2018 Quad Rock Competition Preview

It’s looking like we’ll have fast running weather for the 2018 Quad Rock 50 & 25 Mile Trail Races. And with fast fields in all four races, we feel like a few of the races’ course records might come under a bit of pressure this weekend.

Here are a few names to look out for on the race Twitter feed (@gnar_runners, #quadrock #QR25 #QR50) and via the OpenSplitTime race tracking site.

Women’s 50 Mile Race:

2017 Quad Rock 25 Female Podium

Ginna Ellis, Taylor Nowlin and Abby Mitchell

We saw an incredible race last year, with all three of our podium finishers going under the previous course record. Marianne Hogan ended up beating out Kaci Lickteig to reset the women’s mark at 8:29:27. And while none of last year’s podium finishers will be toeing the line this year, we’ve still got a potential barn burner on tap. Former Ultrarunner of the Year, Michele Yates will be continuing her comeback from injury and will be among the favorites on the start line. She will be joined by two-time US Mountain Running Champion Addie Bracy who is dipping her toe into the ultra running world with a second go at the 50 mile distance after an impressive second-place debut at the Behind The Rocks 50 Miler earlier this spring. Nikki Kimball has an incredible race resume to her name, including multiple Western States 100 mile wins. We’re excited to have her on the start line as she gets ready for the 2018 Hardrock 100. We’re also excited to have an equally experienced and decorated Suzanna Bon toeing the line. Should any of the above falter, look for local favorite and winner of many a local race, Jenn Malmberg, to pick up the pieces.

Men’s 50 Mile Race:

Boulder’s Ryan Smith reset the 50 mile course record at an incredibly fast 7:20:27 in 2016, some 20 minutes quicker than Ryan Burch’s record from the inaugural running of the event in 2012. Those likely to be pushing the pace this year include an unbeaten (over 3 races) Bobby Peavey, 2017 second place finisher Daniel Metzger, Oregon speedster Duncan Hoge, two-time podium finisher Frank Pipp, the guy who always punches above his weight Nick Pedatella, and holders of all manner of segment CRs on the Quad Rock course Elijah Flenner and (Cookie) Mike Neal. We’ve also been informed by one of our Twitter correspondents to keep an eye out for Gavin Coombs.

Women’s 25 Mile Race:

Reese Ruland is the only woman to have gone under 4 hours in the 25 mile race (3:58:07, 2015). While she will not be running this year, second to Reese in 2015 and second fastest ever over one loop is three-time podium finisher Ginna Ellis, who is back on the starting line this Saturday and perhaps starting as favorite. Ginna will be pushed by two former 50 mile Quad Rock winners, Becky Wheeler & Kerrie Bruxvoort. In addition, Boulder’s Abby Levene (winner of last year’s Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50k), Longmont’s Becky Lynn (winner Pike’s Peak Ultra 50) and Windsor’s Katharine Kissane (winner 2017 Steamboat 50) will all be challenging for podium spots.

Men’s 25 Mile Race:

Chris Mocko

2017 Blue Sky Trail Marathon champion, Chris Mocko

Michael Aish holds the two fastest 25 mile times with a best of 3:17:29 dating back to 2015. He will not be back this year, but Brent Kocis will be back to defend his 2017 title (3:28:07). Pushing Brent will be last year’s Blue Sky Trail Marathon winner Chris Mocko, former 50 mile record holder and local favorite Ryan Burch, Boulder youngster (and speedster) Jackson Brill, and 2017 Never Summer 100k Trail Race champ Tyler Fox. Add in previous Blue Sky Champ Sam Malmberg and dark horse, Chris Copenhaver, and we’ve got ourselves a race!

We’re looking forward to watching the action unfold. Be sure to check into the gnar_runners Twitter feed during the day for lead updates, pictures and commentary. And for aid station splits across the whole field, we’ll be doing our best to post as close to real time as we can on OpenSplitTime.org.

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Quad Rock 2018 Pre-Race Information

With a week to go until the 7th 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, but as we’ve learned from previous years, anything can happen. It’s spring time in the Rockies. Be prepared for heat, cold, sun, or rain. 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 will be following the same 2017 re-route this year due to an eagle-nesting closure on the Spring Creek trail. The re-route 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 than the original route, 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 on site demo’ing their latest offerings, including the new S/LAB Ultra. Altitude Running will be offering 15% off any Salomon or Drymax Socks products bought at the store. There will also be a coupon on the back of your race bib that is good for 15% off Drymax and Salomon products bought at the store after the race.

Bibs will not be handed out at Friday packet pickup. If you can, we ask that you come by Friday to pick up your race shirt, schwag, and any pre-ordered merchandise 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 – 5:00 for 50 milers and from 6:00 – 7:30 for 25 milers.

The 50 mile race will begin at 5:30am and the 25 mile race will begin at 8:00am

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.

**New Soldier Turnaround Aid Station for 50 Milers**
50 Milers will not check through the finish line at the 25 mile Soldier Canyon Aid station. All 50 Milers will be directed to the new aid location next to the shed by the race start to check in and out after the first lap. Drop out times will be recorded and 25 mile finisher awards will be handed out at the aid station for any 50 miler who decides to stop after the first lap. Drop outs should not run through the finish line to avoid confusing our timing staff. 

**New 25 Mile Early Start Option**
If you think you will need more than 9 hours to finish the 25 mile race, you can start with the 50 milers at 5:30am. Arthur’s Aid Station at mile 17.5 will close at the 50 mile cut off at 2:10pm and anyone over a 9 hour pace will not make make it on time.
Please email racedirector@gnarrunners.com to request the 5:30am start option.

Bib numbers must be worn on the front and visible at all times. Please do not remove, fold, or pin your bib tag – this will be used for your official finish time. 

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 50-mile 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 (while spots last). 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 Spur Road. Parking on the Lodgepole Spur Road 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. 
**Horsetooth trailhead parking is not guaranteed for crews as it is a very busy trailhead that fills early every weekend. If you need any specific items that aren’t provided by our aid station, make sure you include them in your drop bag.**

Bib numbers will be assigned on the Ultrasignup entrant list and on OpenSplitTime by end of day 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.

This year at the post-race BBQ we will have beer from New Belgium Brewing (Fat Tire Amber Ale). 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-Op, Boulder Organic SoupMary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest buns, fruit, and lots of other goodies.

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 (gnar_runners, #QR50), and we will be attempting to publish aid station split updates to OpenSplitTime.org; however, 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.

** Please note that if the weather is nice, both Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park may reach capacity. Parking space at Horsetooth or Arthur’s trailheads is not guaranteed. Crews and spectators are highly encouraged to meet at the starting line after the start of each race to try to carpool together to the Horsetooth aid station. 

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!


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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2017 Blue Sky Marathon Pre-Race Details

The 10th running of the Blue Sky Trail Marathon is less than a week away. Hopefully your training has been on point and you’re ready for a strong run.

All information relevant to the event is available from the race website here. In addition, we’d like to bring your attention to a few key details.

The weather forecast for Saturday is showing daytime highs near 60 degrees, which would be ideal; however, the forecast during the week up to Friday looks decidedly warmer with highs in the mid-70s. The Blue Sky course is very exposed over the last 18 miles and the trail can get pretty toasty, so please plan accordingly if the warmer temperatures carry over to the weekend.

An optional packet pickup will be available on Friday from 4pm to 7pm at Altitude Running. We will be handing out bibs on race morning to ensure we have an accurate list of starters. Altitude Running is located at: 150 E Harmony Rd on the northeast corner of College and Harmony.

Packet and bib pickup will be available on race morning at the Blue Sky trailhead from 5:30am to 6:30am.

Limited parking is available at the Blue Sky trailhead by the race start for carpools of two or more *runners* (55 spaces, first come, first serve) and additional parking will be at the Marina off Shoreline Drive, 3/4 of a mile from the start. If you are driving solo and parking in the Marina, please give yourself adequate time to get from your car to the start. Race day parking passes will be handed out when you arrive at the Marina or Blue Sky trailhead entrance.

Runner Drop Off will be just off Shoreline Drive around the corner from the Blue Sky Trailhead. 

**Parking is not allowed anywhere on 38E, along Shoreline Drive, or on any connecting residential street.**

Additional details and a map of the parking setup is available on the race website here.

We will have a start/finish gear drop area, if you want to avoid heading back to your car before the race starts – or think you might need or want to drop or pickup something when coming back through at mile 9.2 of the race after the Horsetooth loop. Bags should be labeled (we’ll have duct tape and sharpies at the start). There are no other drop bag locations on course.

The race will start promptly at 7:00am.

We have added a 10am cut off at the mile 9.2 Blue Sky aid station. Indian Summer South cut off times will remain the same as previous years at 12:30pm outbound (15.6 miles) and 1:45pm inbound (20.3 miles). 

Aid stations will be checking bib numbers. Please make sure your bib is visible from the front. It would also be helpful if you could call out your number as you leave and/or enter the aid station.

This is a cup-less race. We ask that all runners carry a water bottle or hydration pack for refills at the aid stations. Be sure you have adequate carrying capacity so you can hydrate adequately between aid stations

One of several well stocked aid stations.

The four aid stations (six total, as the two Indian Summer aid stations are visited twice) will have water, VFuel sports drink (Cool Lime or Black Cherry Cola), in addition to assorted snacks and fruit. The first Towers aid station will have water and Vfuel drink only.

We will have VFuel bulk gel (Mountain Berry, Cool Citrus, and Vanilla) at the start of the race and at the Blue Sky aid station at mile 9.2. Bring your own flask to fill if you would like to use gel from the aid stations during the race – packets will not be available.

The South Hunter turnaround is a checkpoint only – no water or aid. A volunteer will be marking bibs as people come through to make sure the loop is completed.

As a courtesy to other runners on the trail (and per the terms of our insurance policy), we ask that you not wear headphones.

Please pocket any trash and dispose of it at aid stations or at the start/finish.

Trails are open to the public. Watch for bikers and yield to horses.

We’ll be offering a full post-race BBQ with beef burgers and vegan burgers and soup from Boulder Organic (both gluten free and vegan options). Also look for Mary’s Mountain CookiesGreat Harvest cinnamon buns, and New Belgium beer.

The BBQ is free to all participants. If you did not purchase extra tickets with your registration, additional meals can be purchased at the BBQ for family and friends for a $10 donation to The Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center, one of the race beneficiaries.

In addition to finisher awards, we have overall and age group awards (Open: under 40, outside top three; Masters: 40-49, outside top three; Grandmasters: 50+). We have gift cards to Altitude Running for award winners, Salomon running shoes for overall winners and a smorgasbord of sponsor gear to give away in the post-awards raffle. We will also be recognizing the 2017 Gnar Slam finishers and Blue Sky Five-Year Finishers. 

PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Colorado in Motion.

Thank you as always to our fabulous race sponsors in helping us make this event possible:

Salomon RunningColorado in MotionJustin Liddle DMDDrymax SocksAltitude RunningCountryside Animal Hospital, and the Fort Collins Running Club.

Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters. Please consider supporting these businesses that support our races.

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

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

Nick & Pete
Gnar Runners, LLC
racedirector@gnarrunners.com
Twitter/Instagram: @gnar_runners
www.facebook.com/gnarrunners


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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2017 Black Squirrel Pre-Race Information

Black Squirrel Trail Half MarathonAll information relevant to the 5th running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon is available on the race website. Here are a few final details and reminders.

The current weather forecast is showing a race-day high in the high 80s. Please make sure you have adequate carrying capacity for your hydration needs between aid stations. Water cups will not be provided at the aid stations.

The three race aid stations will be stocked with water and V-Fuel sports drink. The Arthur’s aid station – visited twice – will also carry snacks and fruit.

Packet pickup will be available on Friday afternoon from 4pm to 7pm at Altitude Running located at 150 E Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80525 (northeast corner of College and Harmony). We will be distributing bib numbers, race Tshirts, Squirrels Nut Butter samples, Justin Liddle DMD toothbrushes, and will have additional Gnar Runners and Black Squirrel merchandise for sale. 

Packet pickup will also be available on race morning from 5:15am to 6:30am.

The race will start promptly at 7:00am. There will be a short pre-race briefing at 6:50am.

Late arrivals will need to walk up to a mile to the start from the overflow parking at the Eltuck Picnic area, so we recommend getting to Lory State Park no later than 6:00am if you need to check in on race morning.

Parking at the Soldier Canyon start/finish area (limited to 50-60 cars) is reserved for carpools of two or more runners. All other cars will be directed to park on the Lodgepole loop road or at the Timber trailhead lot. If you can, please arrange a carpool with friends – or try the Fort Collins Trail Runner Facebook page

Parking passes will be handed out at the park entrance when you arrive.

Bibs must be visible from the front. Please do not remove your pull tag.

Dogs are welcome on leash with family and friends at the start/finish area, but we ask that you not run with your dog during the race.

Please pocket any trash and dispose of it at aid stations or at the start/finish.

Black Squirrel Trail Half BBQTrails are open to the public. Watch for bikers and yield to horses and hikers.

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

After you finish, stick around for our post race party and Great Harvest pancake breakfast. Vegan and gluten free options will be available thanks to the Fort Collins Food Co-Op. We’ll also have lots of other goodies from Mary’s Mountain Cookies, Trader Joe’s, and Fat Tire beer from New Belgium Brewing.

Additional post-race food and beer for family and friends can be purchased for a $10 cash donation to our post-race beneficiary, the CSU Food & Nutrition Club, if not already purchased with registration.

Home Fried Boogaloo will be serving up funk flavored with Jazz, Soul, R&B, Boogaloo, and Go Go.

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

In addition to finisher awards and T-shirts, we will also be giving out unique overall and age group awards to the top three (male and female) in the following categories: overall, under 40, masters (40 – 49), and grandmasters (50+). We’ll also have some other sponsor gear and goodies to raffle off during and after the awards.

Massage and PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Colorado in Motion, Erin Mader, and Blue Phoenix Massage.

Thank you to our very generous top sponsors: Salomon Running, Colorado in Motion, Justin Liddle DMD, Drymax SocksAltitude Running, Countryside Animal Hospital, and the Fort Collins Running Club for their support in helping make this event possible.

Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters. Please consider supporting these businesses who support the race.

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

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

Pete Stevenson & Nick Clark


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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2017 Never Summer 100km Runner and Crew Update

Before we set you on your way next weekend, we want to bring your attention to some final race instructions and reminders. 

New This Year

Safety and Communications

The event is taking place in a remote and mountainous part of Northern Colorado. As such, runner safety is our top priority. We will be tracking runners via ham radio communications at every aid station, so please be sure to check your bib number with volunteers at each and every stop along the way. If you need to drop out, you *must* notify the closest aid station captain and turn over your race bib before you leave the course. If you don’t officially check out of the race, we will assume you are missing on course.

For added safety, we will have first responders at every aid station and a team of backcountry paramedics located at strategic points along the course. It would be helpful to write any allergies or medical conditions on the back of your race bib to help first responders in assessing any given situation in the unlikely event of emergency.

There is cell phone coverage (at least with Verizon) in most high areas with a clear view to the west so runners who carry phones can get messages out to crew (text is best) periodically and may be able to make a call in the case of emergency. Potential hazards on course include: high altitude; steep, technical and rough terrain; downed trees and other obstacles; wildlife (cattle, moose, bears in particular); significant temperature changes from daytime heat to overnight cold; storms and lightning; and dense vegetation that may trigger allergic reactions.

Our 24 hour cut off is generous and should allow everyone enough time to get to the finish safely. With that in mind, we ask that you watch out for your fellow runners on course and run a smart and safe race.

Highway Crossings

There are two crossings of Highway 14 during the course of the race. One at mile 18, just after the Diamond aid station, and one at mile 62 just after the Ranger Lakes aid station. Traffic will not stop for runners and cars and trucks may be traveling in excess of 55 MPH (the posted speed limit). Runners are required to follow the instructions of road crossing volunteers who will be directing you safely across the road. Crews are not permitted to park on the hard shoulder of Hwy 14 under any circumstances.

Course Markings

The route will be well marked with pink flagging; pink and white pin flags; black and yellow turn signs; and flour at key turns. Night-time marking from the Clear Lake aid station to the finish will be a combination of white reflectors and LED lights. For nighttime navigation, we recommend as powerful a light setup as you have. And don’t forget backup lighting and/or batteries.

Parts of the course involve cross country travel. In these areas there will be flagging in line of sight at all times, so all runners who pay attention should have no problem staying on course. On more obvious parts of the course, confidence markers will be hung approximately every quarter mile and at every trail or road junction. With that said, there are many game trails, cow paths, and logging cuts on parts of the course that could lead you astray if you’re not paying attention. Never assume and always follow the course markings.

Detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions are available to print from the race website and the full course GPS files are available to download. It wouldn’t hurt to have this backup information with you if you are not familiar with the area. Please remember to print the information you need before leaving for the race. We will not have hard copies available to hand out to all runners at the start and will not have the ability to download and print documents on site.

Tricky Turns

The right turn off the Montgomery Road onto the Yurt trail at approximately mile 26 (~9,600′) is easily missed if you zone out coming down the jeep road from the Medicine Bow Ridge. It will be heavily flagged and flour’ed, but if you get to the Montgomery Yurts, you have gone too far. Turn around and retrace a third of a mile.

There may be a short overlap (for an eighth of a mile) between the first and last runners on the Ruby Jewel Rd (mile ~29 out, ~53 back). Runners heading outbound (north) from the Montgomery Aid to the Ruby Jewel Aid will turn right onto the Ruby Jewel road and proceed right up the road to the Yurt aid station. Front runners coming south from the Canadian Yurt will turn right to head down the Ruby Jewel Road towards the turn for the Lumberjack Trail. This junction will be heavily and unambiguously marked (likely with a course marshal), so there should be no cause for confusion. Nonetheless, everyone should be aware of these junctions to make sure that you can follow the route without guidance from a volunteer.

Drop Bags

We have 5 aid stations where you can leave a drop bag with essential supplies that you are unable to get from our aid stations. Drop bags can be left at the start on race morning and during Friday check in. Please keep your bags to a reasonable size (small duffel bag or stuff sack) as volunteers will need to transport these for you. Please do not use coolers, buckets, or other large hard plastic containers and do not pack any breakable glass or valuables in your drop bags.

Crew Details (http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/aid-stations/)

The route and all access points are entirely within the boundaries of State Forest State Park, so all crew vehicles are required to purchase a park pass ($7) in order to access crew areas if they do not have an annual Colorado State Parks pass. Passes are available at the main park entrance, the Moose Visitor Center, or at the self-pay station on the Lake Agnes Road.

To save parking space at the start, we ask that crews drop off runners at the entrance to the Gould Community Center (the start area) and park .5 miles west at the Moose Visitor Center and walk over on the short connector trail. Crews can use the extra parking at the Visitor Center after hours before 9am and after 5pm. In the unlikely event that we run out of parking space at the finish, there is another large parking turn out off the highway about 1 mile to the east of the start that connects with the Gould trail leading to the finish.

Parking is allowed anywhere on park roads as long as vehicles do not block traffic and do not block any access gates.

Important Crew Notes

  • Diamond Aid: all crew parking will be at the pullout by the aid station or on the south side of the Lake Agnes access road leading to the aid station. There is absolutely no parking on Hwy 14.
  • Ruby Jewel: Crew vehicles are permitted to drive a mile up the Ruby Jewel Rd as far as the junction with the Francisco Loop Forest Road (a left turn off Ruby Jewel Rd). Parking will be on the right side of Ruby Jewel Rd (below Francisco Rd) or on the right side of Francisco Road, but will not be allowed on the Ruby Jewel Road past the Francisco Road. Please park as tightly to the side of the road as possible so all additional park visitor traffic and race vehicles can pass through unimpeded. From the Francisco Road, it is a little less than a mile hike/run up the Ruby Jewel Road to the aid location and crew access point at the Ruby Jewel Yurt. Additional parking space is available at the start of the Ruby Jewel Rd off of the main park road. It is just under 2 miles to the aid station from this location. 
  • Crew vehicles should not enter the Bockman campground (near the Bockman aid station) – especially after dark – unless they have a camp spot. We will have a port-a-john at the aid location. Additionally, there is a public bathroom and water pump on the main park road by the Michigan Reservoir on the way to the Boackman, Ruby Jewel, Clear Lake and Canadian aid stations.
  • Dogs with crew must be leashed at all times. Please keep dogs out of the aid stations and out of the runner lanes to avoid interfering with volunteers or tripping runners.
  • Crews and pacers should plan to bring their own water and food for the weekend. Gas and food is very limited in the area. The nearest gas is in Walden, 25 miles from Gould. There is a small store with snacks at the North Park RV campground by the main entrance to the Park. There is also a small store with ice, drinks and snacks in Gould off Hwy 14 a few miles west of the race start/finish. 

Pacing (http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/race-rules/):

Pacers are allowed starting at the Clear Lake aid station (mile 39.4 or 43.9). Runners over the age of 60 can pick up a pacer at the Ruby Jewel aid station. Clear Lake access is a 5 mile hike/run in from the trailhead at the north end of the main park road (CO 41). Pacers heading to Clear Lake to pace should be made aware that there is a junction a little over a mile from the trailhead (just up the road from the Canadian aid location) that indicates a left for trail access to Clear Lake and a right for road access. The quickest way to the aid location is to take the right fork following the forest road. This could be somewhat confusing as course markers will be coming in from the left off the trail (the race route from Clear Lake to the next aid station). If pacers follow the course markings and trail to the aid location (i.e. take a left at the junction), the run/hike in will be closer to 7.5 miles.

If you plan to have a pacer meet you at the Canadian Yurt aid station, the hike in is less than a mile and the aid station will be located at the junction of the Clear Lake Road and the Canadian Yurt Trail.

The Bockman aid station is accessible from the park road, and is about a half mile shy of the Bockman Campground. If you have somebody pacing you from Bockman, try to arrange a carpool to avoid crowding the area with too many parked cars. The aid station is just a small pull off on the Bockman Rd.

Pacers are there to provide company, moral support, but are primarily allowed for added safety for runners after dark. Muling (schlepping runner gear) and crewing outside of designated aid stations, or providing any other assistance is not allowed.

Pacers may not have extra drop bags – any extra items that a pacer needs must be packed in the runner’s drop bag.

Pacers should plan to bring whatever water and food that they need while waiting for their runner to arrive. While on course with their runner, pacers may make full use of our aid stations.

Race and Aid Station Pacing

Results and aid station splits from the last two years are available here: http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/results/.

A pacing spreadsheet/calculator with course notes from a run through prior to the inaugural race is available here:
http://gnarrunners.com/2015/07/never-summer-100k-course-preview-pacing-estimates/

Awards, Post Race Food and Runner Breakfast 

We will be offering a Great Harvest pancake breakfast during the awards and prize giving on Sunday morning, beginning at 10am. Finisher awards will be handed out at this time. We encourage you to come and enjoy the breakfast with your fellow competitors, crew members and race volunteers. If you cannot make it in the morning, finisher awards will also be available at the finish line, so please check in there before you leave.

Breakfast is free to all runners and volunteers. Friends and family are welcome to join too and are asked to make a $10 donation to the Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center if extra meal tickets have not been purchased in advance.

Volunteers from Teaching Tree will also be preparing post-race burgers and veggie burgers and Boulder Organic! soup for all finishers through the afternoon, evening and night on race day. This is free to all runners. Again, if a meal has not been purchased in advance for crew and pacers, extra tickets will be available for a $10 donation. Included with the meal will be a cold beverage from our friends at New Belgium Brewing, in addition to non-alcoholic options.   

Thank You

We want to thank you for registering to run the Never Summer 100km. We have received considerable support from friends, family, volunteers and sponsors in bringing this third running of the race to fruition. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who have helped get the course ready and who will be out volunteering on race day. Please remember to thank those out there helping you achieve your goals.

We also encourage you to consider the products and services of our sponsors:

Top Tier

Salomon Drymax Socks Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy
Altitude Running Justin Liddle DMD Prosthodontist

Race Support

Countryside Animal Hospital Fort Collins Running Club

Product and Service Support

And, finally, if you have questions that can’t be answered here or on the race website, feel free to email us at racedirector@gnarrunners.com and we’ll do our best to get back to you. We will have limited internet access on site at the race so we may not be able to respond to all emails or Facebook posts after Thursday 7/20.

We look forward to seeing you in and among the majestic peaks of the Northern Colorado Rockies!

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2016 Black Squirrel Pre-Race Information

Black Squirrel Trail Half MarathonAll information relevant to the 4th running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon is available on the race website. Here are a few final details and reminders.

The current weather forecast is showing an overnight low in the high 40s, a sunny morning, and a race-day high in the low 80s. Please make sure you have adequate carrying capacity for your hydration needs between aid stations. Water cups will not be provided at the aid stations.

The three race aid stations will be stocked with water and V-Fuel sports drink. The Arthurs aid station – visited twice – will also carry snacks and fruit.

Packet pickup will be available on Friday afternoon from 4pm to 7pm at Altitude Running located at 150 E Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80525 (northeast corner of College and Harmony). Packet pickup will also be available on race morning from 5:30am to 6:30am.

The race will start promptly at 7:00am. There will be a short pre-race briefing at 6:50am. Late arrivals will need to walk up to 1/2 a mile or longer to the start from their car, so we recommend getting to Lory State Park no later than 6:30. Please plan to arrive earlier if you need to check in on race morning.

Parking at the Soldier Canyon start/finish area (limited to 50-60 cars) is reserved for carpools of two or more runners. All other cars will be directed to park on the Lodgepole loop road or at the Timber trailhead lot. If you can, please arrange a carpool with friends – or try the Fort Collins Trail Runner Facebook pageParking passes will be handed out at the park entrance when you arrive.

Bibs must be visible from the front. Please do not remove your pull tag.

Dogs are welcome on leash with family and friends at the start/finish area, but we ask that you not run with your dog during the race.

Please pocket any trash and dispose of it at aid stations or at the start/finish.

Trails are open to the public. Watch for bikers and yield to horses and hikers.

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

Black Squirrel Trail Half BBQWe have a great BBQ planned with burgers & brats, veggie (vegan) burgers and vegan quinoa salad from the Fort Collins Food Co-Op, Great Harvest cinnamon buns, Mary’s Mountain Cookies, fruit from Trader Joe’s, El Dorado Vitamin Water, and Fat Tire beer from New Belgium Brewing.

Additional meals can be purchased at the BBQ for family and friends for a $10 cash donation to Animal House Rescue if not already purchased with registration.

Salomon Running will be demoing shoes for runners to try out after the race, and we’ll be giving away a pair of Salomon shoes to our top male and female finishers. We’ll also have Julbo sunglasses to give out to our age group winners.

In addition to finisher awards and T-shirts, we will also be giving out unique overall and age group awards to the top three (male and female) in the following categories: overall, under 40, masters (40 – 49), and grandmasters (50+). We’ll also have some other gear and goodies to raffle off during and after the awards.

Massage and PT work will be available after the race courtesy of Colorado in Motion and Kristel Liddle LMT.

If you have any nagging aches or pains that might prevent you from running your best or making it to the starting line, Colorado In Motion is offering discounted Trigger Point Dry Needling sessions for our runners this Thursday 9/8. More info is online here.

Thank you to our very generous sponsors: Salomon Running, Colorado in Motion, Justin Liddle DMD, Drymax SocksAltitude Running, Countryside Animal Hospital, and the Fort Collins Running Club for their support in helping us make this event possible.

Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters. Please consider supporting these businesses who support the race.

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

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

Nick Clark & Pete Stevenson


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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