All posts by Katie Hardy

2017-18 Tortoise & Hare Race Series Recap

Our final T&H race of the 2017-18 series was this past Saturday, 4/31/18. In all, we had 396 runners take part throughout the season. It’s a big growth considering that just 5 years ago we didn’t even break 100 runners. You can find the race results and final series standings on our website. Congrats to everyone who participated! It was a great season!

Congratulations to series winner Scott Slusher and our other prize winners Matt Hughes (2nd), Ruth Waller-Liddle (3rd), Leisha Craft (4th), Bill Hayes & Tracy Ziegler (tied 5th).
We also had over two dozen folks attend every TnH this season, either as runners or volunteers.  We’ll announce those folks and the prize they receive in the next newsletter.

Every race we get tons of positive feedback and many thanks for putting them on. The truth is we couldn’t do it without help. Outside of our wonderful race-day member volunteers, many of our board members and volunteer race director, Nick Clark put in hours or work each month to ensure these races run smoothly. We’re fortunate to receive their service and commitment to the Fort Collins running community. Thank you for all you do!

Photo Credit: @ronmichael ‘s Instagram post


We’ve received several requests for Fort Collins Running Club branded apparel and gear lately. We’d love for you to be sporting your FCRC pride around town and at races which is why we’ve partnered with local company, Sport About and created an online FCRC store for you to purchase your own gear. There’s a link to the store at the bottom of each newsletter, so go check it out! We also have RunningU hats available for only $10! These are available while supplies last at any of our RunningU Sunday training runs, schedule is here. Just remember to bring cash or check!

Horsetooth Half 2018 Training Group

Registration for  the 2018 Horsetooth Half RunningU Training program is now open!


We’re excited to start training and cranking out the miles in preparation for the 45th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon. Race day is April 15th and training kicks off January 7th with a group run from New Belgium Brewing.

As in previous years, we’ll be offering:
  • Training plans for both the beginner and intermediate levels
  • Group runs every Sunday
  • Mentor support via email and/or private RunningU Facebook page
  • Weekly email training tips and updates
  • Weekday meet-ups
  • Monthly Tortoise & Hare training races
New this year:


CSU Track Renovation

As of last week, the track at CSU has closed for renovations. Expansions and upgrades along with a complete replacement of the track are already underway. The track is scheduled to re-open October 31st, but where can you go to get your speed work in?

  • Old Fort Collins High School track – located southeast of the Jack Christiansen track (Pitkin & Peterson) is a cinder track
  • Poudre School Districk tracks – did you know community members can receive access to PSD tracks when the schools are not using them? There is an agreement you need to sign and a $20 fee to receive an access key. You can find out more information under “Community Use of Tracks and Tennis Courts” at the bottom of the link.
  • Westfield Park – This quiet park is 1/2 mile around and an easy substitute for a track located on the southwest part of Fort Collins.
  • City Park Cemetery – If you’re near Old Town, have you tried running at the cemetery? There are several loop options varying in distances. This one is a 1/3 mile and is best run in the early morning.
  • Stewart Case Park – This 1/4 mile loop is on the east side of Fort Collins behind FCHS.
You don’t have to look very hard to find and easy substitute for a track. Find something close to your neighborhood and you’ll never have the excuse of having to go far for those speed workouts. And don’t forget, there’s the Tuesday Night Track group that meets every week. You can find up-to-date location and workouts on their Facebook page. With so many options, it’s easy to see why Fort Collins was named a Runner Friendly Community by the Road Runners Club of America.

Tortoise & Hare Race Series

2016-17 Tortoise & Hare

Season Recap

At the beginning of April we hosted the last race of the 2016-17 Tortoise and Hare series and wrapped up our most successful season yet! With a race each month between October and April, we had 7 races and a total of 391 runners. We also met our goal of finishing at least 100 runners at every race. Woohoo!The T&H races are unique in that participants receive a computer-predicted time that allow runners of all levels to compete equally. Runners start at staggered intervals with faster runners (Hares) trying to catch slower runners (Tortoises). Points are awarded based on how runners do compared to their predicted time and are accumulated throughout the series. Runners that continue to improve their time for each race receive more points. This year Katie Banghart was the overall winner and earned herself a $100 to Runners Roost. Congrats Katie!

Race Director Nick Clark said Katie is the poster child for how we hope runners will participate in the Tortoise & Hare series. She blew the competition out of the water by consistently improving and earning top points at many of the races. Katie started the first race running 15:07min/mile and ending up at 11:16min/mile. She also ran each of the 7 races earning herself a free entry into the FireKracker 5K. Here is Katie’s response when asked about her success and how she learned about the T&H series:

“Thanks so much!! I really enjoyed the T&H series and the entire running club has been great! As a first time runner who felt like they had no business joining a running club it’s been a great experience to meet and participate with wonderful and welcoming people!

Last September my friend Jamie somehow coerced me into signing up for the Horsetooth Half 🙂 I haven’t ran hardly at all since high school, and even then I mostly played sports and never ran any sort of distance. I was pretty nervous about the half marathon and so Jamie and I decided to try the T&H races so I could work on my pace and distance. I was really interested in the idea of the way these races are put on, I liked that we all finished together and never felt discouraged or that I was the slowest one out there. I saw that there were prizes given out to the top 5 when I first signed up but blew that off as I was sure I didn’t have a shot. Once I started getting a couple top finishes I became super competitive and didn’t want to miss a race! When I started I wasn’t sure I could run a mile without stopping so getting to this point feels great!  The club and especially the T&H races helped me out tremendously and have really given me a confidence boost that I think I will be able to conquer those damn hills 🙂 (referring to the Horsetooth Half course)

I’ve really enjoyed training these last few months; getting to know people in the club and this city I’ve lived in my whole life by running the trails! I want to give a big shout out to my friend Jamie McCue who encouraged me to do the Horsetooth Half, cheered me on through the T&H series, and will be by my side when we have a beer at New Belgium to celebrate! 🙂 “

Congrats to everyone who participated and to all our winners! The top 5 runners received gift cards to either Runners Roost or Altitude Running. We also awarded free entries into the FireKracker 5K for anyone that completed all 7 races. Great job!

This was the first year executing our new registration process for the entire series. As the T&H races grew bigger we needed to eliminate race day registrations in order to start on time. This meant we transitioned to online-only registrations using Other benefits of going online allowed us to prep in advance, keep volunteer needs low and it made raceday run smoother than ever. Our biggest issue was communicating the extra step in the registration process that you need to look up your wave number on the FCRC website before finishing on RunSignUp. Thank you to everyone for their cooperation as we made the transition to this new registration process.

We couldn’t put on the Tortoise & Hare races without the amazing help from so many people. First thank you to our Race Director Nick Clark who volunteered his time each month to put on, time and with the help of Greg Smith, set up the course for each race. Ken Banwart, Cathy Ketcher and Tom Schipper made sure the post race refreshments were always taken care of. Huge shout out to Raintree Athletic Club for hosting us and providing hot coffee, especially after those really cold runs. Finally the many member-volunteers that helped out with raceday needs. Between bib pickup and start/finish line duties we needed 6-8 volunteers at each race. Because of all our wonderful volunteers we are able to keep the T&H races free for members. Thanks for all you do and for giving back to your club and community.We’ll do it all over again and be back with the first race next October!