The Fort Collins Running Club (FCRC) has appointed Gnar Runners Race Management to direct the 2016 Horsetooth Half Marathon. Nick Clark, winner of the 2013 Horsetooth Marathon – held in conjunction with the Half Marathon for the 40th anniversary of the race – will assume the role of race director. Clark will direct the race with Pete Stevenson, who together make up the Gnar Runners Race Management team.
“The FCRC is excited to partner with Gnar Runners for the 2016 Horsetooth Half Marathon. Gnar Runners’ proven track record of managing complicated running events with a national appeal and local flair while always keeping the runners experience as the top priority will make this year’s Horsetooth Half Marathon one of the most exciting in its 43 year history,” said Dan Berlin, President of the Fort Collins Running Club.
Registration for the 2016 race opened Monday September 14, the same day that a new race website and domain were launched: www.horsetooth-half.com. The new event management team will continue to focus on providing a fun, affordable and challenging race experience.
“Those who have run our events know that we bring a great deal of passion and energy to our races. Our focus has always been on delivering not only a great running and racing experience, but also a fantastic post-race party, all while keeping entry fees affordable. That philosophy will be no different with the Horsetooth Half,” Clark said.
The Gnar Runners team owns and directs four successful races in the Northern Colorado region, including the Blue Sky Marathon, the Quad Rock 25 & 50 mile trail races, the Black Squirrel Half Marathon and the Never Summer 100km. Clark has also directed the Fort Collins Running Club’s popular Tortoise and Hare (T&H) running series for the last eight years.
“We plan to integrate the T&H series into the build-up to the Horsetooth Half Marathon and we’ll also be offering free training programs and support for newer runners getting ready for the race. Although Gnar Runners will be in charge of all aspects of managing the event, the Club – which owns the race – will be much more involved than it has been in past years in terms of providing training support. This is a marquee Fort Collins running race and a great opportunity for the club to boost its membership and grow its role within the local running community,” said Clark.
In addition to growing community participation with the event, the Club and Gnar Runners plan to promote the city and race as a destination for out-of-state runners looking for a great weekend running getaway. This is in line with a broader plan to grow participation numbers – both among amateur and elite runners – and to establish the race as a major event on the Colorado running calendar.
“We’re putting up a $4,000 cash purse for the 2016 race and plan to increase the payout as the depth of the elite field grows over the years,” Clark explained. “Ultimately, we’d like to establish the Horsetooth Half not only as a great running experience for everyone in the field, but also as one of the most competitive half marathons in the region. We have an unbelievably scenic and challenging course. This is a great opportunity to showcase Fort Collins as the fantastic running town that we all know it to be.”
The Running Club shares the ambition of raising the profile of the event, all while maintaining strong support within the local community.
“We have a goal of bringing Fort Collins to the forefront as a nationally recognized running city, and the Horsetooth Half Marathon is the FCRC’s signature event with a potential national appeal for its beautiful course and close tie-in with Fort Collins culture. In addition, we are excited to expand on the tradition of this challenging half marathon as the running season kickoff event for many in our local running community, both novice and experienced alike,” Berlin explained.
The Horsetooth Half Marathon was run for the 42nd consecutive year in 2015, making it the oldest half marathon in the state and among the oldest in the nation. It was rated the top half marathon with the best post-race party in the state by readers of Colorado Runner Magazine in 2006. The 43rd running of the event is scheduled for April 17, 2016.
For more information, please contact:
Race Director, Nick Clark: email@example.com