Larimer County, the City of Fort Collins and Colorado State University have been incredibly supportive in helping us work through our weather contingency plans for the Horsetooth Half Marathon this Sunday and we have plans in place to ensure that we can host a race.
We have two variables at play with regards to whether or not we can run the traditional course. First is ground conditions at Hughes Stadium. If the Grounds Department decides that parking on the Hughes grass parking lot is not an option based on rainfall Friday and Saturday saturating the ground, then we will revert to our contingency route and notify participants immediately via: Facebook, Email and the News section of the website.
If grounds are considered workable for parking on Saturday afternoon, we will then have to wait out Saturday night and reassess conditions in the morning. A final yes or no call will be made by 6am, and communications as noted above will go out immediately. If this storm system turns to a significant amount of snow overnight Saturday, then more than likely Hughes will not be useable; however if we do get the thumbs up from Hughes, the County plow crews are prepared to start their runs over Centennial and Bingham hill at about 5 to 5:30am. Race management and our course traffic control team will evaluate the Centennial road conditions behind the first plow run to determine if it will be safe to send runners and volunteers onto the hilly Centennial road portion of the course.
By approximately 6am (or as close to 6am as we can), we will publish a public announcement via Facebook and will follow with a direct email to entrants and a post on our race website to confirm the race will be run as planned or if we will change to our alternate route plan.
If road conditions are safe, we will proceed with the race as planned starting from Hughes Stadium at 8:30am. There is a chance of slight delays on the start time if plowing and traffic control set up are slower than expected.
If the roads are unsafe to run the race, we will move check in and the start to the finish area on Linden Street to run an out and back from New Belgium to the bottom of Bingham Hill near the Centennial intersection. The start will be delayed 1 hour until 9:30am to give anyone who arrives at Hughes time to drive over to the finish, park, and check in.
Parking is available throughout Old Town. Linden Street will be closed for the event and participants can find parking anywhere south or west of Willow Street. There are parking garages located just a short walk from the start/finish area at Mountain and Remington or at Laporte and Mason.
The alternate route will follow the course up the bike path to Lyons Park and over Bingham Hill to turn around just before reaching County Rd 23 (Centennial). We are evaluating options to make a small loop around Buckingham and Linden at the start to give runners more time to spread out before getting onto the bike path. We will have pace group leads available to help runners line up at the start to alleviate congestion. One full lane will be closed over Bingham Hill so there will be plenty of room for runners to pass at the turn around end of the route. Aid stations will be located in the same places at Lee Martinez Park, Taft Rd, and Lyons Park. Barring untenable amounts of snow, the City Parks Department (Trails) and the County Roads Department have committed to working with us to ensure a race will be run.
The post race party will continue as planned with live music from the Swashbuckling Doctors, hot Spoons soup, New Belgium Beer, Mary’s Mountain Cookies, and Great Harvest cinnamon rolls.
We hope that all participants come out on race day, dressed appropriately with a positive attitude and ready to celebrate spring time in the Rockies.