2017 Horsetooth Half Marathon Recap

It was a record year for the 44th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon, with a total of 1,649 runners from 40 different states crossing the finish line, eclipsing the previous finisher record from 2012. In the men’s race, our top three finishers all dipped under Paul Peterson’s 2013 course record, with Gebre Abadi setting the new bar at an incredibly fast 1:07:27. 

The fast times were aided by the perfect running conditions we were blessed with this year. Race morning temperatures ranged from the low 40s into the mid 50s and gave way to beautiful post-race conditions which ended up being perfect for hanging out and enjoying the New Belgium Finish Line Party. Some years you get lucky!

Colleen Weitzel enjoying a beautiful day midway through the 2017 Horsetooth Half.

Tyler McCandless (right) beats Gabre Abadi and Scott Dahlberg over the hill to win the King of the Hill prem.

In celebration of the hilly nature of the course, we again gave away $100 premiums to the first man and first woman to the top of Monster Mountain, just 1.8 miles into the course. In the exciting race within the race, Tyler McCandless surged ahead of race winner Gebre Abadi and third place finisher Scott Dahlberg near the top of the hill to post a record 9:58 split (5:30 pace), while women’s race winner Maggie Callahan cruised uncontested to claim the Queen of the Mountain crown in 12:18. Full Monster Mountain split times are available here.

From the top of the hill, Maggie Callahan (1:23:25) settled into a rhythm, ultimately growing her 30 second lead into about a minute by the finish over second place finisher Heather Utrata (1:24:13) and 90 seconds over third place finisher and local favorite Dani Cook (1:24:32).  

In the men’s race, Gebre Abadi broke open the lead pack of three coming off North Dam hill at about the five mile mark and managed to put a couple of minutes on Tyler (1:09:16) and Scott (1:09:28) who raced shoulder to shoulder until about a half mile from the finish, where Tyler was able to surge for second.  

Maggie Callahan wins the women’s race.

Taking home the prize money in the master’s division were Sioux Falls’ Yvonne Smith (1:39:06) and local favorite Dan Clark (1:22:43), who out-kicked owner of Mary’s Mountain Cookies Old Town, Mike Neal, by a slim six seconds.

Age group award winners took home beautiful pottery awards from famed local potter Amy Hayman. For those that weren’t able to collect their awards at the post-race prize giving, they will be available for pickup for the next few weeks from Runners Roost Fort Collins. If you are interested in official race apparel, Runners Roost also has a limited run of inventory available for sale at the store. 

Previous course record holder, Paul Petersen, collects his age group award.

In addition to our awards winners, all finishers went home with a beautiful commemorative pint glass from New Belgium Brewing and a unique finisher’s medal.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out official race photos, please find them here:

Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center volunteers work the Taft water station.

Full race results are available from the results page of the race website. 

In closing, we’d like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who helped out in many different capacities to help make the 2017 running of the race a success. Thank You! We’d also like to thank our five wonderful top-tier sponsors who have supported this year’s event with total enthusiasm.

Please visit our sponsor page to see the full list of business sponsors and non-profit volunteer organizations who helped make this year’s race a success.

New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing

Salomon Running

Salomon Running

Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy

Colorado in Motion

DaVinci Sign Systems

DaVinci Sign Systems

Raintree Athletic Club

Raintree Athletic Club

Planning has already begun for 2018, and we very much hope to see you back again in just under a year on April 15. Registration will open October 1. Until then, happy running! 

Done did it.

Winners of the ‘stroller division’ Mike and Jamo Hinterberg in 1:29:07. A stroller course record? We think so.

Ron Michaels: DJ by night, pacer by day.

2017 Horsetooth Half Marathon – Pre-race Details

Dear Horsetooth Half Marathon Participant:

Thank you for choosing to participate in the 44th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon. This year we’ll be welcoming record numbers of runners to undertake the journey from Hughes Stadium to New Belgium Brewing, and we’re excited that you’ll be a part of that journey. 

While all relevant race information is available on the race website, we’d like to draw your attention to a few important race details and to also highlight a few of our partners who are helping to make this year’s event one of the best yet. We’re especially thankful to our top-tier sponsors who have all become integral parts of the race planning and execution process.

New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing

Salomon Running

Salomon Running

Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy

Colorado in Motion

DaVinci Sign Systems

DaVinci Sign Systems

Raintree Athletic Club

Raintree Athletic Club

Packet Pickup

Pre-race packet pickup will be at Raintree Athletic Club (RAC) on Saturday April 22 from noon until 6:00pm. Please see below for a FREE three-day membership to RAC. Packets will also include a bath bomb for your post-race soak from Salus Bath & Body, and of course your bib and performance race t-shirt. Raintree is located on the NW corner of Drake and Shields at 2555 S. Shields St.

Runners Roost Fort Collins will have official Horsetooth Half branded performance running apparel (Salomon) for sale at packet pickup. Additional runing gear and fuel will be available at packet pickup from both Runners Roost and Altitude Running.

In order to avoid lines on race morning, we encourage you to pick up your packets on Saturday. If you are not able to make it to Saturday’s packet pickup, then we will also be offering race morning packet pickup from 7:00 – 8:15 inside the main south gate of Hughes Stadium off Dixon Canyon Road.

*Please look up your bib number HERE*

** We have a very limited number of entries left. If you have friends of family interested in running, we suggest they register by Friday.

Race Start, Parking and Busing

The race will begin at 8:30am on County Road 42C adjacent to the southwest gate of Hughes Stadium, directly under Dixon Canyon Dam. Parking will be at the Holiday Twin Drive In. All Drive-In parking wll be from the south, off Overland Trail Rd. (right turn only). We expect parking to be tight, so please carpool with friends or get dropped off if you can.

Runner drop-off will be inside the main south gate of Hughes Stadium. Drop-off will be ‘airport style’ so please be ready to ‘de-car’ once you arrive so we can get cars in and out efficiently.

The Drive In is located 3/4 of a mile east of the race start. Race morning registration, port-a-johns and packet pickup will be inside the main south gate of Hughes Stadium off Dixon Canyon Road, a half mile from the Twin Drive-In parking on the way to the race start. Please plan accordingly in terms of the time you’ll need to get from car to packets to start. We advise getting to the Drive-In no later than 7:30 for the 8:30 start.

If you need clothing or other gear transported to the finish, a bag drop will be available on race morning near the packet pickup and registration location. A tag from your race bib must be pinned to your bag prior to dropping off (we will not be providing bags). You will need to show your race bib to collect your bag at the finish. While we will make every effort possible to make sure all bags are reunited with their owners, we strongly recommend that you not pack valuables in your gear bag.

Free busing will be available from the finish at New Belgium back to the start at Hughes Stadium. Buses will be running from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

New Belgium Post Race Party

The famed Horsetooth Half Marathon post race party will take place on the grounds of New Belgium Brewing. All race participants are welcome to enjoy free beer from New Belgium, in addition to a hearty and healthy soup from Boulder Organic with wheat rolls from the Great Harvest Bread Company. We will also have fruit available courtesy of Trader Joe’s. If you’ve got room for more, then try a delicious cookie from Mary’s Mountain Cookies (Old Town). Non-alcoholic beverages will be available from Ripple, Morning Fresh and Eldorado Spring Water.

Beers will be served only to those who have shown proof of age and are wearing an over-21 wristband. This can be taken care of at packet pickup on Saturday (wristband must be attached then) or at the entrance to the beer garden after the race.

Wristbands will also be available to friends and family for a suggested donation of $10. All proceeds will be donated to the Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center

With your race run, and food and beverages in hand, please sit back in the beer garden or picnic area and enjoy live music from local blues fusion band Musketeer Gripweed. Or peruse the post-race expo booths and enjoy samples from vendors or a complimentary massage from our volunteer masseuses.

Food for family and friends will be avilable from food trucks. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the live music and vendor expo.  

On-Course Entertainment

Weather permitting, we will have on course music at three separate locations courtesy of the Blevins Middle School Jazz Ensemble, the African Drum Collective of Fort Collins, and the Poudre High School Drum Line.

Pace Groups

If you’re looking to hit a specific finish time, we have a team of pacers lined up to help you get there. If you have questions related to pacing, then be sure to stop by the pace group table at packet pickup on Saturday. We’ll have pace leaders for the following goal times: 1:30, 1:45, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30. Given the hilly nature of the course, mile splits will not be even. We will have suggested mile-for-mile pacing charts available at packet pickup.

Aid Stations

Vfuel sports drink and water will be available at all five aid stations. There will also be a port-a-john at each aid station, in addition to a first aid kit. Additional medical coverage will be provided by Poudre Valley Hospital EMS. Aid stations will be spaced out and staffed as follows:

Additional Information

Be sure to read through the race website for additional race details, instructions, rules, and directions.

See you Sunday April 23!

Thank you,
Nick Clark and Pete Stevenson, Gnar Runners LLC

2017 Horsetooth Half Marathon Competitors

Paul Petersen on his way to a second Horsetooth Half Marathon win in 2015.

We’ve got a strong elite field lining up for the race this Sunday. They’ll all be vying for a piece of this year’s $4,000 prize purse.

Tyler McCandless will be among the favorites this Sunday for the 44th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon

We have two returning champions in the men’s field this Sunday. Local favorite, Paul Petersen set the current course record (1:10:32) in 2013 and won again in 2015. Mark Charles (aka Horsecow Lonac) was the 2009 champion and will also be lining up on Sunday. Lonac is the XC coach at Blevins Middle School and will be cheered on by his team who will be working the 8.5 mile water station.

Pushing our two previous champions will be Tyler McCandless, a Boulder pro who holds a 1:03:14 half marathon PR and is coming off an impressive 48:30 finish at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in D.C. earlier this month. Tyler will be joined among the favorites by Gebre Abadi, winner of last year’s Denver Half Marathon and claimant to a 2:12:38 marathon PR. Also among the favorites is assistant CSU track and XC country coach, Scott Dahlberg who has recently stepped up in distance, clocking a 1:06 half in San Antonio in December.

Other runners with elite bibs that we expect to be pushing the pace up front include local standout and 2016 podium finisher James Vance; Mississippi State standout and volunteer coach for the CSU XC team, Andrew Monaghan; and last year’s King of the Mountain Ben Wheatley.

Gebre Abadi winning the 2016 Denver Half Marathon. He will be among the favorites at the 2017 Horsetooth Half Marathon.

Can Ben Wheatley (white singlet) defend his King of the Mountain crown at the 2017 Horsetooth Half Marathon? $100 says he can.

In the Women’s field, three time winner, course record holder, and defending champion (yes, overall champion), Brianne Nelson will not be toeing the line this Sunday, which leaves the Horsetooth Half Marathon women’s race wide open for 2017. Among the favorites will be 2015 champion Kara Henry Mills who’ll be racing Horsetooth as one of her first races back after a long injury lay-off. In 2015 she won the race in a time of 1:24:29.

Kara Henry Mills at mile 10 of the 2015 Horsetooth Half Marathon on her way to breaking the winner’s tape.

Last year’s runner up Heather Utrata will be back on the starting line this Sunday, and she’ll be looking to go one better than in 2016 when she finished in 1:26:16. Heather is coming off a recent win at the Spring Equinox Half Marathon here in Fort Collins.

Heather Utrata was second last year’s Horsetooth Half Marathon. Can she go one better on Sunday?

Local favorite AnnMarie Kirkpatrick finished fourth in last year’s race and appears to be in good form, having just run a 2:55 for an eighth place finish at last month’s LA Marathon, which surely puts her in podium contention.

AnnMarie Kirkpatrick prepping for her recent 8th place finish at the LA Marathon. She’ll be among the favorites this Sunday at the Horsetooth Half Marathon

Arizona Wildcat alum, Maggie Callahan has a half marathon PR from early 2016 of 1:16:57 and will certainly be among the favorites for the win this weekend. Second to Utrata last month at the Spring Equinox Half, Becky Lynn will be looking to make some noise on Sunday, as will 2013 second place finisher Sarah Jo Omann and multi-time top-five finisher Jennifer Malmberg.

Sarah Jo Omann has raced the Horsetooth Half Marathon many times, finishing as high as second (2013). She’ll be among the favorites on Sunday. Here she is on top of the race’s namesake mountain.

Given the ideal weather forecast for fast times, we’re predicting some pretty strong pressure to be put on Petersen’s 2013 course record this Sunday. It should be an exciting race in both the men’s and women’s fields. Click here for info on prime viewing spots along the course.

Are you a horizontal or vertical runner?”

Are you a horizontal or vertical runner?

Vertical runners tend to get more up and down movement when they run compared to a more efficient horizontal runner. See this video comparing horizontal versus vertical running.

If you are more of a vertical runner, your breathing pattern may be part of the problem. Vertical runners tend to breath by elevating or lifting their shoulders and ribs when they breath. A more efficient breathing pattern is one that focuses on using the diaphragm and expanding your ribs outward. Check out this video for a simple exercise to work on your breathing and become a more efficient runner.

If you are looking for a more comprehensive training program, contact Dr. Terry Gebhardt at Colorado In Motion at Terry@ColoradoInMotion.com.

Hills. We got ’em, but how to pace them?

The Horsetooth Half is beloved locally for many reasons. Yes we throw a great post-race party. Yes, the course offers incredible views. But perhaps above all, we love an early season challenge here in Colorado. And we’ve got the hills to offer you just that challenge.

Hopefully you’ve begun incorporating hills into your training program. And hopefully you’ve been focusing as much on the descents and strengthening your quads as you have your climbing chops. After all, Horsetooth is a net-downhill race (915′ up, 1,150′ down). If you’ve got questions about downhill running form and techniques, be sure to join us at New Belgium on March 12 for a presentation from Colorado in Motion’s Tim Flynn on just that topic.

But what about pacing a race with so much elevation change? Clearly your mile splits are going to vary significantly over the hills of the first 8 miles, so our best advice is to pace your race based on perceived effort rather than specific mile splits. However, to give you an idea of how those splits might look through the first half of the race, we’ve created a per-mile pacing guide based on the experience of co-race director Pete Stevenson at the 2009, ’10 & ’12 runnings of the race.

CLICK HERE FOR HORSETOOTH PACING SPLITS

Training in Full Swing; Post-Race Party Just got Bigger

Train with the Fort Collins Running Club

With two weekend long runs now under our belts, the Fort Collins Running Club‘s Horsetooth Half training season is officially in full swing. For the kick-off event from New Belgium Brewing on January 15, a record crowd turned out for a fun social run followed by snacks and refreshments, a presentation from Colorado in Motion and sponsor giveaways from New Belgium, Salomon Running, and the Fort Collins Running Club.

In case you missed the first Colorado in Motion presentation, here’s the video demonstration:

Last Sunday, training turned to the hills with a climb up and down 500 foot Monster Mountain, with an out and back from the race start.

If you’re in town, be sure to join us this Sunday at 9:45am from New Belgium Brewing where we’ll be covering the final few miles of the course. Pacers will be available to help set a pace if needed (8-13 min per mile). And be sure to join us afterwards for beverages, more sponsor giveaways, a presentation from Runners Roost Fort Collins and snacks from the Fort Collins Running Club. For more information on the Horsetooth Half training program, please visit the training page.

Boulder Organics and New Belgium Brewing to Fuel the Post-Race Party

The Horsetooth Half is famed for a number of different reasons. It begins with hills, continues with the views and ends with one helluva a finish line party. And this year, we’re upsizing the party to new levels. Not only will the shenanigans be moved to New Belgium’s newly expanded grounds, but we’ll also be offering garden fresh goodness from Boulder Organics and – of course – liquid dynamite in a glass from Fort Collins’ biggest and best craft brewer. 

But wait … there’s more. Headlining on center stage with foot stomping blues-fusion anthems will be Fort Collins’ very own Musketeer Gripweed.

All post-race fun, food and beverages are included in the price of your race registration. For thirsty friends and family, we ask for a $10 donation to race beneficiary Teaching Tree

Jan Price Bump, Training and Racing

Price Bump Jan 7

Early bird pricing for the 44th running of the Horsetooth Half 2016 Horsetooth Half Marathon Finisher 351Marathon will expire January 6 at midnight. We’re expecting record numbers in 2017 and will cap at 2,500 registrations. If you plan on running the race this year, register soon and save.

On race day, we’ll have medals and commemorative pint glasses for all finishers. And of course, once you’re done we’ll celebrate together at the legendary New Belgium Finish Line Party with free beer, free food and raucous live music, this year on the brewery’s newly expanded patio. 

Train With the Running Club

If you need a little motivation to get that training kick-started, then check out the race Training page for a customized schedule or to learn about the weekly group training runs through the FREE Fort Collins Running Club RunningU program. 

We’ll be kicking off the training season on January 15 with runs of 4 or 6 miles on the Poudre Bike path, beginning and ending at New Belgium. After the run enjoy drink specials (beer-mosas, anyone?), a training presentation from Colorado in Motion and a chance to try on the all new Salomon road line. 

Group runs will be held each Sunday at 8am (Maxwell) or 10am (NBB) depending on location. Sunday runs are free and open to all. Fort Collins Running Club members also enjoy weekly motivational emails, mentoring, communication with other members and free entry to the Tortoise and Hare Race Series.

Sign up today!

Train with the Running Club

optimized-wp_20161009_08_17_07_pro_li-1Join the Fort Collins Running Club this Sunday (Jan 8) for the fourth Tortoise and Hare of the 2016/17 season, an 8k (5 miles) from Edora Park. 

The T&H races are a low-key “handicap” series of seven races, run monthly from October to April. Computer-predicted handicaps allow runners of all levels to compete equally. Participants are scored across the series and the top five are awarded checks to one of Fort Collins’ two specialty run stores: Altitude Running or Runners Roost.

The series is free to all Running Club members or $10 to non-members. Join us afterwards at Raintree Athletic Club for bagels and coffee.

All participants for this Sunday’s race must register by noon on Saturday.

Colorado In Motion Physical Therapy

Become an Agile Runner

Snow on the ground means being light on your feet. This is a great time to focus on becoming an agile runner. This month lets focus on strengthening your core and leg muscles while improving your quickness and endurance.

The 4 square hop drill should be done on a flat surface. If you are new to these type of exercises, be sure to focus on good form and progress slowly to avoid injury.

If you are looking for a more comprehensive winter training program, contact Dr. Terry Gebhardt at Colorado In Motion at Terry@ColoradoInMotion.com.

2017 Horsetooth Half Training Program Begins Jan 15

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The 2017 Horsetooth Half RunningU Training Program will officially kick off January 15 with a run from the New Belgium Brewery, followed by drink specials and a training presentation from Colorado In Motion. The Sunday before the official kick-off to the Horsetooth Half training season, we’ll be gathering for a ‘soft launch’ at Edora Park for the Fort Collins Running Club’s Tortoise and Hare 8k race.

Details for the free 14-week training program have been updated on the race website, and like last year there are two programs to choose from. The Beginner Program is designed for participants new to running or new to the half marathon distance. The Intermediate Program is designed for runners with a couple of half marathon finishes under their belts and who are looking to improve their times. 

The Fort Collins Running Club’s RunningU training group is offered free to members and includes:

  • A 14-week training program, gradually increasing weekly mileage.
  • Group long runs every Sunday, which alternates between New Belgium (flat) and the race start by Hughes Stadium (hills).
  • Post-run informational sessions at New Belgium Brewery from Colorado in Motion, previous race winners and other race partners.
  • Sponsor giveaways.
  • Peer/mentor support and motivation through a closed Facebook group and email list.

Details for the two programs and the weekend long run and presentation schedules can be accessed from the Horsetooth Half Training Page

All weekend runs are free and open to anyone, but we encourage you to register for the program if you’d like to be included in the peer mentoring benefits, midweek group run opportunities or just want to get to know your half marathoners in training better. 

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