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

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.

2020 Race Registration to Open with Door-Buster Pricing

Registration for the 2020 running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon will open on Labor Day, Monday September 2 with door-buster pricing. The 47th running of the 13.1 mile race will take place Sunday, April 19, 2020, starting to the south of the former location of Hughes Stadium on Dixon Canyon Road and finishing by New Belgium Brewing on Linden Street in Old Town Fort Collins. Registrations will be capped at 2,500 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Prices for this year’s race will remain the same as they have for the last four years. Registration will once again open with one-week-only, door-buster pricing of just $65. Regular early bird pricing of $75 will run through to the New Year.  

“It’s our great honor to continue the grand tradition of the Horsetooth Half Marathon. Now in its 47th year, the race has a proud history as Colorado’s oldest road half marathon, and has been a longtime staple of the Fort Collins running community. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and also to make sure that we offer fantastic value for money by making the race as accessible and affordable as possible,” said race director Nick Clark, owner of race management company Gnar Runners which began managing the race on behalf of the Fort Collins Running Club in 2015.

“All members of the Running Club receive a $20 discount on their registration, which means a $45 race entry if purchased in the early bird window. We don’t think you can find better value than that in Colorado – or across the country – for a major running event. In 2018 & 2019 we saw record crowds with upwards of 2,100 registrations, and for next year’s race we expect to be at our 2,500 runner capacity,” Clark added. 

“The Horsetooth Half is a wonderful community event that celebrates many of the things that make Fort Collins such a great town to live in and visit. We’ve got unbelievable scenery on a challenging course, a wonderful in-race atmosphere,incredible crowd support, the deepest elite field in Colorado half marathoning, and a memorable finish line party at New Belgium Brewing, the epicenter of the Fort Collins craft brewing scene,” Clark said.

“We’re also really excited about the great community partnerships that we’ve been building over the last couple of years among our sponsors and non-profit partners. It was fantastic to be able to make financial contributions to over a dozen non-profit groups and school cross country programs this year through the help of our corporate partners, and we plan to grow both the corporate and non-profit partnerships in 2020.”

The Fort Collins Running Club will support runners training for the race through its Horsetooth Half RunningU program, a free 15-week training program beginning in early January and leading up to the race. The training program includes weekly long runs every Sunday. A number of those runs will start and end at New Belgium, with presentations and drink specials after each one. The group training runs are open to everyone, whether registered for the race or not.

Along with the Horsetooth Half Marathon, the Fort Collins Running Club also puts on the FireKracker 5k, the New Year’s Eve Resolution Run 5k, and the Tortoise and Hare races, a series of seven handicapped races beginning in October and ending two weeks before the Horsetooth Half. The races range in distance from 4k (2.5 miles) to 12k (7.5 miles).

A Perfect Day for the 46th Running of the Horsetooth Half

It was a record year for the 46th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon, with a total of 1,701 runners from 39 different states crossing the finish line. A new record was set by Kenya’s Ivy Kibet in the women’s race, while fellow countryman Dominic Korir came within six seconds of the men’s course record. 

The fast times were aided by the perfect running conditions we were blessed with this year. 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. It’s not often that the first man and woman to the top of the hill end up winning the race, but that was the case this year with Korir topping out in 10:11 (16 seconds off the hill climb record) and Kibet posting a new women’s record of 11:27 more than a minute ahead of Grace Kahura who was second over the hill.



Ivy Kibet wins and sets a new course record.

From the top of the hill, Kibet was in complete control and the only question remaining was how quickly she would cover the remaining ground and how many elite men she could leave in her wake. And, by the time she hit Linden St, it was apparent that Brianne Nelson’s impressive 2016 record (1:16:44) was about to go down. The new women’s mark now stands at 1:15:30, a time that was almost eight minutes quicker than second place Grace Kahura (1:23:10) who ran with last year’s champion AnnMarie Kirkpatrick (1:24:01) before pulling away on the Poudre Trail to secure second. AnnMarie would come in a minute later to secure the final podium spot.  

The men’s race was a closer-run affair. An early lead pack of five through the early hills was whittled down to three on the way to Bingham Hill. Reports from the lead bike were indicating that Korir was gapping Fort Collins’ Grant Fischer and Boulder’s Kurt Roeser on the uphills but being caught on the descents.

On the final climb over Bingham Hill though, Korir made his move on Roeser and Fischer, putting close to 20 seconds on them by the time they hit the Lions Park aid station at mile 8.5. Averaging exactly 5:00 pace over the final five miles, Korir would go on to win the race by just over 40 seconds in a time of 1:07:33. A late charging Hillary Chesire would catch Fischer and finally Roeser in the final miles of the race, posting a time of 1:08:11 for second just 14 seconds ahead of Roeser in third. Fischer would ultimately finish fourth in 1:09:13.

Dominic Korir wins , just six seconds off the course record

Taking home the prize money in the master’s division were local favorite Shannon Teslow (1:36:00 (55 years young)) and Colorado Springs’ Andy Rinne (1:22:51).

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, handmade finisher’s medal also made by Amy Hayman.

In closing, we’d like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers that helped out in many different capacities to help make the 2019 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.

Fort Collins Running Club Announces 2019 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.

Overall awards for the 45th running of the event will go five deep. In the master’s division, payouts will go three deep, and – once again – there will be a separate Fort Collins Running Club-only pool. In addition, the race will be awarding a $200 premium to the first man and first woman to the top of Monster Mountain at mile 1.8, some 500 feet above the race start on Dixon Canyon Drive. 

“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 Board Member, 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 46th 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

There will be a new champion this year, with 2018 champion Brandon Johnson currently working his way back from injury. That leaves the field wide open. 

The top returning runner from last year is University of Wyoming Assistant Cross Country Coach, Scott Dahlberg, who finished fourth in 2018 in a quick 1:09:51 after finishing third in 2017 (1:09:21).

Scott Dahlberg finishing fourth at the 2018 Horsetooth Half

An interesting addition to the field this year is Poudre High & Colorado State standout Grant Fischer, who continues to train post-collegiately with the Siemers Dreamers group. He’ll be stepping up in distance to the half marathon for the first time at the Horsetooth Half, abd comes into the race with 5k/10k PRs of 13:44 & 28:45.

Both Scott and Grant will be pushed by a long list of other elite entrants that will be in the hunt for a podium finish. These include Dominic Korir, a Colorado Springs-based Kenyan training with the American Distance Project. Korir appears to be in great form, running a 1:02:59 for second in December at the San Diego Holiday Half.

Boulder’s Kurt Roeser will also be toeing the line eyeing a podium finish on Sunday after running his way into the 2020 Olympic Trials (Marathon) at the California International Marathon in December with a 2:17:55.

Finishing fifth in 2018, Alejandro Garcia is showing some recent form, coming off a win at the 2019 Spring Equinox Half Marathon (1:10:57) here in Fort Collins. Second and third place finishers from that same race, Brian Eimstad and Alexander Mauro, will also be toeing the line on Sunday. Bashash Walio was seventh last year and will be back on the start line after running a 1:05 at the Bryce Canyon Half last summer. He too has had success at the Equinox races winning the 2017 Fall Equinox Half Marathon.

Others to watch out for include:

  • Kevin Kochei, coming off a recent 47:13 15k
  • Wisconsin’s Derek Johnsrud with a recent 1:10 half and 31:55 10k
  • Joshua Mirth (11th last year)
  • Former course record holder Paul Petersen
  • Adrian Macdonald with a recent 2:28 marathon PR at Houston and 53rd overall at Boston last year
  • Eder Pina stepping up in distance with 5k/10k PRs of 30:54 and 14:43
  • And 13th place finisher in 2018 Chris Copenhaver who swears he’s cracking the top 10 this year

Women’s Field Summary

AnnMarie Kirkpatrick will be headlining the women’s field at the 46th running of the Horsetooth Half on Sunday. And she has been in great form since last year’s win, scoring a big PR at the Cal International Marathon (2:37:49) in December. Her run last year was the second fastest ever in the 45 year history of the race, but she’ll likely have to go quicker this year to defend her title.

AnnMarie is going to be pushed hard by a very strong field, led by Boulder-based Kenyan Grace Kahura who had a breakout race in June of last year, running a 2:34:02 at Grandma’s Marathon in MN. She followed that up with a 1:14:20 half in Columbus, OH. Countrywomen, Ivy Kibet, based in Colorado Springs is also likely to be in the mix after running a PR 1:13:26 in Santa Fe in September.

Westminster’s Ashley Brasovan does a bit of everything. Last year alone she won a number of trail and mountain races, including a third fastest ever at the Mount Evans Ascent, while also staying sharp on the roads with an 11th place finish at the US Road Half Marathon Championships. With 1:14 and 2:40 half and full PRs, she too will be in the mix on Sunday.

Nicole Feest was a CSU standout over a decade ago, before pursuing a post-collegiate career with Brad Hudson in Boulder. She ran a 2:41 marathon PR in 2013 to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials, then took a couple years off. Now training under Kathy Butler, she is using the Horsetooth Half as her comeback race.

Both Laura Cook and Adrian Neal punched their tickets to the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in December with runs of 2:43 and 2:44 respectively. Both of the Colorado residents will be looking to push for the podium this Sunday.

Finishing third in 2016 was Ruth Waller-Liddle. A 800 meter standout at Baylor University, Ruth has been stepping up in distance in recent years and looks ready for another strong run at the Horsetooth Half this year after an eighth place finish last year. One place ahead of Ruth last year was triathlete Uli Broome who will also be back on the start line this year.

Others pushing for top spots include Broomfield’s Emily Renner who ran a 2:54 at last year’s Grandma’s Marathon, and Texas A&M miler Sophie Blake who has been stepping up in distance, last year running 1:22 at the Houston Half.

Strong and Deep Field

Race Director, Nick Clark, believes that this will be among the strongest and deepest Horsetooth Half fields in the 46-year history of the race, noting, “with the generous support of the Fort Collins Running Club, we have been able to maintain a generous prize purse, which has enabled us to attract another strongest Horsetooth Half field, and likely the strongest half marathon field in the state this year.”

“While our focus for the race is primarily on providing a unique, fun and community-focused experience for all of our runners, we also have an opportunity to support the sport of running through the Running Club’s sponsorship of the prize purse and we hope to be able to continue to focus on developing the race as one of Colorado’s most competitive half marathons.”

“We think the race is going to be fiercely fought this year and we encourage running fans to come on out to spectate the race and see some of the fastest runners in the state compete.”

2019 Medals Handmade in Loveland, CO

The Horsetooth Half is locally owned (Fort Collins Running Club) and operated (Gnar Runners) and we’re all about community and keeping it local. This year’s finisher medals and awards are being handmade less than 10 miles from the race start in Loveland, Colorado by the wonderfully talented Amy Hayman. Amy grew up and competed as a runner in the Poudre School District and is herself a multi-time finisher and age group award winner of the Horsetooth Half.

And don’t forget those finisher pint glasses: made in Denver and filled in Fort Collins with beer brewed 100 yards from the finish line at New Belgium Brewing.

        

2019 Shirts

We’re really excited to reveal the design for this year’s official Horsetooth Half Marathon race shirts. Local Laporte artist Mary Boyts offers a beautiful watercolor rendition of the iconic Horsetooth Rock as seen from  the eastern shores of the reservoir in the opening miles of the course.

All registered participants will receive the technical Green Layer shirts with their packets, available the day before the race on Saturday April 13 at the pre-race expo at Raintree Athletic Club. Shirts and bibs will also be available for pickup on race morning.

 

Horsetooth Half Season Officially Underway

Thanks to all who joined us for the kick-off to the 2019 RunningU Horsetooth Half Marathon training program!

Runners enjoyed a 4-6 mile run on the Poudre Trail with 200+ of their closest friends, followed by New Belgium drink specials, snacks, sponsor giveaways and a training presentation from our friends at Colorado In Motion.

See below for a series of 5 suggested strengthening exercises from Colorado in Motion designed specifically for endurance runners.

Group runs happen each Sunday, with much more information, runs, newsletters & more available for RunningU participants. See the full training schedule.

Some of the action at New Belgium snapped by Terry Grenwlege before and after the kick-off training run. View the full photo album from the morning’s run.