BOULDER – This year marks a new era for the BolderBOULDER with a new starting point after 32 race starts.
Boulder’s most famous race has long started at the north end of Boulder, but the new starting line has been shifted about a mile south and near Twenty Ninth Street Mall at 30th and Walnut. This 2011 change represents one of the most significant change in the BolderBOULDER’s history since it was changed to finish at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field in 1981.
The DICK’S Sporting Goods BolderBOULDER 10K is the third largest running race in the nation and the seventh largest in the world. The race attracts more than 53,000 runners, walkers, and wheelchair racers, and draws professional racing teams from all over the world to compete for one of the largest non-marathon prize purse in road racing. The race will wind through neighborhoods and feature live music and entertainment at every corner. It still finishes at the CU’s Folsom Field. More than 150,000 spectators watch the festivities from inside the stadium and along the course.
The BolderBOULDER is important in the overall make up of the city – not just in its representation of the healthy lifestyle but also for its $10 million overall economic impact.
As for 2011’s new starting point, race organizers say they have been meticulously studying and analyzing all aspects of the change.
“We understand that the course is the soul of a race, and we were quite reluctant to make changes unless the benefits are very profound. After years of discussion and analysis we concluded that the benefits of the new start line outweigh any nostalgic attachment to the old one,” said Race Director Cliff Bosley.
The BolderBOULDER tends to have historically strong bus ridership, carpooling and runner drop off, so intense consideration and deliberate planning was given to designing a starting area that would offer superior mass transit access with a drop off location dedicated to busses only, expanded runner drop off options in two areas, and in the mile between the start area and the CU Campus there will be many parking options.
Race officials also held many talks with City of Boulder officials to consider all aspects of the change.
The warm-up distance from the finish area to the new start area is about 1 mile compared to 2 1⁄2 miles to the original starting line. On the starter’s pistol, runners and walkers will race north to Valmont Road, and with a few changes in the first 2 kilometers they will continue to race the previous course through Boulder. Plus, the new course takes participants along a scenic tree-lined stretch of Pine Street, and for the first time runners will race down the middle of 28th Street, one of Boulder’s main thoroughfares.
Current and future construction plans by the City of Boulder were analyzed and considered in the change. The new pedestrian underpass between Walnut and Pearl will provide for easy and safe crowd flow east and west just north of the start line. Future city plans also include a transit village for buses and trains just north of the new start line near 30th and Pearl.
Online registration for the DICK’S Sporting Goods BolderBOULDER 10K is still available. Sign up to participate today.