Dominic Korir Sets New Course Record at 2022 Horsetooth Half Marathon

 

The 2022 Horsetooth Half Marathon marked a return to the race’s normal April time slot, with over 1,400 runners from 37 different states celebrating the spring return to racing. Now in its 49th year, race day offered up cool temperatures and some stiff winds out of the west propelling many runners to new personal bests. 

None more so than at the front of the field in the men’s race, with first and second both going under the previous course record. The new men’s mark (1:06:51) was set by Colorado Spring’s Dominic Korir, while Salt Lake City’s Liz Lagoy took home the women’s title. 

Race times were aided by a strong wind out of the northwest. Although challenging alongside the reservoir as a cross-wind, it turned into a huge tailwind advantage after the turn onto Bingham Hill at the race’s halfway point. Race morning temperatures ranged from the high 30s to low 50s. 

In celebration of the beautiful hills that define our state and the course, we annually crown a King and Queen of the Mountain at the course high point just 1.7 miles and +500′ into the race. This year, the crowns went to Liz Lagoy (12:27) and Sean O’Connor (10:13). 



Sean O’Connor at the top of Monster Mountain

 

Lagoy crested the top of  Monster Mountain just 7 seconds ahead of Fort Collins’ Sophie Anders who pressed hard through the hills of Centennial. At the race’s halfway point, Anders had assumed control of the race and held a close to 30 second lead at the race’s halfway point. But while the hills played to Anders’ strengths, the final five miles on the bike path took their toll. With approximately three miles to go, Lagoy reassumed the lead and held it into the finish (1:20:02) where she would need to wait just 30 seconds to see Anders cross the line (1:20:32) and a further three minutes for third place Sophie Seward (1:23:37). Rounding out the top five money spots were Holly McKinney (1:24:58) and Jenna Bensko (1:25:37).

In the men’s race, Sean O’Connor’s early lead on the opening climb was quickly covered by the chase pack, and at the halfway point at the base of Bingham Hill it was Korir and 2012 NCAA Champion Lawi Lalang leading the race with Tyler McCandless just six seconds adrift in third. After giving up more time over Bingham Hill, McCandless would pick up Lalang on the bike path but just fall short of reeling in Korir who held on for the win in a new course record time of 1:06:51. McCandless time of 1:06:59 was also under the race’s previous course record, and Lalang in third posted the race’s fourth fastest time ever (1:07:40). Rounding out the top five were Will Cross (1:08:56) and Sean O’Connor (1:09:46).

It was another fast year and a nice compliment to women’s course record that was set in the fall by Sara Vaughn. 

Liz Lagoy breaks the tape as the 2022 women’s champion

Dominic Korir winning the 2022 Horsetooth Half and resetting the record books in the process

Taking home the wins and prize money in the master’s division were Anthony Bruns (1:11:13) and Janet Clements (1:39:06).

Age group award winners took home beautiful pottery awards from famed local potter Amy Hayman. In addition to our award winners, all finishers went home with a beautiful commemorative pint glass from New Belgium Brewing and a unique finisher’s medal that pairs with the fall 2021 medal to complete a single picture from the Fall/Spring Horsetooth Half Double.  

In closing, we’d like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers that helped out in many different capacities to help make the 2022 running of the race a success. Thank You! We’d also like to thank our seven 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.

 

Thank You!

Fort Collins Running Club Announces 2022 Elite Field

The Horetooth Half Marathon will again be awarding $8,000 in prize money this year, with generous support from the Fort Collins Running Club.

“The Fort Collins Running Club is committed to supporting runners of all ages, talent, and experience.  As part of our mission to support the elite side of the sport in Colorado, the Club has continued its support of the Horsetooth Half prize purse by matching the $4,000 put up by the race, as well as increasing our support of local runners by offering cash awards for our top club members,” said Fort Collins Running Club Vice President, Kate Schulte.

“We love the Horsetooth Half course and  its vibe, and want to make it THE race for all Coloradoans, and even all U.S. runners, to add to their bucket list of races.  With a challenging and beautiful course,  the best post-race party in the state, and now with even more of the best talent in the area, the 49th running of the race is sure to be exciting!”

For full award details, including age group awards, please visit the awards section of the race website

Men’s Race

Two past winners (and holders of the second and third fastest race times) will be in the running for the win on Sunday, April 10. 

Last year’s winner & a member of the Fort Collins Running Club Racing Team, Tyler McCandless is back on the start line. In 2021, Tyler ran the third fastest time ever on the course (1:07:52) after three years of trying. He also holds the record for the fastest time to the top of Monster Mountain (9:54) and knows the Horsetooth course well. Tyler is coming off a recent fourth place finish (first American) at the LA Marathon. 

Tyler will be up against a stout field though, including one runner who has gone faster. Dominic Korir won the 2019 race in a time of 1:07:34, just six seconds off Gebre Abadi’s 2017 course record. More recently, Dominic finished second at the Philadelphia Distance Run Half Marathon in a time of 1:02:48, suggesting he is in fine fettle. 

There will be a strong field pushing our two former winners, including:

  • Lawi Lalang had a stellar career at the University of Arizona with podium finishes across his career in both XC and track, winning the 2011 NCAA D1 XC National Championship and both the 5,000 & 10,000 races at the 2013 Outdoor D1 Track and Field Championships. Now based in Colorado Springs, Lawi was 10th at the December 2021 USATF Half Marathon Championships in a time of 1:02:49.
  • Sean O’Connor has come into some form after a DIII career at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He qualified for the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials with a half marathon time of 1:03:45. More recently, in October, he finished 10th at the Broad Street 10 Miler in Philadelphia in a time of 48:05, a race at which Lawi Lalang was sixth (47:10).
  • Local CSU standout, Carson Hume was fifth at last year’s Horsetooth Half (1:10:35), his first half marathon since stepping up in distance as part of the Fort Collins Running Club Racing Team after a stellar CSU career. 
  • Another local runner and top 10 finisher from last year, Clint Anders, will be toeing the line again on Sunday. Clint was seventh in November in a time of 1:10:52 and is known to attack the hills hard.
  • Also returning from last year’s top 10 and another Fort Collins local is Nate Routhier (1:10:50, 6th).
  • Kurt Roeser also returns to the field after an 8th place finish in 2021 (1:11:14) and a third place finish (1:08:28) behind Dominic Korir in 2019.  
  • Will Cross will be lining up at the Horsetooth Half for the first time. He brings a 2:17:33 marathon PR (Chicago, 2019) to the line, putting him firmly in the conversation.
  • Others in the field include: Christian Leitner (1:09:55 at the Madison Half Marathon); FCRC Racing Team member Calvin Lehn (1:06:53 at the 2020 Houston Half); and Zeb Hanley (1:08:46 at the 2021 Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon). 

Women’s Race

Unlike in the men’s race, there will be no defending champion or former race winner in the women’s field, leaving it wide open.

The top returning runner from last year is Sophie Seward. A member of the local Front Range Elite training group, Sophie placed fourth at last year’s race in a time of 1:19:27 and comes in with a marathon PR of 2:33:23.

Teammate Sophie Anders is coming into form just in time for what could be a really strong run at the Horsetooth Half. Sophie set a new half marathon PR at the Austin Marathon (1:17:40) in February and is coming off a recent 30km trail win at the Behind the Rocks race in Moab, UT.

Salt Lake City’ Liz Lagoy will also be among the favorites on Sunday. She is coming into the race with a newly minted marathon PR of 2:40:15 from the November 2021 Indianapolis Marathon where she finished fifth.

Others in the field who will be among the favorites include:

  • Molly Callahan – a top 10 finisher from last year (1:24:53) holding a half marathon PR of 1:18:39 from the January 2022 Arizona Half Marathon.
  • Jenna Bensko – another member of the Fort Collins-based Front Range Elite team who will be vying for a top 10 finish. She comes into the race with a 2:55 marathon PR.
  • Denver’s Sarah Guhl PR’ed at last year’s New York City Marathon with a time of 2:53:33 and more recently finished third at the Honolulu Marathon.
  • Jessica Broderick will be running Horsetooth as her second ever half marathon, and she comes in with a PR of 1:21:30 from the Portland Half Marathon.

The racing action starts at 8:30am on Sunday, April 10. Lead runners in the men’s race will hit the finish a bit after 9:30am, with the women close on the men’s heels.

Tyler McCandless winning the 2021 race.
Sophie Seward finishing 4th at the 2021 Horsetooth Half

Free Live Race-Day Tracking

We’re offering free race-day tracking and cheers! Carry your phone and use the RaceJoy mobile app for iPhone or Android to add to your race experience at the Horsetooth Half.

Live Phone Tracking

  • Supporters near and far can track you live in a map view
    as you progress along the race course. One map tool will let them track up to 50 participants.
  • NearMe alerts will let on-course spectators know you’re drawing near.
  • Find each other using the MeetUp tool.

On-Course GPS Progress Alerts for Runners

  • Receive progress updates as you complete the course! Audio updates are typically sent at every mile and include pace, elapsed time, and estimated finish time.
  • We’ll have special messages and encouragement that play for you at key points on course
  • Have friends and family track your performance.
  • Track your competition or friends who are also doing the race.

Send-a-Cheer

  • Receive and send fun, motivational audio cheers.
  • Use RaceJoy’s Text-to-Cheer to send custom messages.
  • Start sending cheers to others doing the race at any time!

Download RaceJoy and search for the Horsetooth Half

Perfect Fall Morning Nets Fast Times at the 2021 Horsetooth Half

The 2021 Horsetooth Half Marathon will be remembered for beautiful fall weather and a triumphant return to racing. Now in its 48th year, the November 14th date offered a change from the norm, with falling leaves rather than budding April shoots. Nonetheless, the course was the same and the competition as fierce as ever. 

Overall, we saw 1,653 runners from 43 different states cross the finish line. A new record was set by Boulder’s Sara Vaughn in the women’s race, while local favorite Tyler McCandless posted the third fastest time ever in winning the men’s event. 

If the conditions weren’t perfect, they were pretty close to it. Race morning temperatures ranged from the high 30s to low 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.

In celebration of the beautiful hills that define our state and the course, we annually crown a King and Queen of the Mountain at the course high point just 1.7 miles into the race. This year, the crowns went to Sara Vaughn (11:32) and Garret Lee (10:15). 



Sara Vaughn at the top of Monster Mountain

Vaughn’s Queen of the Mountain lead was just 5 seconds over Briana Boehmer, with a small chase behind Briana. By the turn onto Bingham Hill and the race’s halfway point, Vaughn’s lead over Boehmer had extended to a minute and would continue to increase through to the finish. By the time Vaughn hit Linden St, it was apparent that Ivy Kibet’s 2019 record (1:15:30) was in jeopardy, and a final push from Vaughn was enough to secure a new women’s mark that now stands at 1:15:15. Racing across the line in second, Boehmer’s time of 1:17:53 stands as the fourth best on record, while Bria Wetsch (1:18:17, 3rd), Sophie Seward (1:19:27, 4th) and Sarah Anderson (1:19:58, 5th) posted the fifth through seventh best marks respectively in finishing 3rd through 5th.

It was a fast year!

In the men’s race, Garret Lee’s early lead on the opening climb was quickly covered by the chase pack and by the top of Bingham Hill at mile 7, it was Tyler McCandless and David Goodman with a small lead over a strung-out chase pack of Simon Grannetia, Andrew Tario and Carson Hume. McCandless made his move on the descent to Lions Park and by the bike path had built a lead that he would hold through to the finish (1:07:52). Grannetia (1:09:23) caught Goodman (1:09:34) in the closing miles to claim second, with Goodman holding on for third over Carson Hume (1:10:35) and Andrew Tario (1:10:37) who sprinted it out in the home stretch for the final money spots.  

McCandless wins at his third time trying

Taking home the wins and prize money in the master’s division were previous race winner AnnMarie Kirkpatrick (1:23:39) and Colorado Springs’ Ben Payne (1:14:10).

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 are available for pickup for the next few weeks at Altitude Running. In addition to our award winners, all finishers went home with a beautiful commemorative pint glass from New Belgium Brewing and a unique finisher’s medal that will pair with the 2022 medal to complete a single picture from the Fall/Spring Horsetooth Half Double.   

Former race winner Pablo Vigil wins the men’s 65-69 age division

In closing, we’d like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers that helped out in many different capacities to help make the 2021 running of the race a success. Thank You! We’d also like to thank our seven 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.

2021 Horsetooth Half medal will parter with the 2022 medal for a full Horsetooth mountain-scape

New Fall Date for the 2021 Race Announced

The Fort Collins Running Club and Gnar Runners have announced that the 48th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon, traditionally held on the third Sunday in April, will be rescheduled for Sunday, November 14th.

We are heartened to see progress being made on three separate Coronavirus vaccines, with FDA approval seemingly imminent. After a very tough year, we hope that these vaccines will prove effective in saving lives and allow a return to normality.

Our goal for the 2021 Horsetooth Half is to offer as close-to-normal a race experience as we can, and we believe pushing the race date back to late fall offers the best chance of making that happen.

While there still remain many unknowns as to how exactly the 2021 event will look, the Fort Collins Running Club has decided upon this initial plan of action: 

  • The race will take place on November 14 at the usual time (8:30a), on the usual course (Dixon Canyon to New Belgium Brewing) under what we hope will be close to normal circumstances.
  • The initial race cap will be 1,000 runners. This is subject to change based on input from County Health and our other permitting partners. There is hope that we will approach our typical field size (2,000).
  • Those with deferred entries from 2020 will have a priority window to register for the 2021 event. This window will open Tuesday, December 15 and an invite to register will be sent to all deferred entrants. Regular registration will open Friday, December 18. Deferrals can also register anytime through race day as long as there are spots once general registration has opened. 
  • Deferred entries from 2020 will be good for use in 2021, 2022 or 2023. If you choose not to use your deferral in 2021, it will remain valid for two more years. After our 50th anniversary in 2023, deferrals will expire.
  • If you have a deferred 2020 registration, you can expect to receive an email with specific details on how to claim your free 2021 entry prior to Dec 15.

We will strive to offer as close to a normal race experience as we can, but will prioritize safety above all else. We will adhere to any and all protocols required by the Larimer County Department of Public Health in order to produce a safe event. We hope these will be minimal, but only time will tell. 

We’re also extending our COVID registration guarantee. If the race is cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus in 2021, we will again offer a 100% deferral opportunity.

We also hope to be able to offer a version of the typical RunningU training program in the lead-up to the event, contingent on public health advice.

Thank you all for your understanding and patience during this time. And here’s to a safe, healthy and ever-closer-to-normal 2021. 

The Fort Collins Running Club & Gnar Runners

2020 Virtual Run

We’re looking forward to celebrating with our Virtual Run participants starting TOMORROW.

We guarantee the shortest bathroom lines and most available parking you’ve ever seen at a race!

The guidelines are simple:

  • Complete your run between April 1 – 20, 2020
  • Any location is valid, as long as it’s 13.1mi in one go

Submit Your Run Here

You are invited to also share photos from your run through the same form. Results and photos are live as galleries for you to view & celebrate with your fellow runners

Packets will be mailed the week of April 20.  If you’d like to pick up a bib before your big run, those are available anytime on the porch of 1461 Edora Rd, Fort Collins.

We’ve added a few more categories to recognize folks who went the extra mile to make the day fun!

  • Most elevation gain/loss
  • Oldest Participant
  • Youngest Participant
  • Age Group Awards
  • Furthest distance from Fort Collins!
  • Awesome Race Photo!
  • Stroller Power!
  • Pooch Power!

Depending what creative stories & photos come in, we will likely make up more fun categories to recognize.  All submissions are on the honor system.

Finally, if you are thinking of running the course on your own or with a small group of friends on the morning of April 19, know that there are dozens of others considering the same. Coming together as a large gathering – even accidentally – could present a serious health risk.

Please lead the running community in setting an example of health and safety by avoiding that possibility. Enjoy the infinite variety of options to run your virtual race anytime, anywhere between April 1 & 20.

Run strong and stay safe!
~ The Horsetooth Half Team & Fort Collins Running Club

2020 Race Cancellation – Runner Options

The Fort Collins Running Club appreciates everyone’s patience and understanding after the cancellation of the 2020 Horsetooth Half Marathon. We are offering registered participants 3 options. Please visit the race registration page to choose and complete your desired option:

OPTION 1: DONATE MY REGISTRATION FEE

Donate your registration fee to help support the Fort Collins community! Many non-profit organizations and school groups volunteer on race day each year to make sure the Horsetooth Half is a success. In turn, the Fort Collins Running Club provides them with funding support. These groups include Athletes in Tandem, Animal Friends Alliance, LC Dive Rescue, LC Food Bank, Project Self-Sufficiency, Teaching Tree, and many of FC’s high school track and XC teams. The Fort Collins Running Club will use your donation to make sure we can donate to these partners this year despite the cancellation of the event.  Funds that are donated will also be used to support local community organizations working with senior and homeless populations, both of whom are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.

OPTION 2: GO VIRTUAL!

Continue your training, take on our Virtual Challenge and transfer your 2020 race entry into a virtual run. You can run the distance (on course or anywhere) on your own time between April 1 and April 20 and claim your packet – including race shirt, medal & bib. If you are part of the race training program, we will continue to offer training support and training runs leading up to your race time. 

If you want to run the Virtual Challenge, the only thing you need to do is choose the Virtual Challenge Option and decide how you want to receive your packet.

– Packet Pickup: (Fort Collins location TBD)
– Ship me my packet.
 
To choose the shipping option, follow these steps: 

– Log into RunSignup and go to your profile: https://runsignup.com/Profile
– Under the Upcoming Events section, click MANAGE REGISTRATION next to your Horsetooth Half Marathon Registration
– Click ADD-ONS tab
– Select the Packet Option add-on and choose if you would like to pick up your packet or have your gear shipped
– If you select the shipping option, you will be prompted to enter your shipping address
– Click Complete.


OPTION 3: DEFER MY REGISTRATION 

You can defer your registration to next year’s event to be held on April 17, 2021. Please note that the new race name for 2020 is ‘virtual,’ but you are deferring to the regular running for 2021.

For a limited time (March 14 to March 18 @ 11:59 PM) we are waiving our normal deferral fees. After March 18th, the regular deferment fee of $25 will be charged. This option will be available until April 20.

To complete your deferral, follow these steps: 

– Log into RunSignup and go to your profile: https://runsignup.com/Profile
–  Under the Upcoming Events section, click MANAGE REGISTRATION next to your Horsetooth Half Registration
– Click the DEFER REGISTRATION tab
– Click the CONFIRM DEFERRAL button
– Here is a tutorial with more information: https://help.runsignup.com/support/solutions/articles/17000062915-defer-registration-claim-deferral


Again, thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. We hope one of the options above will work well for your particular situation. 

If you choose to donate your entry: thank you. If you choose to complete your training and participate virtually, we look forward to continuing the journey with you and will follow up with additional details. If you choose to defer your entry, we look forward to seeing you in 2021.

~ The Horsetooth Half Team & Fort Collins Running Club

Horsetooth Half 2020 Cancelled

It is with heavy hearts that we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon. Given guidance from local, federal and international public health agencies related to large events and community transmission of COVID-19, we feel it is the only responsible option available to us in doing our part to help slow the spread of the virus.

We fully understand that this news will come as a huge disappointment to the many of you that have trained and made sacrifices for months in anticipation of a great personal accomplishment. However, this is an unprecedented global public health issue and we must do our part.

As part of the mission of the Fort Collins Running Club, the race annually donates a significant portion of race proceeds to community programming and also to partner non-profit organizations. Given current circumstances, we will be looking for ways to redirect a portion of the funds from this year’s event to programs helping the local community deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Specifically, we hope to be able to help populations at increased risk of infection and more serious illness such as our seniors and homeless populations.

The Running Club Board of Directors is meeting this afternoon to finalize next steps and options. (EDIT: See options here). We anticipate being able to provide a range of runner options tomorrow after all possibilities are explored and more definitive decisions are made.

Thank you for your understanding.

Fort Collins Running Club

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update (3/10/2020)

With our top priority being the health and safety of runners and volunteers, we are closely monitoring the local impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and are in contact with our partners at the City and County.

On the current recommendation of the Larimer County Health Department, there have been no scheduling changes to the race or any of our training activities at this time.

We will continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation and encourage all runners to respect the appropriate health guidelines while ensuring that they are well enough to participate. We are evaluating all possible enhancements to make the race as healthy and safe as possible and will be sharing those in future updates.

Below are recommended habits from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on how to prevent the spread of infectious illness and proper etiquette to consider while running. You can find more information relevant to the local situation at the Larimer County Department of Health.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Clear your nose away from other runners.
  • Dispose of your drink cup, gel packs, and other personal items in the proper receptacle. 

Horsetooth Half Prize Pool Increases to $11,000 in 2020

The top four ladies at the 2018 Horsetooth Half Marathon

With generous support from the Fort Collins Running Club, the Horsetooth Half Marathon will be offering a total prize purse of $11,000 for the 47th running of the race in 2020. In the overall category, money will be offered to the top 8 finishers, from $1,000 down to $200, with an additional $500 being offered to winners posting a new course record in either the men’s or women’s races. 

The top three master’s finishers will also be eligible for cash payouts as will the first man and first woman to the top of Monster Mountain, some 500 feet above the race start at mile 1.75 on the course. 

As in previous years, the top three finishers from the Fort Collins Running Club – not in the overall or master’s money – will also earn cash awards. In order to be eligible for the FCRC-only pool, runners must be a member of the Club as of Dec 31, 2019.

The Fort Collins Running Club was founded in 1973 with a mission of supporting fitness through running for runners of all levels and all abilities. The Club offers a cash purse in both the FireKrakcker 5k and the Horsetooh Half Marathon as a means of supporting the competitive, elite-level side of the sport.  

Tyler McCandless (right) beats Gabre Abadi and Scott Dahlberg over the hill to win the King of the Hill premium in 2017.