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.

A Race Recap of the 45th Running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon

It was another record year for the 45th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon, with over 1,750 runners from more than 40 different states crossing the finish line. In both the men’s and women’s races it was a close run thing with tight podiums, lead changes and drama all the way to the finish.

In the men’s race, 2017 King of the Hill Tyler McCandless once again took it out hard from the gun, claiming the race premium for first man over the hill in a record 9:55 (5:40 pace). Eventual race winner Brandon Johnson (1:08:15) crossed the hill in sixth some 40 seconds back. Johnson would have to wait until mile 10 to claim the lead from last year’s champion and course record holder, Gebre Abadi (1:09:02), who would hold on for second place. Colorado Springs-based, Tesfaalem Mehari (1:09:37) ran a controlled race to round out the podium in third, with Scott Dahlberg (1:09:51) and Alejandro Garcia (1:10:28) following in fourth and fifth for the final money spots.

As in the men’s race, a new record was set for the Queen of the Hill with Boulder-based Kyle Blakeslee beating Sam Rivard to the top of Monster Mountain by some 18 seconds (11:49) and besting Brianne Nelson’s record from 2016. By mile 4, a sizable lead pack had formed with former winners Maggie Callahan and Nelson mixing it up with Blakeslee, Rivard, AnnMarie Kirkpatrick and Misiker Demessie. Once off the hills and onto the bike path at mile 9 it was local favorite Kirkpatrick and Ethiopian Demessie racing for the win with Rivard charging hard in third. Coming into the home stretch, Kirkpatrick was able to find the extra gear for the win in a time of 1:20:20 (second fastest ever), just 14 seconds ahead of Demessie in second and 30 seconds ahead of Rivard in third. Last year’s champ, Callahan would hold on for fourth (1:22:05) ahead of training partner Blakeslee in fifth (1:23:12).

Taking home the prize money in the men’s master’s division was local favorite and previous winner Steve Folkerts (1:22:58), who beat last year’s masters champ Dan Clark by less than a minute. In the women’s division, Fort Collins’ Jenny Powelka (1:35:55) finished just over two minutes ahead of Vail’s Katie Crofton. 

Overall and 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 from Altitude Running, Fort Collins. And for those that did not get a commemorative pint glass at the finish, they are available for pickup at the New Belgium Brewing Tasting Room.

The deep field and 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 were perfect for hanging out and enjoying music from The Patti Fiasco at the New Belgium Finish Line Party. Some years you get lucky!

  • Full results are available from the results page of the race website
  • Official race photos from our 5 race photographers are available here.

In closing, we’d like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers that helped out in many different capacities to help make the 2018 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.

 

LuLuLemon Pace Team

Once again, we will be offering pacers for the following goal times:

  • 1:30 (6:52 per mile pace) – Ryan Perrich; Fort Collins, CO
  • 1:45 (8:01 per mile pace) – Chris Aronson; Fort Collins, CO
  • 2:00 (9:10 per mile pace) – Will Greenwood; Fort Collins, CO
  • 2:15 (10:20 per mile pace) – Joel White; Fort Collins, CO
  • 2:30 (11:30 per mile pace) – Melody White & Dan Yap; Fort Collins, CO

Thank you to LuLuLemon for outfitting our pace team this year. If you want to learn a little more about the runners pacing the different groups, please see the recent profiles on the race facebook page.

We will also have a pacer table at Saturday’s packet pickup at Raintree Athletic Club where you can chat with our pacers and pick up a custom-made Horsetooth Half split guide for the 5 different goal finish times. You can also check out the split guide at the link below.

Check out our Horsetooth Half Pacing Chart.

Horsetooth Half Training Season Underway

Horsetooth Half Marathon Training Group 2018

We kicked off the Horsetooth Half Training Season in grand style on Sunday, January 7 with a mega-group run from New Belgium Brewing. We want to extend a few words of thanks to our hosts New Belgium for their continued support of the race as we enter our 45th year, and also to the Fort Collins Running Club for coming through with post-race snacks and also for their help in organizing the RunningU training program. 

The run was followed by a great presentation from Terry Gebhardt at Colorado in Motion. Terry demonstrated some key strengthening exercises that endurance athletes can use to keep themselves healthy and on track as they increase their mileage in preparation for race day. Contact Colorado in Motion if you’d like to learn more about their ‘Run Stronger’ program designed specifically for runners.

We were also excited to have Hoka One One on hand with demo shoes, and welcome them as our newest race partner. Both Hoka and Colorado in Motion will be on hand at future training runs to offer advice on training and shoe choice as you get ready for race day on April 15.

We will be offering group runs and activities every Sunday leading up to the race. Please check out the Training Page for more information.  

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.

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