce impact.

Horsetooth and start/finish drop bags must be dropped off by 5:15 a.m. There will be a short pre-race briefing five minutes before the start. Bib numbers will be assigned on the Ultrasignup entrant list by Thursday if you want to pre-label your drop bag with name and race number. Horsetooth drop bags will be returned to the start/finish area by 5:00 pm. 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’.

Boulder Beer will be providing Singletrack Ale and Buffalo Gold lager for the post-race BBQ. 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 brew will be available for $10 (cash). First beer is free for everyone, we then ask that you make a cash donation for additional beers. All proceeds will be donated to the Animal House Rescue along with race sponsorship funds from Countryside Animal Hospital.

Whole Foods Fort Collins will be providing a tasty quinoa salad to supplement the beer and BBQ fare. They’re also offering a chance to win $100 in free food: http://woobox.com/9tk4uw

Presenting sponsor Altra Running will be on hand after the race demo’ing their trail running line up. Check out your race bib for an Altitude Running offer on Altra Running shoes. Also check out the back of your bib for an offer from the Hunter Team at Cornerstone Home Lending. During the awards and raffle, we’ll be giving away some great stuff from other race sponsors including Smartwool and Ultimate Direction.

Massage and PT help from Colorado Physical Therapists will be available after the race. Please bring a layer or two for the post-race; the forecast is calling for a cooler day.

Course markings will be pink ribbons, hung every 1/4 mile or so, with a run of three ribbons leading up to and beyond each turn. Flour markings or red pin flags will supplement at key intersections.

In-race updates will be via the Gnar Twitter feed, and race results will be posted the evening of the race on the Quad Rock Ultrasignup page.

Activities for family and friends:

Trails are open to everyone to enjoy all day; however, crewing outside of designated areas 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. There will be a one km kids race (half (closed) road, half trail) beginning at 1:30.

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.

On behalf of Pete, myself (Nick), all of our race sponsors, and our outstanding battalion of volunteers, we look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.

Cheers!

Gnar Runners Event Management

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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 Station Mile
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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2015 Spring Training Runs

As we round the corner on winter and start looking forward to spring, it’s time to start putting in some longer miles in preparation for the summer racing season. To help get those long training runs banked, we’ll be organizing a few spring outings through March and April, including a loop of the Quad Rock course on April 11.

As we did last year, we’ll be hosting an informal Quad Rock Training Run from the race start/finish area at Soldier Canyon in Lory State Park. There will be multiple mileage options, from the full 25 mile loop to shorter, abbreviated versions of the course. We’ll look to get started at 8:30 on Saturday April 11. We’ll be providing burgers and veggie burgers for a post-run BBQ. Park regulations limit beers to 3.2, if you want to bring something to drink. If you want to chip in for the cost of food & site rental, we’ll have a donation jar, proceeds from which will go to race beneficiaries: Animal House Rescue, LCSAR, and Friends of Lory State Park. As an added bonus, Altra Running will be at the BBQ to demo their Superior 2.0, Lone Peak 2.0 and Olympus trail running shoes.

Details

Date: April 11th.
Start: 8:30am at the Soldier Canyon Trailhead at Lory State Park.
BBQ Potluck: 1:00pm – 4:00pm (please bring something to share or a few dollars to contribute for picnic area rental, BBQ supplies, food and other misc.) Only 3.2% beer is allowed in the park.
Fees: No registration is required. Runners are responsible for their own park entrance fee ($7 day use per car if you don’t already have an annual state park pass. Carpooling strongly recommended.)

Other Runs

Kicking things off on March 21, there will be a run of between 21 and 36 miles around Horsetooth Reservoir. Dubbed March Mileage Madness, the run starts from Alex May’s house on the west side of Fort Collins. The shortest route – via the valley trails on the west side of the reservoir – is 21 miles, while the longest route which heads up into the hills of Horsetooth and Lory on the west side is about 36 miles with a good bit of climbing. Routes can be altered to find a middle ground between the two distances. Watch for updates on this one via the Fort Collins Trail Runner list.

round-up-profile 2

29-30 miles & 10k’ of vert. Good Lord!

A week later, we’ll be meeting at the Round Mountain trailhead for a run on the infamous “Round Mountain Ladder,” a 30 mile, 10,000 foot jaunt up and down Round Mountain just west of Loveland. Although it’s only 4.5 miles to the summit, we squeeze 30 miles out of the mountain by out-and-backing from each of the mile markers along the way, with a final summit at the end. The group dynamic of this workout is invaluable in getting the work done. Shorter versions of the workout include: out and backs to mile 1, mile 3, and the summit; or 2, 4, summit; double summit; single summit, etc. This one is scheduled for 6:30am from the Round Mountain trailhead on Saturday March 28.

April 4, we’ll be meeting at the Rainbow trailhead for a triple summit of Crosier Mountain, aka the “Crosier Triple Bagger,” a 26 mile, 8,500 foot day on Crosier Mountain that hits the summit three times from each of the three trailheads that services the mountain. Shorter (or longer) variations of the theme are also encouraged.

The training runs are open to all abilities and regardless of whether or not you are signed up for Quad Rock in May. We hope to see you at one or all of them.

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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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Quad Rock 2014 Post-Race Wrap

Jack Jewel

Jack Jewel. All images: Erin Bibeau

A huge and sincere congratulations to everyone who came out to toe the line last weekend, from the ultra veterans to the trail racing first-timers who chose to make Quad Rock their first 25 or 50 mile trail race.

We had perhaps the best weather yet for the third running of the Quad Rock Trail Races, and while it still wasn’t perfect, with a couple of afternoon rain showers, we’re getting closer every year. Next year we’re shooting for all day bluebird skies.

Becky Wheerler - Quad Rock 2014 Champ

Becky on her way to setting a new course record: First lady under nine hours.

For this rendition of the Quad Rock Trail races, we had some fast finishers, a course record and a whole bunch of individual PRs.

At the front of the field, we had some exciting racing action. In the women’s 50-mile race, Becky Wheeler (Casper, WY) came away with the win after running a consistently strong pace all morning long. She picked off Darcy Africa with less than 10 miles to go, finishing under nine hours by just two seconds and setting a stout new course record in the process. We’re awarding her the ‘run of the day.’ Darcy held on for second, coming in 11 minutes later (also under the former CR), with Emily Judd rounding out the top three in 9:41.

Darcy Africa - Quad Rock 2014

Darcy Africa

Defending champion Kerry Bruxvoort ended up dropping down to the 25-mile distance and was quick enough over one lap to claim the 25-mile victory. Local favorite, Sarah Hansen (4:17) was the first registered 25 miler across the finish line, which was good for second overall. Becca Hall from Evergreen, CO rounded out the top three, finishing 15 minutes after Sarah.

 

Sarah Hansen

Sarah Hansen

The men’s 50-mile field featured a mix of experience and youthful exuberance, with the older, wiser heads prevailing on this day. Littleton’s Jim Rebenack looked smooth all morning, and showed his experience over course and distance with a comfortable win (7:52) in his third Quad Rock run. Jared Hazen was close all morning, but dropped from the race at mile 40. Both Jim and Jared beat the 25-mile racers to the turnaround. Montana’s Jesse Langner paced a great race to finish second, closely followed by Bryan Williams who moved through the field to finish in an impressive third, improving significantly on his ninth-place finish from last year. Ryan Burch’s now three year-old course record continues to stand the test of time.

Jim Rebenack - Quad Rock 2014

Jim Rebenack Leads Jared Hazen

In the 25-mile race, Jared Hazen (3:39) was credited with the win after dropping down from the 50 mile race, and he was followed by Boulder’s Will Porter in second,  and local Jonathan Garcia in third.

There were 132 finishers in the 50-mile race, with approximately a third of the field calling it a day after 25 miles, bumping finisher numbers in that race up to 226 for 358 total finishers.

Pearl Izumi Quad Rock 2014

Jack Pilla representing Pearl Izumi

Of course, we couldn’t put on the kind of race we aspire to put on without the magnificent help of our sponsors and volunteers. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to live a town where people don’t need to be asked to volunteer because hanging outside at an aid station, marking or tearing down a course, or helping with any other number of necessary jobs is their idea of fun. To our volunteers, a MASSIVE thank you; you were (and continue to be) the biggest source of compliments we get from Quad Rock runners.

Runner Roost - Quad Rock 2014

Roost was in the house: Oza Klanjsek

And of course a big thank you to our very generous sponsors. Both Pearl Izumi and Cornerstone Home Lending (Hunter Team) have supported the race from the outset and we couldn’t do it without them, and we ask that you consider supporting them if you’re in the market for high-quality race apparel and shoes, or a home mortgage.

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 DMD, and Colorado Physical Therapist Specialists. On-course nutrition was provided by VFuel, electrolyte replacement by Succeed S!Caps, and post-race schwag by Smith Optics, NB Sports Monitors and Ultraspire Hydration. As always, Runners Roost Fort Collins came through in a big way with equipment, supplies and post race awards. We had beer from local brewery Pateros Creek and killer cookies and cinnamon rolls from Great Harvest Bread Co.

Thank you all.

For more images from the day, please visit Erin Bibeau Photography. Digital images are available for download starting at 99 cents and print options are available too.

Liddle & Goding

Goding & Liddle

And a final note: if you left anything behind at the race, there is a good chance it is hanging out at Runners Roost in the lost and found pile.

We look forward to seeing you again in 2015 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you later in the summer at one of our shorter events. On September 6 we will be hosting the second running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 5 by the seventh running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.

Be GNARful out there!

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