The fourth running of the Never Summer 100km was another one for the record books. Once again we saw course records in both the men’s and women’s fields (as we have at every running of the race) and once again we welcomed a record number of runners to both the start and finish lines. And not only did we have a record number of runners, but we’re also pretty sure we had a record number of volunteers who, once again, came out en masse to help competitors reach their goals. Congratulations runners and thank you volunteers.
When it was all said and done, 264 (200 men, 64 women) of the race’s 341 starters (250 men, 91 women) beat the race’s cut-offs and made it back to the Gould Community Center. This represents a 76 percent finisher rate (80 percent men, 70 percent women). Of those finishers, 34 joined – or renewed their membership in – the Sunset Club by making it home without the use of a headlamp (15.5 hours). This includes three new female inductees – Addie Bracy, Clare Gallagher and Kristi Knecht – who join Alyson Kirk and Heidi Sauerland in the exclusive club.
But of course, 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.
- Erin Bibeau (Montgomery Aid)
- Emma Morely (Diamond Peak)
- Jeff Gregg (Lake Agnes, North Diamond, Ruby Jewel)
Mark Marzen summiting North Diamond on his way to the overall win and a new course record.. Addie Bracy on her way to the women’s win and a new course record.
In both the men’s and women’s races new overall records were set. For the men, Mark Marzen from Denver took home top honors setting a new sub-12 hour standard of 11:47:46. He was followed home by Frank Pipp (12:11:56) from Longmont, CO who posted the race’s third fastest time ever. And rounding out the men’s podium was Fort Collins’ very own Ryan Burch who came home in 12:45:01, just two minutes slower than his winning time from the inaugural year in 2015.
In the women’s race, we crowned a new champion after three years straight of awarding the big axe to Alyson Kirk. And 2018 is Addie Bracy’s year when it comes to Gnar Runners events. Fresh off her win at the Quad Rock 50 in May, Addie scored a dominant win in the Never Summer Mountains, resetting the record books by over 90 minutes and beating decorated ultrarunner Clare Gallagher (14:11:06) by over an hour. If the new women’s record of 13:10:39 is to once again go down next year, we feel like it will take a pretty special performance. Rounding out the women’s podium behind Clare was Flagstaff, AZ’s Kristi Knecht (14:28:53) who finished in the race’s third fastest time ever.
A fast year all around!Kristi Knecht rolling into the Montgomery aid on her way to a third-place finish. Former winner and course record holder, Ryan Burch, on his way to another Never Summer podium.
The master’s categories (40-49) were won by familiar faces, Elijah Flenner (13:41:23) and Sandra Carpenter (16:26:09). Both Sandra and Elijah are multi-time winners of master’s awards at both the Never Summer 100km and the Quad Rock 50. This year, they finished 7th and 4th overall in their respective gender divisions.
In the grandmasters division (50+), it was Wisconsin’s Dede Gibbs who took home top honors in a time of 20:08:37. For the men, it was Gnar Team member Ed Delosh bringing home the grandmaster’s hardware in a new divisional course record time of 15:35:00.
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 Fort Collins local, Sarah Beck.
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 Ruby Jewel aid caption, Brian Walter as our 2018 Trail Boss for his dedication to trail running and racing within the Fort Collins running community for well over a decade.Brain Walter overseeing the action at the Ruby Jewel aid station.
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.
- The Teaching Tree for preparing the post-race awards breakfast.
- 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.
And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!
Top tier support from:
We look forward to seeing you again in 2019. We’d also love to see you later in the year at one of our shorter events. On September 8 we’ll be hosting the sixth running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 20 by the 11th 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 2018 Slam.
Thank you all!