More often than not the weather seems to play a role at the Quad Rock Trail Races and the 2019 running was no exception with a midweek snowstorm forcing us onto the alternate ‘wet route’ for the first time in the race’s eight-year history. But while the midweek weather was cause for some concern, for race day itself we were blessed with fantastic conditions. Runners enjoyed firm but tacky trails and mild temperatures giving way to just a spot of rain and double rainbows in the late afternoon. The only thing missing it seems was a herd of wild unicorns galloping through the finish!
The alternate course delivered a couple hundred extra feet of elevation gain per lap and perhaps an additional half mile. As a result, the course ran an estimated 5-10 minutes slower per lap. Nonetheless, the day produced some fast times (including a new women’s 50 mile master’s record) and some dynamic racing.
Overall, we saw 194 runners start the 50 mile race and 221 start the 25 mile race for a total of 415 runners on course. Of the 194 runners that started the 50 mile race, 136 completed the full two loops for a 69 percent finisher rate. A total of 263 runners finished the 25 mile race or the first 25 mile loop of the 50 miler (all are included in the final 25 mile results).
Trail Work Day
As part of our mission to promote responsible use of the public trails we are granted the right to race on each year for Quad Rock, we host an annual post-Quad Rock ‘Trail Runner Trail Work Day’ the weekend after the race. If you’d like to be added to our volunteer trail work mailing list to learn about these and other upcoming trail work opportunities, please visit our trail work page.
In the men’s 25 mile race, a group of three to four runners took it out fast in the early going leading up to the opening climb of the morning. By the time the lead runners were through the Horsetooth Aid Station at Mile 10 it was a three-horse race with Darren Thomas and Clint Anders pulling into the aid station together, followed two minutes later by last year’s runner up Chris Mocko. Thomas would open up a two minute lead over Anders on the ensuing Horsetooth Rock climb and hold that through to the Arthurs Aid Station, before finally breaking things open on the last climb and going on to win in 3:24:09. Anders would hold on for second (3:30:57) with Mocko close on his heels in third (3:31:49).
In the women’s 25 mile race, Corey Conner and Kristen Mohror set the early pace, rolling through the Horsetooth Aid Station at mile 10 together. But, as in the men’s race, things broke apart on the second climb with Conner opening up a four-minute lead by Towers at mile 14 and six minutes by Arthurs at mile 18. Conner, who will be representing the US Mountain Running Team at the World Mountain Running Championships later this summer, ended up winning the day in a second-fastest time ever (despite the harder course) of 4:04:29. Mohror would hold on for second (4:18:07), with CSU grad student Olivia Bojan rounding out the podium positions in third (4:46:46).
Masters (40-49) wins in the 25 mile race went to Brazil’s Manuel Lago (4:03:49) and Fort Collins’ Julie Pitts (5:19:35). Our grandmaster’s (50+) winners were Kraig Koski (4:40:24) from Longmont and Rona Van Willigen (5:51:33) from Fort Collins.
In the women’s 50 mile race, it was a close run thing through the first lap. Our top two finishers from last year – Addie Bracy and Michele Yates – were once again battling it out, with Denver’s Jana Wallsey firmly in the mix too. At the turnaround, it was 2013 Ultrarunner of the Year, Yates, in the lead with Bracy right on her heels and Wallsey just a couple minutes behind. In a repeat of last year’s action, Bracy would take the race by the scruff of the neck on lap two and go on to open up a lead of as much as 20 minutes. Her finishing time of 9:09:22 was good enough for third overall and – of course – the women’s win. In the race for second, Wallsey and Yates leapfrogged each other through the middle miles of lap 2, before Yates opened up gap on the fifth descent down to Horsetooth at Mile 40. Yates grew that gap all the way to the finish (9:25:20), with Wallsey holding on for third (9:45:48).
In the men’s 50 mile race, after some early company from last year’s third-place finisher Oliver Knauer, it was Boulder’s Tate Knight running off the front for the win in a clinical performance (7:49:23) in what appears to be his first ever 50 mile race. After running in third for much of lap one, Clark Messman took control of second place by the turn and held on through lap two to finish second in 8:13:03. He was followed by Tyler Keyworth in third (9:17:50).
In the master’s division, local favorite Tara Carter ran like a champ to finish fourth overall while also bringing home a new Quad Rock 50 master’s record (the only record to fall on the day) of 10:27:01. Another local favorite and many-time finisher of the Quad Rock 50, Mike Hinterberg, also finished fourth overall in the men’s race while bringing home the master’s title (9:29:48).
As always, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our team of wonderful volunteers. Year after year we receive heaping compliments from our runners about how fantastic our volunteer team is, and they are absolutely right. Come rain (last year), shine (this year) or managing last-minute course changes (this year), our volunteers are out there getting the job done and helping our runners get to the finish line safely. Thank You!
And to our amazing sponsors, thank you!
With generous product support from: VFuel, New Belgium, Mary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest Bread Company, and BoBo’s.
We look forward to seeing you again in 2020 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you July 27 at the Never Summer 100km or at one of our shorter events. On September 7 we’ll be hosting the seventh running of the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park, followed October 19 by the 12th running of the Blue Sky Marathon, Fort Collins original and only Trail Marathon. And, we do roads too. October 5th, we’ll be hosting the inaugural Long View Marathon and Half Marathon from Fort Collins to Loveland.
If you aren’t racing, consider volunteering for one of our next events. We are currently recruiting volunteers for the Never Summer 100K.