North Diamond. Pic: Ben Barthel.
We’d like to offer a huge congratulations to all those runners who came together on Saturday July 22 to take on the third running of the Never Summer 100km. We love to see our finishers come across the finish line, so we were especially happy this year to be able to welcome home a record number of finishers. In helping get runners across the line, we owe a special debt of gratitude to our wonderful volunteers who came out en masse to help competitors reach their goals. Congratulations runners and thank you volunteers.
When it was all said and done, 226 of the race’s 289 starters made it back to the Gould Community Center before the 5:30am cutoff. This represents a record 78 percent finisher rate. Of those finishers, 29 joined the Sunset Club by making it home without the use of a headlamp (15.5 hours). This includes our first two female members of the club, Alyson Kirk and Heidi Sauerland. We hope to see many more ladies join the club in the coming years.
No matter how far along the course you got, or indeed at what time you finished, we sincerely hope you enjoyed your experience in the beautiful mountains of Northern Colorado.
– Results with full aid station splits are available here.
– Race images:
Heidi Sauerland finishing second. No headlamp required. Pic: Erin Bibeau
Alyson Kirk, now three-time winner. Pic: Erin Bibeau
In both the men’s and women’s races new overall records were set. For the men, Tyler Fox from Boulder, CO took home top honors in a new course best of 12:11:10. He was followed home by Clark Messman (12:28:14) who posted the race’s second fastest time ever. Rounding out the men’s podium was Estes Park’s Kevin Sturmer who came home in 12:58:57.
Rob Raguet-Schofield lets it fly and finishes sixth overall, first from Fort Collins. Pic: Erin Bibeau
Tyler Fox (right) and Clark Messman go 1 & 2 in CR fashion. Pic: Erin Bibeau
In the women’s race, two-time defending champion Alyson Kirk bettered her 2016 time by a whopping one hour and four minutes to come home with a third Never Summer 100km title in a new course record time of 14:42:23. Although Alyson led from start to finish, she was pushed the whole way by Steamboat Springs’ Heidi Sauerland who posted the race’s second fastest time ever (15:10:59). Moab resident Meghan Hicks was our third place finisher, recording the race’s fourth fastest time ever, coming home in 15:53:50.
A fast year all around.
Heather Jossi on her way to a masters win. Pic: Joey Schrichte
The master’s categories (40-49) were won by Jesse Rickert and Heather Jossi. Heather, a newly minted master’s runner and three-time finisher of the event, ran her fastest time yet in winning the master’s category, taking over 45 minutes off her best to finish in 17:27:19. Jesse Rickert came within three minutes of taking down Elijah Flenner’s 2016 master’s record, finishing in a speedy 13:19:34 to finish an impressive fourth overall.
In the grandmasters division (50+), it was Junko Kazukawa who took home top honors in a time of 18:26:13. For the men, it was Fort Collins’ Steve Chaffee bringing home the grandmaster’s hardware in a time of 17:44:38.
In the youngest and oldest categories, we had new records on both ends of the spectrum with Julian Cazares of Federal Heights CO finishing in 18:06:16 at the age of 20 and Joe Burleson of Erie, CO getting it done in 23:12:19 at the 67 years young.
Grandmasters winner Junko Kazukawa having fun at the American Lakes. Pic: Erin Bibeau
In recognition of the challenge that the course presents to all runners, we also give out a Final Finisher award for the runner that shows the most dogged persistence in being out there the longest. We were delighted to be able to hand off that award to Michelle Leong, one of many who made trip north from the Lone Star state. Michelle beat the buzzer by 11 minutes in a time of 23:49:09.
We also like to make sure that we recognize our volunteers appropriately at the post-race breakfast awards ceremony by giving out the Never Summer Trail Boss award. While this award is given to one person who has shown particular dedication to the race, it is offered in the spirit of a broader recognition of the whole volunteer team who come together before, during and after the race. This year, we were honored to be able to recognize Bryan Bibeau as our 2017 Trail Boss for his dedication to race communications over the last three years.
Bryan Bibeau (seated) heading up the event communications team. Pic: Erin Bibeau
As always, the volunteer support that we received for the event was – quite frankly – outstanding, and testimony to the special place the mountains of Northern Colorado hold in the hearts of the local outdoors community. Thanks to each and every one of you. And a special thank you to:
- The Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club and their team of ham radio operators all of whom went above and beyond in ensuring that we had radio contact from every aid station on course, in addition to between medical and park staff.
- The Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol for offering up a team of skilled volunteers with first responder training and an intimate knowledge of the Never Summer and Medicine Bow Mountains.
- State Forest State Park (SFSP) and their incredible staff of park rangers. We have received nothing but enthusiasm from SFSP in the years of planning and executing this event, and their professionalism on race weekend was second to none.
- The Fort Collins Trail Runners. Though completely informal in affiliation, this group of trail running enthusiasts has been the backbone of the Gnar Runners operation from its inception. A continued Thank You to you all.
- Poudre Valley Hospital’s team of medical professionals for going above and beyond in coordinating our emergency medical plans.
- The Gould Community Association for their support and the use of the Gould Community Center.
- The Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center for preparing both your post-race meal and awards breakfast.
Team Canada. Pic: Erin Bibeau
And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!
Top tier support from:
Contributing support from:
Generous product support from:
VFuel, New Belgium, Mary’s Mountain Cookies, Trader Joe’s, Squirrel’s Nut Butter, Boulder Organic and the Great Harvest Bread Company.
For more images from the day, please visit Erin Bibeau Photography and Joey Schrichte Photography. Digital images are available for download starting at 99 cents and print options are available too.
We look forward to seeing you again in 2018, tentatively on the weekend of July 28-29. We’d also love to see you later in the year 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 TENTH running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon.
Remember, if you finish all four events in the calendar year you become a Gnar Slammer and receive an end-of-season award in addition to free entry into the following year’s Quad Rock. We will be updating our Gnar Slam page this week, with a list of all those in contention for the 2017 Slam.
Thank you all!
Tyler Fox leading on Montgomery Ridge. Pic: Ben Barthel
Pic: Erin Bibeau