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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Quad Rock 2015, Take 2, Final Instructions

With just a few days to go until the (rescheduled) fourth running of the Quad Rock 25/50 Trail Races, some final thoughts and instructions:

Weather: The forecast for Sunday is looking warm, with a high in the low 80s and clear skies. Please plan your race-day hydration needs accordingly.

An optional packet pick up will be held at Altitude Running on Saturday from 4:00 to 7:00 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 Saturday 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 Saturday afternoon can do so with your bibs on race morning.

Bib numbers will be distributed race morning beginning at 4:00 a.m until 5:15 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 5:30a.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, and at the bottom of the Soldier Canyon lot near the start. If you park near one of these locations, please use those facilities if you can. 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 are here (http://gnarrunners.com/quad-rock-50/parking-and-directions/). 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 Friday 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 (http://gnarrunners.com/quad-rock-50/aid-stations/).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 are 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.

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 (http://gnarrunners.com/quad-rock-50/course-description/).

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

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

Cheers!

Gnar Runners Event Management

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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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