Summary: Quad Rock 50 mile is a 25 mile loop in Lory State Park, Fort Collins, CO, which 50 milers run one direction first, then turn around and run the other direction, featuring 6 major climbs along the way, runnable single track, technical descents, and minimal dirt road. A yearly favorite for those training for 100k and 100 milers, especially Colorado ones, with great support, and one that often leaves runners much more tired and humbled than they were expecting.
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- Cupless race and gel is in bulk, so bring your own flask for both liquids and gels
- The race asks that you don’t run with headphones
- No poles allowed unless approved by race staff
- Be aware that there are likely lots of other users out on the trails, so be polite. Also make crew aware, as parking may be tight
- You’ll likely run into two-way traffic with it being an “out and back” like course
- Likely to warm up but expect it to be cold at the start, especially waiting around
- Weather can change very quickly and past years have seen everything, including thunderstorms, warm temps, muddy trails, and then sunshine the rest of the day, etc.
- The race starts with dirt road, which helps spread runners out before entering singletrack
- A lot of race report stories of underestimating the course, not paying attention to fueling early enough, struggling with changes in weather, and not managing the course very well, as it switches a lot between technical, runnable, up, down, etc.
- For a course with this much elevation change, it’s a fairly tight cutoff, so keep that in mind when stopping at aid stations. Keep stops brief, keep moving, and try and stay well ahead of the cutoff
- With 6 big climbs in the mix, if you want to still be running the last climb, run the first 5 conservatively, not just the first 3; otherwise you’ll get to mile 25, turn around and be totally spent with 3 big climbs to go
- Some sections are exposed, which can be tough if it’s hot and sunny or wet and storming
- If you’re feeling tired after 25 miles, it’s tough mentally to turn around and keep going vs. dropping down to the 25 mile finish. Be aware of that as you head into the start/finish.
- Several race reports talking about predicted finishing times, which ended up nowhere near actual given the climbs, the terrain, and the unpredictable weather. Forget predictions and just run!
Total gain/loss: 11,130/11,130
Ft/mile gain: 226
Total climbs: 6 major climbs ranging from 1200-1400 feet, with the first big climb starting with 800 feet, dipping ~200 feet, then climbing another 1000 feet
Total aid stations: 10
Furthest distance apart: 7.4 (twice in a row)
Locations: Miles 2.0 (no aid, volunteers directing runners) 6.1, 10.3, 14.1, 17.5, 24.9, 32.3, 35.7, 39.5, 43.7, 47.8 (limited aid)
What’s available: Typical aid station fare and it may change due to weather, including the usual suspects of salty, sweet, fruit soda, water and ice. VFuel gel in bulk and sports drink – BRING YOUR OWN FLASK FOR GEL AND BOTTLE FOR LIQUIDS.
Access Locations: Start/finish at Soldier Canyon, Arthur’s Trailhead (miles 2.0 and 47.8), and the Horsetooth Trailhead (miles 10.3 and 39.5).
Crew instructions/directions: Runners will receive one pass into Lory park for the race. Any additional crew or family vehicles will need to pay the regular $9 park entrance fee. A Larimer County Parks pass or $9 day fee (separate from the Lory entrance fee) is required at the Horsetooth Trailhead. Parking and Directions.
Strava activities and GPX files
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