2015 Quad Rock Course and Race Updates

Dear Runners – barring sustained torrential rains between now and Saturday (in which case, the parks have reserved the right to cancel the event), we have been given the go-ahead from both park authorities to proceed with the race as planned. Given the amount of moisture we’ve received over the last three or four days, and with more in the forecast, we have had to make a number of changes to the course route in order to avoid causing undue damage to particularly sensitive trails, most notably the lower lying trails in the valley.

Here is the updated map. Click the image to download a printable PDF.

Quad Rock 2015 Re-Route

For those familiar with the trails, here are the particulars:

– From the Arthurs TH, we will be routing up the Mill Creek Link, connecting with Loggers in Horsetooth and dropping on Sawmill to Stout to rejoin the course for the usual Stout-Towers-Spring Creek section.
– At the Spring Creek 3-way junction, we will head right on the Soderberg service road to get to the Horsetooth aid station, rather than the regular route on the Falls trail.
– From there the route will remain the same to the top of Howard in Lory. At the top of the Howard climb (last one for 25 milers), runners will head left on Lory’s Westridge two-track trail taking the long way to Timber.
– The route will descend on Timber to Well Gulch, where runners will head right down the beautiful Well Gulch drainage to rejoin the park road into the finish.
– 50 milers will run the exact same route in reverse for their second loop.
– Aid station mileages remain exactly the same, with the exception that the final leg between Arthurs and the Finish will be approximately a half mile shorter.
– The route as described above is approximately 24.5 miles, with an additional 300 to 400 feet of climbing and descending versus the standard route.

The trails we are using have been chosen for the particular reason that they drain exceptionally well or are wide enough so as to not be in danger of excessive abuse. With that said, we do make the simple request that you absolutely avoid the temptation to run to the side, or outside of trails where there is heavy mud. Your feet are going to be wet on Saturday: embrace it, run through the mud and puddles, stay on the trail. The park managers have been exceptionally accommodating to allow us to continue as planned, so please do them this simple favor.

Other notes:

  • It’s going to be wet, plan kit accordingly. Bring dry, warm clothes to change into after you finish.
  • Please drive SLOWLY on the Lory service road when entering the park in the morning and leaving in the afternoon. Please, please, please look to carpool if you can.
  • There will be no water drop between Arthurs aid station and the finish, so please plan accordingly.
  • There will be no kids race this year.
  • A copy of the previous race communication, which came through incomplete for some, is available on the Gnar Gnews section of the website. This communication will also be posted there.
  • Elevation Tat will be providing free temporary tattoos of the elevation profile for pick up at Altitude Running with the rest of your packet on Friday afternoon. Bibs will still be distributed race morning. These are being provided courtesy of Presenting Sponsor, Altra Running.

As trying as these last couple of days have been for Pete, me and our partners at Larimer County Department of Natural Resources (Horsetooth Mountain Park) and Lory State Park, we’re still super excited for a fun day on Saturday. We look forward to seeing you.

Nick Clark & Pete Stevenson


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.


Gnar Runners Event Management




Black Squirrel Half Marathon – Final Race Details

All information relevant to the event is available online here but here are a few final reminders.

First and foremost, it’s going to be a HOT day. All runners will need to start with at least one bottle. Slower runners may need 2 bottles or a hydration pack.

Aid stations will be stocked with plenty of water, ice, and Succeed S-Caps. We have provided a very generous cut off to finish the race so please pace yourself in the heat, stay hydrated, and enjoy the race.

  • Packet and bib pickup will be available on Friday from 4pm to 7pm at Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists. COLPTS is located at: 115 E Harmony Rd., Ste. 160, Fort Collins, CO 80525 (southeast corner of College and Harmony).
  • Packet pick up will also be available on race morning from 6:30am to 7:45am. Late registration (cash & check only) will be available on Friday at packet pick up and on race morning.
  • The race will start promptly at 8:00am.
  • Parking at the Soldier Canyon start/finish area (limited to 50-60 cars) is reserved for carpools. All other cars will be directed to park on the Lodgepole loop road or Timber trailhead lot.
  • This a cup-less race. We ask that all runners carry a water bottle for refills at the aid stations. It will be hot on race morning.
  • The three aid stations will have water, Succeed Ultra sports drink, and assorted snacks and fruit.
  • Bibs must be visible from the front.
  • As a courtesy to other runners on the trail (and per the terms of our insurance policy), we ask that you not wear headphones.
  • Dogs are welcome on leash with family and friends at the start/finish area, but we ask that you not run with your dog on trail 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.
  • We will have a short kids race/run (no more than a mile, but more than half a mile) beginning at 11:00 from the start/finish area.
  • We have a great BBQ planned with burgers, black bean burgers, vegan salads, cookies, chips, IZZE soda, and a couple of kegs of locally (Boulder) brewed beer that meets 3.2% State Park regulations. First beer is free with the BBQ, for additional beers we ask that you make a donation ($3 suggested) to Animal House, one of the race beneficiaries. Additional meals can also be purchased at the BBQ for family and friends for a $10 donation to Animal House.
  • Please bring id if you want a post-race beer.
  • In addition to finishers awards, we have unique overall and age group awards (Open: under 40, outside top three; Masters: 40 and older outside top three). We also have gift cards to Runners Roost Fort Collins for all award winners.

Thank you to Colorado Physical Specialists, Justin Liddle DMD, and Countryside Vet for their support in helping us make this event possible. Thank you also to all our wonderful product supporters.

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 Clark & Pete Stevenson (GnarRunners, LLC)


Permits Approved

We got the verbal nod on our permit application from Larimer County yesterday, which means the Fort Collins Quad Rock 50 is officially on. We were earlier approved by Lory State Park, which will be hosting the start/finish festivities, so it seems that all our permitting ducks are now in a row.

I’m kind of throwing this post out into the abyss as the website hasn’t been officially launched yet, but as this is a major milestone in the development of Fort Collins’ first ever 50 mile endurance run, I figured I would document it as the first item of Gnar Gnews.

Pete and I couldn’t be more excited to have this ball officially rolling, and we really look forward to the opportunity of showcasing the amazing trails up here on the Fort Collins skyline.

See you in May!