Thank you for joining us for the 10th Running of the Quad Rock 25 & 50 Mile Trail Races. This year will be a memorable one for us for many different reasons, but mostly for the fact that we were able to run under close to normal circumstances. It felt fantastic to be able to congregate en masse, feel safe doing so, and to experience the joy of racing with a full field of starters.
We don’t want to ring the victory bell too early, but we do want to thank you all for sticking with us through the challenges of 2020, for adhering to our safety protocols last year (and this), and for being fantastic ambassadors for the trail running community.
We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to our team of volunteers who come out year after year, race after race and really are the cornerstone of what we do as a race organization. You all have been amazing and especially so over the last 12 months.
For this year’s race we were happy to be back on the original course on a day with mild temperatures, tacky trails and a good bit of wind to keep things interesting. Overall, we saw:
- 211 runners start the 50 mile race
- 258 start the 25 mile race
- 469 total runners on course
- 135 completed the full two loops for a 64 percent finisher rate.
- A total of 318 runners finished the 25 mile race or the first 25 mile loop of the 50 miler.
In the men’s 25 mile race, Boulder’s Jon Rea looked to be a man on a mission from the gun, gapping a fast field by a couple minutes within the first 10 miles to the Horsetooth aid station and then growing that lead through to the finish. Rea’s finishing time of 3:21:55 puts him 6th on the all-time list, and was good enough for an 8-minute win over local Fort Collins fast-man Clint Anders who would hold on for second overall (3:29:54). Clint was followed home by Gnar Team member Stephen Pretak who claimed third in 3:38:52.
In the women’s one-lap race, Boulder’s Ginna Ellis was toeing her fifth Quad Rock start line and she did what she always does by getting out fast. Ginna came into the 10-mile Horsetooth aid some four minutes ahead of Fort Collins’ Sophie Anders in second and a full nine minutes ahead of Golden’s Samantha Lewis. Those time gaps would remain essentially the same through the second climb to Towers and the ensuing descent to Arthurs at mile 17.
But the Quad Rock course requires three climbs and three descents to get to the finish, and more often than not, the race is decided on that third climb. And it was a hard-charging Samantha Lewis who had reserved the most for the 13 switchbacks up Howard and 12 switchbacks down Timber, erasing an 8-minute deficit and then piling on a 7 minute surplus over Ellis in the space of the last 7.5 miles. Lewis would finish in an all-time ninth best time of 4:13:06, while Ellis would hang on for second (4:19:52) and Anders for third (4:21:23).
Masters (40-49) wins in the 25 mile race went to Michigan’s Jesse Sweeney (4:25:58) and Monument’s Amy Shertzer (4:39:45 – new master’s CR). Our grandmaster’s (50+) winners were Andrew Brodsky (5:15:15) from Longmont and Olga King (5:40:34) from Colorado Springs.
The women’s 50 mile race was a close run thing the whole day. Through the first lap, Salynda Heinl held a small two to three minute lead from aid station to aid station, getting into the turnaround just a minute ahead of Allison Johansson, and less than 10 minutes ahead of Stephanie Wurtz and Tara Carter. It would remain close for much of the second lap, with Heinl holding a slim lead, while Carter and Johansson flipped between second and third. With 15 miles left to go, Heinl would put her stamp on the morning building a strong lead that she would take into the finish (9:51:19). The final two podium spots weren’t settled until the last three miles on the valley trails, with Johansson regaining the lead and holding it through to the finish (10:03:46). Representing the Gnar Team, Carter’s third place finish time was good enough for a new PR and a new 50 mile masters course record (10:06:21).
In the men’s 50 mile race, there were some familiar faces battling it out for top honors, with three past Quad Rock runners within 10 minutes of each other at the turn. Jackson Brill holds the course record in the 25 mile race and the Blue Sky Trail Marathon. The question of the day as Brill came into the turn 10 minutes ahead of former Never Summer 100km winner Gabe Joyes was if Brill could put any pressure on Ryan Smith’s longstanding 50-mile record (7:20:27). The answer would turn out to be a fairly resounding ‘no’ but Brill would maintain his 10 minute lead over Joyes for the win (7:58:30). Joyes claimed his second Quad Rock podium finish in a time of 8:09:40, with former local Chris Hammes rounding out the top three (8:38:40).
A hard charging Chris Copenhaver (8:48:02) took fourth and top honors in the men’s master’s race while Steamboat Springs’ Jenny Fox (10:41:38) led the charge among the master’s women. Mike Teger (10:34:49) of Colorado Springs brought home the goods in the men’s grandmaster’s category while for the women we had no competitors over the age of 50 for the first time ever.
We look forward to seeing you again in 2021 at the same place and approximately the same time. Or even better, we’d love to see you July 30 at the Never Summer 100km or later in the summer at one of our shorter events.
- Staunton Rocks! Trail Marathon & Half, August 28
- Lory Summer Trail Series (4 races, 5k-12k), Tuesday evenings in August
- Black Squirrel Half Marathon, September 11
- Blue Sky Marathon, October 16