Never Summer Runners – 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
- All race and crew instructions pertinent to race weekend are available in the Never Summer Runners’ Handbook (a pdf of the race website). With limited data access in Gould and on the race course, we recommend that runners and crews print copies of all info and maps that they need for the weekend before traveling to the race.
- There have been a few course changes from previous years. These have been communicated in a prior email and on the Facebook event page. The most significant adjustment is the relocation of the Diamond Aid Station off the American Lakes Road onto the Seven Utes Trail. Crew access will now be from the 7 Utes trailhead, and involve a 3/4 mile gentle hike in.
- The 60km course will be one mile longer than last year. The 100km course will be the same distance as all previous years (except 2020).
- We expect to be at full capacity on both race days, and parking will be limited. We highly recommend that runners and crews try to carpool to the start and to any crew locations on the course. The Facebook event page is the best place to post requests or invites to help organize carpools, share campsites, or coordinate any other crewing or pacing plans. On race day, crews and pacers can check in at the finish area or each aid station to find rides or offer rides whenever possible.
- We are upgrading part of our gear list from “recommended” to “required” (where noted) for 2021 and beyond. The list is detailed on the race website right under the general info at the top of the page. These are all common sense items for a race or run in the mountains, so please make sure you start the race with them.
Bibs, Runner Tracking, Dropping Out
- If you need to drop out from the race, you must turn in your bib tag to the aid station captain where you drop. If we can’t find you on course and don’t have a record of you dropping, we will wake up your mother at 4:00a in Indiana to ask if she’s heard from you.
- Race progress updates will be uploaded to OpenSplitTime.org. It should be noted that data connections are weak to non-existent on the lower, crew accessible sections of the course, so crews wishing to get updates may need to drive west towards Walden to pick up a signal. Regular runner updates will be published from Montgomery (24.3), Ruby Jewel (30.5 – 100km only), Clear Lake (38.6, 44.7 – 100km only), Canadian (49.8 – 100km only) and Bockman (29.2/55.6) Aid Stations. Updates from other stations may not be available until after they close.
- Bib numbers will be assigned on Monday. You will be able to check your bib number on OpenSplitTime or UltraSignup. At each aid station, volunteers will record your bib number. You are responsible for making sure that aid station volunteers record your number. Please make sure that your bib number is visible from the front and call out and confirm your number when entering the aid station. This is important so that we can keep track of runners and know that you are not lost or injured.
- Camping at the Gould Community Center Start/Finish is restricted for our overnight volunteers and those runners who reserved space with their registration.
Those who reserved a spot received an email earlier this week with more details.
- Gates to the community center will be closed after 10 pm Thursday and Friday nights. If you have reserved space and are arriving later, please notify us so we can have a volunteer available to let you in and direct you to your parking space. Unauthorized vehicles will be asked to leave after 10pm.
- If you have not reserved camping or lodging in advance and cannot find an open developed campsite in the area, you can park and camp anywhere on National Forest Land south of Gould off County Road 21 past the Powderhorn Cabins. It’s about 3 miles away from the start. See the Parks Ranger District of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map for specifics on where camping is legal.
- Camping is also available to reserve at Never Summer Nordic at the entrance to State Forest State Park (5-10 minutes from the race start).
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 aid station captain and turn over your race bib tag before you leave the course. If you don’t officially check out of the race, we will assume you are missing on course & activate search and rescue.
- For added safety, we will have first responders at every aid station and a team of backcountry EMTs 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 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.
- There are two crossings of Highway 14 during the course of the race. One at mile 19, just after the Diamond Aid Station, and one at mile 62 just after the Ranger Lakes (mini) 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 Highway 14 under any circumstances – not even for a quick drop-off.
- The route will be well marked with pink flagging; pink and white pin flags; flour and/or black arrows on yellow background at key turns.
- Night-time marking from the Clear Lake Aid Station to the finish will be a combination of white reflectors (attached to regular pink flagging) 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 GPX files (100km | 60km) are available to download. It wouldn’t hurt to have this backup information with you if you are not familiar with the area.
- Aid station fare is detailed here. VFuel gel will be served from bulk containers, so we recommend that you carry a flask (or similar) if you want to use aid station gels.
- Runners are required to carry their own water bottles or hydration packs. All runners will receive a reusable and portable cup with their packets. Please carry and use these (or similar) for soda and other drinks from aid stations.
- We have 5 aid stations in the 100km race and 2 aid stations in the 60km race 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 or during Thursday/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.
- Label bags with 1) Your Bib Number, 2) Your Last Name & 3) The station it is going to.
- A Crew briefing will be held at 5:45am after the start. We will answer questions, offer directions, and may have park staff on site to sell park passes and offer additional information.
- 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 ($8) 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.
- Parking is allowed anywhere on park roads as long as vehicles do not block traffic and do not block any access gates.
- The trails are open to the public and spectating is allowed anywhere on course. Crewing outside of designated crew aid stations is prohibited. Runners receiving any assistance outside of designated aid stations may be disqualified.
- The Diamond Aid is at a new location this year. Crew parking is also at a new – vastly improved – location this year. It is a 3/4 mile walk from the Seven Utes trailhead to the aid station location. Please do not arrive at the aid station before 7am to give our volunteer team time to set up.
- The Ruby Jewel aid station is at the Clark Peak Yurt (50 yards up the road from the former location at the Ruby Jewel Yurt). 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, race and/or emergency vehicles can pass through unimpeded. From the Francisco Road, it is approximately a mile up the Ruby Jewel Road to the aid location and crew access point at the Clark Peak Yurt. Additional parking space is available at the start of the Ruby Jewel Rd off 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 (currently drained for dam repair) on the way to the Bockman, Ruby Jewel, Clear Lake and Canadian aid stations.
- Crew parking at Bockman Aid will be limited to one side of the road only to allow access for emergency vehicles. Please advise your crew to follow the direction of parking volunteers and be prepared for a longer walk in.
- 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.
- Gas and food is very limited in the area. The nearest gas is in Walden, 25 miles west of Gould. There is a small store with ice, drinks, and snacks in Gould off Hwy 14 a few miles west of the race start/finish. Never Summer Nordic at the main entrance to the park has a food truck serving hot breakfast and lunch (and likely dinner) from 10a. The Howling Coyote Roadhouse in Gould recently opened and has hot food/cold beverages. They may not be open on Saturday all day as they are hosting a wedding reception.
- If coming from the east (Fort Collins/287/I-25), the last 24-hr gas station is at Ted’s Place at the mouth of the Canyon (approximately 65 miles from the race start). There are also a couple of pumps halfway up the canyon in Rustic that close at 7:00pm. We strongly recommend filling up on gas before entering the canyon.
- Pacers are allowed at the Canadian and Bockman aid stations. Runners over the age of 60 in the 100km race can pick up a pacer at the Ruby Jewel aid station. Canadian access is a little less than a 1 mile hike/run in from the trailhead at the north end of the main park road (CO 41).
- 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.
- 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 the aid stations.
Race and Aid Station Pacing
- Results and aid station splits from the last six years are available here.
- We have added 15 minutes to the Diamond and Ruby Jewel cut-offs this year to account for the course changes. The first half of the 100k is one mile longer (but the second half is one mile shorter).
Awards, Post Race Food, and Runner Breakfast
- Hot food (including vegetarian, vegan & GF options) will be available for all runners at the finish. If you did not purchase extra meal tickets with your registration, they will be available for pacers and crew on the day for $10 each. Each finisher meal includes a drink from our friends at New Belgium Brewing (in addition to non-alcoholic options).
- Extra food for 100km runners will be available for purchase from the 60km Finish BBQ on Friday evening, including a featured special – open-face hot turkey sandwiches (turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, bread + side).
- We will be offering a pancake breakfast during the 100km awards and prize giving on Sunday morning, beginning at 10am. 100km 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 race beneficiaries if extra meal tickets have not been purchased in advance.
- 60km finisher awards will be handed out as you finish. Our 60k Awards Ceremony (for Overall and Age Group Awards) will be at 4p on Friday.
- We thank you for registering to run the Never Summer 100k/60k. We have received considerable support from friends, family, volunteers and sponsors in bringing this seventh 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: