A Recap of the 2019 Never Summer 100km

Seven Utes looking south to Rocky Mountain National Park and the Never Summer Range. Photo: Jeff Black

The fifth running of the Never Summer 100km was another one for the record books. Once again we saw a new course record in the men’s race (as we have at every running of the race), in addition to a number of age-group records. And not only did we have a full field of runners, but we’re also pretty sure we had a record number of volunteers who again came out en masse to help competitors reach their goals. Congratulations runners and thank you volunteers

The weather is always a potential factor through the course of a high altitude mountain race, and while welcome cool temperatures prevailed for most of the day at this fifth running of the race, intense afternoon thunderstorms produced hail and heavy rains. The moisture made for challenging conditions for all runners both in terms of regulating body temperatures and also in negotiating particularly muddy late-race trails, factors that lead to one of our lowest ever finisher rates. Whether you finished or not, we would like to offer a hearty congratulations to all runners that got out there and braved the elements.

When it was all said and done, 220 (165 men, 55 women) of the race’s 318 starters (231 men, 87 women) beat the race’s cut-offs and the adverse weather conditions to make it back to the Gould Community Center within 24 hours. This represents a 69 percent finisher rate (71 percent men, 63 percent women). Of those finishers, 28 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 – Sabrina Stanley, Megan Arauzo, and Amber Pougiales – who join Alyson Kirk, Heidi Sauerland, Addie Bracy, Clare Gallagher and Kristi Knecht in the exclusive club. And one runner, Danny Bundrock, made it five for five with his 13:38 ninth place finish.

Danny Bundrock batting .1000 after five years of the Never Summer 100km. Pic: Terry Grenwelge

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.

Runners Traversing from North Diamond, the race high point, on their way to the Montgomery Aid Station. Photo: Eric Lee

Race Results

Race Photos

Hannes Gehring above Kelly Lake on his way to the win and new course record. Pic: Terry Grenwelge
Sabrina Stanley enjoying the early miles around Lake Agnes on her way to winning the 2019 women’s race. Pic: Terry Grenwelge

In the men’s race Hannes Gehring from Denver took home top honors, becoming only the second runner to finish in under 12 hours, setting a new course record (by 40 seconds) of 11:47:06 in the process. He was followed home by Seth Wealing (12:07:57) from Boulder, CO who posted the race’s third fastest time ever, in addition to a new master’s record. And rounding out the men’s podium was Mathew Urbanski, also from Boulder, who came home in 13:02:10.

In the women’s race, Hardrock 100 champ Sabrina Stanley led from pillar to post in running the race’s second fastest time ever in the women’s division (13:46:47), while finishing fifth in the overall 2019 field. She was followed home almost an hour later by Megan Arauzo (14:45:07) from Nevato, CA, with Denver’s Amber Pougiales (15:22:22) rounding out the women’s podium. Megan and Amber recorded the race’s fifth and eighth fastest finishes ever.

A fast year all around!

Tara Carter on her way to Clear Lake and a new masters record. Pic: Terry Grenwelge

As noted above, the men’s master’s record was convincingly reset by second-place finisher Seth Wealing. And we also saw a new record on the women’s side. Tara Carter followed up on her master’s record-setting run from Quad Rock in May with a Never Summer run for the record books (16:07:57) as she continued her quest towards completing the 2019 Gnar Slam.

Seth Wealing cruising Lake Agnes on his way to a second place finish and new masters record. Pic: Terry Grenwelge

In the grandmasters division (50+), it was California’s Daniel Kono who took home top honors in a time of 14:41:16. Daniel’s time was also good for a new division record, especially impressive coming from sea level. For the women, it was Prescott, AZ’s Carol Northrup bringing home the grandmaster’s hardware in a time of 21:35:52. 

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 Denver’s Rachel Meier who beat the 24-hour buzzer by just under 10 minutes. 

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 recognize Gnar Team member Elijah Flenner as our 2019 Trail Boss for his services clearing trail, hauling gear up and down the canyon for weeks prior to the race, staffing the Montgomery aid station, course marking and leading numerous training runs on the course in the lead up to the race.

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.

Canadian Aid Station Captain, Cindy Stonesmith, getting in some 20lb curls while Getting Stuff Done. Pic: Eric Lee
Canadian Aid at dusk. Pic: Jeff Black
Search and Rescue and radio communications at the race high point. Pic: Jeff Black

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.
  • 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:

Generous product support from:
VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain Cookies, and the Great Harvest Bread Company.

We look forward to seeing you again in 2020. We’d also love to see you later in the year 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 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 2020 Quad Rock 25 or 50 mile race. We will be updating our Gnar Slam page this week, with a list of all those in contention for the 2019 Slam. 

Thank you all!

Jeff Black
Jeff Black

Never Summer Pre-Race Info: Runners, Pacers & Crew

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 100km Handbook. 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.
  • The cut off at the Montgomery aid station has been removed.
  • We expect to be at full capacity on race day 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.
  • If you need to drop out from the race, you must turn in your bib tag to the aid station captain or ham radio volunteer where you drop.
  • 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, Ruby Jewel and Clear Lake aid stations. Updates from other stations may not be available until after they close.

Bib Numbers have been assigned.  You can check yours on OpenSplitTime.  

  • At each aid station, volunteers will record your bib numbers. 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

On-site camping at the Start/Finish is restricted for our overnight volunteers and those runners who reserved space with their registration.

We’ve added a community potluck as part of check-in on Friday evening.  Join us for great food & social time at the Gould Community Center.  Gnar Runners will be providing homemade chili (meat and veggie options); everything else is potluck.  Please bring your own dish-ware.  

Gates to the community center will be closed after 9pm. 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 9pm.

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 21 past the Powderhorn Cabins. It’s about 3 miles away from the 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.

For added safety, we will have first responders at every aid station and a team of backcountry paramedics 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 and rough 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.

Highway Crossings

There are two crossings of Highway 14 during the course of the race. One at mile 18, just after the Diamond aid station, and one at mile 62 just after the Ranger Lakes 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 Hwy 14 under any circumstances.

Course Markings

The route will be well marked with pink flagging; pink and white pin flags; and flour at key turns. Night-time marking from the Clear Lake aid station to the finish will be a combination of white reflectors 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 GPS files are available to download. It wouldn’t hurt to have this backup information with you if you are not familiar with the area. Please remember to print the information you need before leaving for the race. We will not have hard copies available to hand out to all runners at the start and will not have the ability to download and print documents on site.

Tricky Turns

The right turn off the Montgomery Road onto the Yurt trail at approximately mile 26 (~9,600′) is easily missed if you zone out coming down the jeep road from the Medicine Bow Ridge. It will be heavily flagged, but if you get to the Montgomery Yurts, you have gone too far. Turn around and retrace a third of a mile.

There may be a short overlap (for an eighth of a mile) between the first and last runners on the Ruby Jewel Rd (mile ~29 out, ~53 back). Runners heading outbound (north) from the Montgomery Aid to the Ruby Jewel Aid will turn right onto the Ruby Jewel road and proceed right up the road to the Yurt aid station. Front runners coming south from the Canadian Yurt will turn right to head down the Ruby Jewel Road towards the turn for the Lumberjack Trail. This junction will be heavily and unambiguously marked (likely with a course marshal), so there should be no cause for confusion. Nonetheless, everyone should be aware of these junctions to make sure that you can follow the route without guidance from a volunteer.

Aid Stations

Aid station fare is detailed hereVFuel 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. Runners are required to carry their own water bottles or hydration packs. A limited supply of cups will be available for sodas and other beverages at the stations. Please bring your own extra flask or collapsible cup if you can to help reduce waste.

Drop Bags

We have 5 aid stations 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 and during 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.

Crew Details (http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/aid-stations/)

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.

To save parking space at the start, we ask that crews drop off runners at the entrance to the Gould Community Center (the start area) and park .5 miles west at the Moose Visitor Center and walk over on the short connector trail. Crews can use the extra parking at the Visitor Center after hours before 9am and after 5pm. 

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.

Important Crew Notes

  • Diamond Aid: Please do not arrive before 7am to give our volunteer team time to set up. All crew parking will be at the pullout by the aid station or on the south side of the Lake Agnes access road leading to the aid station. There is absolutely no parking on Hwy 14. Please attend the 5:45am Crew Briefing to coordinate carpooling to the station. It’s an easy 5 minute drive down the highway and back.
  • Ruby Jewel: 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 and race vehicles can pass through unimpeded. From the Francisco Road, it is a little less than a mile hike/run up the Ruby Jewel Road to the aid location and crew access point at the Ruby Jewel Yurt. Additional parking space is available at the start of the Ruby Jewel Rd off of 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 on the way to the Boackman, 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. Crews and pacers should plan to bring their own water and food for the weekend. 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 will have a food truck serving hot breakfast and lunch. 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.

Pacing (http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/race-rules/):

Pacers are allowed starting at the Canadian aid station (mile 50). Runners over the age of 60 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 aid station is located at the junction of the Clear Lake Road and the Canadian Yurt Trail.

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. The aid station is just a small pull off on the Bockman Rd.

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 four years are available here: http://gnarrunners.com/never-summer-100k/results/.

Awards, Post Race Food, and Runner Breakfast

We will be offering a pancake breakfast during the awards and prize giving on Sunday morning, beginning at 10am. 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.

Volunteers will also be preparing post-race burgers and veggie burgers and soup for all finishers through the afternoon, evening and night on race day. This is free to all runners. Again, if a meal has not been purchased in advance for crew and pacers, extra tickets will be available for a $10 donation. Included with the meal will be a cold beverage from our friends at New Belgium Brewing, in addition to non-alcoholic options.

Thank You

We want to thank you for registering to run the Never Summer 100km. We have received considerable support from friends, family, volunteers and sponsors in bringing this fifth 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:

Top Tier

Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy
Altitude Running
Justin Liddle DMD Prosthodontist

Race Support

Countryside Animal Hospital
Fort Collins Running Club

Product and Service Support

And, finally, if you have questions that can’t be answered here or on the race website, feel free to email us at racedirector@gnarrunners.com and we’ll do our best to get back to you. We will have limited internet access on site at the race so we may not be able to respond to all emails or Facebook posts after Thursday 7/25.

We look forward to seeing you in and among the majestic peaks of the Northern Colorado Rockies!


A Beautiful Day for the 2019 Quad Rock

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.

Race Action

Darren Thomas, winning and having fun.

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).

Corey Conner on her way to a second fastest time ever.

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.

Addie Bracy as seen by her competitors.

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).

Men’s 50 Mile Podium: Keyworth (3rd), Knight (1st), Messman (2nd)

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).

Thank You

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!

Altitude Running
Justin Liddle DMD Prosthodontist
Countryside Animal Hospital
Fort Collins Running Club

With generous product support from: VFuelNew BelgiumMary’s Mountain Cookies, Great Harvest Bread Company, and BoBo’s.

Next Up

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.


Quad Rock Pre-Race Details

Quad Rockers – we’re looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday morning at Lory State Park for the eighth running of the Quad Rock 25 & 50 mile trail races. Before we send you on your way on Saturday, we’d like to draw your attention to some important details for race weekend.  

Weather & Trails

There is some moisture in the forecast for today and Thursday, with clearing skies predicted for Friday and Saturday. If we get the moisture promised, our permitting agencies may require that we re-route part of the course early in the loop from the lower-lying Valley Trails onto better-draining higher trails (Mill Creek Link, Loggers, Stout). That decision (with course details) will be made and communicated Thursday evening / Friday morning. 

Please make every effort to stay on the trail and run through any mud that you encounter so we can keep our single track single. Avoid the temptation to jump to a side track or skirt around.  Embracing the mud is part of the fun. 

Packet Pickup

  • Friday, May 10 – 4-7p at Altitude Running (150 E. Harmony Rd #2B, 80525).
  • Saturday, May 11 – 4-7a at Soldier Canyon (race start/finish)
  • Picking up your bib either day tells us that you are starting the race.  If you pick up your bib, but miss the start, it is your responsibility to notify us. Texting RD Brad Bishop at (303) 946-9320 will be the best means of communication on race day.

Bib Numbers 

Have been assigned.  You can check yours at OpenSplitTime.  50 Mile25 Mile.


Parking for 50 mile runners will be available beginning at 4:00am, and for 25 mile runners beginning at 6:00am.

All runners registered for the race will receive a park pass – good for one vehicle – as part of their entry fee. Any other crew or spectator vehicles will be required to purchase a park entry for $8 if they don’t already have a CO State Parks annual pass.

Parking spaces adjacent to the Soldier Canyon start/finish area will be given to carpools of 2 or more registered runners on a first come – first serve basis. All other vehicles will be directed to park first in the Timber trailhead lot and then on the east side of the Lodgepole Drive spur road. Overflow parking will be at the Eltuck Picnic area, and then on the EAST side of the main park road, north of Eltuck.  

**Please give yourself an extra 20-30 minutes to park and get to race check-in on time. Late arrivals may have up to 1 mile or longer to walk to the start.**

Parking Map


The 50 mile race will be limited to 14 hours and will end at 7:30pm. Course cut-offs will be enforced at the following aid stations:

  1. Soldier Canyon (Mile 25) at 12:15pm. 6:45 Total time.
  2. Arthur’s Trailhead (Mile 32.4) at 2:10pm. 8:40 Total time.
  3. Horsetooth Trailhead (Mile 39.6) at 4:35pm. 11:05 Total time

This is a challenging course so some runners may find it difficult to meet these cut-off times. Any 50 mile runner who drops out or fails to meet the course cut-offs after completing the first 25 mile loop will be given a finish time in the 25 mile race, but will not be eligible for 25 mile overall and age group awards.

Check In @ Aid Stations

At each aid station (except the first time through Towers), volunteers will record runner bib numbers. Runners are responsible for making sure that aid station volunteers record their number. Please make sure that your bib number is visible from the front and call out and confirm your number when passing through an aid station. This is important so that we can keep track of runners and know that you are not lost or injured.

Dropping Out

If you need to drop out of the race for any reason, you must check out with the timing staff at the nearest aid station.  If you do not inform us that you have dropped, we will assume that you are lost on the course. 

Drop Bags

50 mile runners may leave a drop bag at the start to be transported to the Horsetooth Aid Station (mile 10.3 / 39.7). Both 25 mile and 50 mile runners can leave bags at the start/finish to use as finish and 25 mile drop bags. 

Drop bags will be collected on race morning only – don’t bring them to Friday’s packet pickup. They should be labeled with your Bib Number, Name, and Aid Location.

Timing and Runner Tracking

As runners come through each aid station, they will be recorded by our timing crews. Results will be near-live throughout the race for 50 Milers and 25 Milers.  For detailed results for a specific runner, click the runner’s name.

Note that some of our aid stations have weak or intermittent internet access, so some results may be delayed. We will do our best to keep the live results as current as possible.

Pace Planning

Using data from prior years, OpenSplitTime provides a planning tool to help you figure out your pacing for any finish time. You can plan your effort for the 50-mile and 25-mile courses.

Live Text and Email Updates

You can subscribe to free live updates on specific runners throughout the day:

1. Visit opensplittime.org and sign up for an account

2. Log in

3. Find your runner at one of the links provided above and click the name

4. Locate the box that says “Notify me” and click the email or text button

We will also be providing race coverage through our Twitter and Instagram accounts: @gnar_runners 

Trekking Poles
 are not allowed.  This is a running race on tight – sometimes heavily populated – trails. We do have one pregnant runner who has been granted an exception and will be using poles – look for her in the “Quad Rock for Two!” shirt. 🙂


Crew access is available at the Arthur’s Rock Aid Station, Horsetooth Aid Station, and the Soldier Canyon turnaround/finish area. Please make sure to pass the parking instructions above to your crews! Also note that access to the Horsetooth Aid Station requires a Larimer County Parks Pass or day-use pass ($9).

Park Visitors

The park is open to the public. Please be courteous to other users.  Yield when appropriate, especially to equestrians.

Thanks, and once again, we look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.

Gnar Runners Race Management.


Quad Rock Racer Update – March

We’re now less than 2 months out from race day.  We hope everyone’s training has been enjoyable and productive!  A few updates:

Quad Rock Preview Run – Sat, April 6 – Lory State Park

Led by Gnar Team members, multiple options to preview most (or all) of the Quad Rock course with a potluck BBQ after the run!

Also, most Saturdays leading up to the Quad Rock 50m/25m, Fort Collins Trail Runners will continue to organize training runs on the race course. This Saturday, join us for the annual March Mileage Madness circumnavigation of Horsetooth Reservoir – 21-34mi.


Gnar Gnight @ Altitude Running

Wednesday, April 3 – join us at 6p for a run from the store, followed by a casual social hour to learn more about the course, meet with the race directors and previous finishers, and get all your ultra and trail running questions answered.  Mark your calendars, and watch our Facebook page for more details.

Please take this SURVEY on your trail/running gear needs to help Altitude Running better understand and stock the kinds of products you’d like to see in the store. As a token of their appreciation, Altitude will be offering 20% off everything in store at the April 3 event.


New 2019 Start Time

If you have run Quad Rock in the past, please pay special attention – we have shifted this year’s 25 mile start time an hour earlier (7:00am).  This is to keep more runners out of the heat of the day and reduce crowding during the park’s busiest time.


Soldier Canyon Construction

The start/finish area may have some changes this year.  Lory State Park is constructing a new pavilion in Soldier Canyon, which may or may not be ready on race day.  We will still start and finish at Soldier Canyon, but may need to move the main setup to the back circle, east of the start line.  Stay tuned for details.


Wet Route

In the event trail conditions are wet/muddy on race day, we do have an approved alternate course.  It is 95% similar to our main route; it just avoids the most easily damaged sections of the course (valley trails).  We’ll make sure to update you on race week if it looks like the alternate may come into play.


Transfers, Deferrals & Distance Changes

We want everyone to arrive at the start line healthy & ready to rock.  Unfortunately, we know that may not happen for some of you.

The 25 mile distance is currently sold out.  As long as there are runners on the wait list, we offer race transfer credits according to the following schedule:

Until April 15: 75% credit of registration fee (excluding Ultrasignup fees).

April 16–May 4: 50% credit of registration fee (excluding Ultrasignup fees).

Credits may be applied to any future Gnar Runners race and will be valid for 12 months.

If we do not have runners on the wait list available to accept a transfer entry, then unfortunately we will not be able to offer transfers or credits.

For more details, please see the registration page. If you need to cancel your entry, please contact us at registration@gnarrunners.com.



We’re looking for fun, friendly folks to join us as volunteers for the race.  If you have friends or family coming who’d be interested, or you have to withdraw but still want to be part of the event, we’d love to have you as part of the crew!

View our available volunteer shifts and register to join our team.