All posts by Katie Hardy

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!

Train for the FireKracker 5K with FCRC

Join Running U, Session II


Fort Collins Running Club is kicking off our second session of Running U on April 30th. The Zero to 5K program will take runners looking to run their first 5K or anyone just getting back into running and get them race day ready for the FireKracker 5K on July 4th. There is also an Intermediate schedule for anyone looking to improve their current 5K time.

It is free to be a part of Running U as long as you are a FCRC member. Become a member today! As part of Running U, you will receive:

  • Mentor lead group runs each week.
  • Informational talks to answer all of your running questions.
  • Beginner & Intermediate training plans.
  • $5 FCRC Buffs ——>

Click the link below to register for Running U’s Zero to 5K program today!


Meet Your Mentors

Colleen Jones

Hi there! My name is Colleen.  I am 23 years old and I have been running for 1 year at this point and completed my first half marathon.  I started a year ago on an app for 0 to 5k and I really wish I had joined a group like this when I started.  I joined Fort Collins Running Club about 2 weeks after the FireKracker 5k and I have been happy ever since.  I am now mentoring to help people start their running journeys and my goal is to be able to give new runners the community that I didn’t have when I started.  Lets get running!

Serena Gill

I’m so excited to be able to welcome you to RunningU for our annual Zero to 5k program! This program is near and dear to my heart because it’s how I got started and probably saved my life. I’ve lost weight and even quit smoking through running, but more importantly I’ve discovered passion and joy and the most amazing support network of friends and fellow runners. I never thought I’d be one of “those” people running around at all hours of the day and night in horribly loud colors and mismatched gear, but now I can’t imagine life without it. I look forward to being able to share at least a small part of that passion with you!

Katie Quatrano

I started running in 2009 to run a half marathon.  I’ve now run 28 half marathon and a full marathon! The more I am able to run, the easier it becomes.  Sometimes life can be hectic and I find it hard to keep up. I need to keep up with running so I can keep up with my kids! I usually squeeze my runs in early in the morning or over a lunch break. Having a steady running partner also helps me!

Stephen Pretak

I have been running competitively since 2000 as a junior in high school.  I ran Cross Country, Indoor/Outdoor track for the remainder of high school and all of college.  After college, I continued running but on my own and focused mainly on road racing.  I would race 5ks – 10 milers and was part of a USATF-Connecticut road racing team.  Since then, I have moved to Colorado where I have fallen for long distance trail running.  I do occasionally hop on the roads for local races, such as the Firecracker 5k or Man vs. Machine 5k.  I truly hope my experience in this sport can help you achieve your goals with Running U.

Kate Schulte

I have been running since I was a teenager and I now enjoy running and racing with all 3 of my kids, 2 dogs, and one husband. I also compete in triathlons and duathlons, but love that you can almost always go for a run! I occasionally race with an Athletes in Tandem participant and love being able to share the joy of running with those who cannot run alone. When I am not playing outside, I work as a health coach empowering others to move towards a healthier lifestyle. If you see a woman running in south Fort Collins with a golden retriever and a brindled boxer mix, it is probably me, so say hi!

Andy Auer

I’ve been running with the club for around 3 years, ever since I moved to Fort Collins from southern California. I‘m a senior at CSU—this spring, I will graduate with a BS in geology and a minor in history. My pronouns are they/them/theirs, and I love dogs. In my free time, away from school and work, I enjoy running, reading, and knitting.

Dunja Widhalm

Hello and Welcome to Running U! My name is Dunja (doon-ya) and I have been running on and off since I was a teenager which is ages ago. I am not fast at all, but I have endurance and I that helped me train for a few Half-Marathons. My goal is to run a Marathon in the next 5 years. I signed up to be a mentor, because I love volunteering and be part of the Fort Collins running community, but also because I hope, it will give support/inspire some folks to go out and run – all you need is a good pair of running shoes and socks! Remember “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Confucius

Raquel Suro

Hi! I have been running on and off since I was in high school and started running with the Fort Collins Running Club when I moved to Fort Collins 2 years ago. Group runs have always helped me stay accountable, especially during the cold winter months. Knowing that there is a group waiting for me gives me the extra motivation to put on those running shoes, get out the door, and get those miles in! I signed up to be a mentor because I like helping people who are new to running or making a comeback and feel intimidated or overwhelmed with running in general. And even though running can be a “solo” sport I strongly believe running with a group gives you an incredible sense of community! Welcome to Running U!

Becca Blumberg

Hi everyone! My name is Becca, and I’ve got a running problem. This crazy journey started years ago when I needed a way to exercise both me and my border collie Gracie. She kept me motivated and away we went! We finished our first 5K together and from there came countless half marathons, short-course triathlons, a marathon and three half-Ironmans. No matter how much I tri, running will always have my heart. Like many others in this group, I’ve lost a great deal of weight as health and fitness have become my passion. This has led me to return to school at CSU to study nutrition and dietetics with the goal of health coaching. I can talk for hours about sports nutrition so feel free to pick my brain about what to eat before, during and after your runs.  I’m looking forward to sharing my love of running with everyone and helping you on your way to the finish line!!

Movie Night with FCRC

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and best known road racing event. There is a new movie coming out called Boston: The Documentary that chronicles the story of this iconic race.  It will be shown in theaters nation wide for one night only and the Cinemark on Timberline and Harmony will showing it on Wednesday, April 19th at 7:30 pm.

The FCRC board thought it would be fun to get everyone together and see it. Tickets for the general public are $14, but FCRC members can buy tickets for $5 and the club will cover the rest. Tickets can be purchased through PayPal and must be paid for by March 25th. Members are also welcome to purchase tickets for non-members for $12 each.