The Tortoise & Hare (T&H) is a low-key “handicap” series of seven races that are run monthly from October to April, typically on the first or second Sunday of the month. Computer-predicted times 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 to the top 20 non-first-time runners, with the 1st finisher earning 25 points, 2nd earning 24, 20th earning 6, etc. First-time runners (regardless of placing) and all other finishers are awarded 5 points. Volunteers who help with the race will also receive 5 points if they do not run, so they are not “penalized” for volunteering.
Each runner’s best five point tallies during the series will be counted in the standings. Runners’ cumulative scores are kept throughout the series and the top five at the end of the series receive checks made payable to one of Fort Collins’ two local running stores in the amounts of:
How to Participate
The T&H races are for FCRC Members only and are free. Not a member? Consider joining the club. Membership has many perks and quickly pays for itself. Join the club online immediately and easily.
- First-timers and runners who have not participated in the last two seasons: If you are new to the club or you have not participated in a Tortoise & Hare race during the last two seasons, you will be prompted to enter a predicted time for yourself during the registration process below.
- Pre-Registration Only.
- Register online. The process is now streamlined on our site as of October 2018. (You no longer need to register at RunSignUp.com like in previous years.)
- We now have a chip timing system. You will receive a timing chip at the start of each season (for a $10 deposit) that you will keep for the duration of the T&H series. Please allow time at the start of the season to pick up your chip if you do not yet have one.
- You will only need to pick up a timing chip on your first race of the season. If the 3rd race of the series is your first T&H of the season, please plan to pick it up prior to that race.
- As volunteers announce the waves, please line up in your wave.
- As you cross the finish line, you will keep your timing chip.
There is no race-day registration. This is because we have so many runners at different computer-generated start times that race-day registration would make things too chaotic for our volunteers.
Runners who have a predicted pace of 16 minutes/mile will begin promptly at 8:00 A.M. Those who are slower will begin earlier than 8:00 A.M., and faster folks will begin later.
Notes on T&H:
- Strollers are welcome on the race course
- Pets are not allowed on the race course
- You cannot change your start wave
Race results will be posted on our T&H Results page usually by the evening after the race.
- 10/11/2020 - Cottonwood Glen Park 4k
- 11/08/2020 - Spring Canyon Park 5k
- 12/06/2020 - Spring Park 6k
- 01/10/2021 - Fossil Creek Park 5k
- 02/07/2021 - Edora Park 8k
- 03/07/2021 - Lee Martinez Park 10k
- 03/28/2021 - Cottonwood Glen Park 12k
You can find race finishing times, placings and series point standings in the results section of this website.
Tortoise & Hare Course Descriptions & Directions
Cottonwood Glen 4K (2.5 miles)
[Course map] New location for 2020-2021 season! The course is a complete loop of Cottonwood Glen and Spring Canyon in a clockwise direction.
Spring Canyon Park 5K (3.1 miles)
[Course map] The race starts and ends in Spring Canyon Park at the west end of Horsetooth Rd. Not to be confused with Spring Park.
Spring Park 6K (3.7 miles)
[Course map] Starting in the Spring Park parking lot next to the fire station just east of College Avenue, runners head east on the Spring Creek Trail. Run under Lemay, cross Welch Avenue into Edora Park. Stay on the Spring Creek Trail through the park and cross under Riverside Avenue to the turnaround just east of the railroad overpass, returning to the finish in Spring Park. Please do not confuse this with Spring Canyon Park.
Fossil Creek Park 5k (3.1 miles)
[Course Map] Runners meet at the east parking lot for Fossil Creek Park; the entrance is on Lemay Avenue, a little over a mile south of Harmony Road.
The start is on the sidewalk on the west side of the parking lot. Runners proceed south along the east side of Portner Reservoir, then around the south and west side of the reservoir, heading up heading north. After crossing the entrance to the west parking lot, runners cross a large pedestrian bridge, then turn left (west) and use the underpass to cross Fossil Creek Parkway. Using a combination of the sidewalk and bike path, runners proceed west along the Fossil Creek Parkway.
The turnaround point is close to College Avenue. Runners then turn around and go the way they came from. Outbound runners use the sidewalk and inbound runners use the bike lane.
Edora Park 8K (5 miles)
[Course map] Runners start in the Edora Park parking lot near the baseball fields—enter from the Stuart Avenue entrance. Head east on the Spring Creek Trail, running under Riverside Avenue, Timberline Road and Prospect Road via the tunnels. Make a right on the Poudre Trail and pass back under Prospect and make left on Sharp Point Drive. Run alongside the Prospect Ponds Natural Area to the turnaround beyond Midpoint Drive. Runners then retrace their steps back to the Edora Park finish.
Lee Martinez Park 10K (6.2 miles)
[Course map] The start/finish is in the parking lot on the north end of Sherwood Street. The course goes west and comes back east on the Poudre Trail. The turnaround is between Taft Hill Road and Overland Trail.
Cottonwood Glen 12k (7.5 miles)
[Course map] The start/finish is in the Cottonwood Glen parking lot at the south end of Overland Drive. The race follows the Spring Creek bike path east for 3.75 miles, turning around between Center Street and Mason Street. Runners then retrace their route back to the Cottonwood Glen parking lot.
- Current algorithm: Predicted Times Algorithm for Tortoise & Hare (2018-onward). This was implemented starting with the second T&H race of the 2018-2019 season.
- Predicted Times Algorithm for Tortoise & Hare (2012-2018)
- Predicted Times Algorithm for Tortoise & Hare (2012)
- Predicted Times Algorithm for Tortoise & Hare (pre-2012)
Our Tortoise and Hare Race Director
Nick Clark has been our T&H race director since 2007. Below is his bio.
I’ve lived in Fort Collins since 2006, and been a runner since 2000. I started out pounding the pavement in New York City, but transferred to the trails pretty much immediately after moving to Colorado. I especially enjoy long days in the mountains, but can be found – on occasion – doing a flatland workout or two. I’ve run a number of ultramarathons over the years, but enjoy racing all distances, from 400 meters to 100 miles.
Tools for Race Director
The following tools are used to assist the T&H race director in running a smooth race and to enter results.
- Handicap Times for Runners Registered for Next Race
- Handicap Times from Pace & Distance (DEPRECATED; USE HANDICAP TIMES FOR RUNNERS ABOVE and sort by start time)
- Spreadsheet of names for bib number labels (open with Excel and mail merge into Word)
- Get email addresses of registered runners (race director/admin only, for sending registered runners an email)
- Upload T&H CSV Results (race director/admin only)
- Enter New T&H Race Results (DEPRECATED; USE UPLOAD LINK ABOVE; race director/admin only)
- Edit Existing T&H Results (race director/admin only)
- Enter volunteers (race director/admin only)
Contact Felix Wong (the author of these tools) if you have any questions about them.