Special Event Permit Detail

Application Information

ID: 6070   Event: Blue Sky Marathon
Application Date: 11/14/2022    Event Date: 10/21/2023
Contact 1 Name: Nick Clark
Address: 5001 Overhill Dr
Fort Collins CO 80526
Email: Send email
Contact 2 Name:


Event Information

Permit Type(s): Parks and Open Spaces
Website: https://gnarrunners.com/blue-sky-marathon/
Type of Event: Other
Devil's Backbone Open Space,Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

The Blue Sky Marathon and Half Marathon trail races will start and finish at the Blue Sky Trailhead. The marathon will start at 7am and the the half at 8am. The official course cut-off will be at 4pm. Volunteers will arrive starting at 5am. A full course sweep and trailhead cleanup will be completed by approximately 4:30-5:00pm.

An equipment trailer may be dropped off at the trailhead on Friday and will be removed end of day after the event.

Port-o-johns and additional trash/recycling will be delivered Friday and picked up on Monday.

Parking & Traffic Control

Volunteers will be stationed at the entrance of the Blue Sky trailhead to direct parking and to prevent runners or spectators from parking along the main road. Signage will be placed on 38E to indicate when the Blue Sky trailhead is full and to direct vehicles to park
at the Marina off Shoreline drive.

To encourage carpooling, limited parking spaces at the Blue Sky trailhead will be offered to runners arriving with a full carpool. All other participants will park in the marina lot off of Shoreline Dr. Runner/spectator drop off will be off of Shoreline drive at the turn out by the fire station to avoid any vehicles stopping at the trailhead gate on 38E.

A race-day parking pass will be handed out to each participant as they arrive race morning. Family or spectators arriving later will be required to purchase their own park pass.


Detailed maps are available on our website and can be provided via email or attachment if needed. The marathon route will start from the Blue Sky Trailhead and will go north into Horsetooth Mountain park to complete a loop up Towers, north around Herrington, Carey Springs, and then south around Herrington and Stout and back down Towers.

After returning to the Blue Sky Trailhead, runners will continue south on the Blue Sky Trail, over Indian Summer, and into Devil's Backbone. Runners will go through the Laughing Horse and Hunter loops and will return the same way back over Indian Summer and up the Blue Sky trail to the finish.

Aid stations will be set up at the Towers/Herrington junction, Blue Sky trailhead, the north junction of Indian Summer and Blue Sky, and the south end of the access road at the junction of the Blue Sky trail. Additional course marshals will be stationed at the end of the Hunter loop.

A crossing guard volunteer will be stationed on Shoreline drive to assist runners crossing the road to and from the Soderberg trailhead.

Safety and Communications

Aid stations will track all race numbers at each check point. Runners who drop out of the
race are required to notify the closest aid station captain. Volunteers will start a final course sweep once the last runner is checked through each station.

Ham radio volunteers will be stationed at the aid stations, the Hunter loop turn around point, and start/finish for direct communication during the race.

An EMT team will be stationed at the Start/Finish area.

A Larimer Ranger/EMT will be stationed in the Indian Summer area. In case of an emergency, aid station captains will be instructed to contact the ranger on duty
immediately to let them facilitate any necessary emergency response. Ham radio volunteers will be available to relay emergency messages to the Start/Finish.

A dedicated volunteer shuttle vehicle will be assigned to shuttle non-emergency runner drop outs from the Indian Summer aid stations back to the Blue Sky Trailhead finish area.

Water / Food

Water will be obtained from the available drinking water pumps at the park. Food and drink at the aid stations and start/finish area will be donated by local businesses or purchased directly from grocery stores. Post race food preparation will be handled by one of our non-profit partners. Canned beer will be donated by New Belgium and will be handed out only to runners over the age of 21. Participants over 21 will receive 1 drink ticket. Our non-profit BBQ team will check IDs.


One week prior to the event, signs will be posted at the Blue Sky, Soderberg, Devil's Backbone, and Coyote Ridge trailheads announcing the event.

Trash / Toilets

We will have 3 additional port-o-potties at the start/finish area and 1 placed at the south
Indian Summer aid station. Additional trash and recycling containers will be set up at the start/finish area.


Insurance certificates will be provided after our annual policy is renewed in January.

Estimated Participants: 250   Estimated Spectators: 50

Food / Alcohol:
  Food is being served: CATERED
 Alcohol IS being served.

   Sat. 10/21/2023: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Reviewing Agency Comments/Status

Email the Special Events Coordinator regarding this application.