BOULDER, CO (May 31, 2016) - At 38 years old, the BolderBOULDER – America’s All-Time Best 10K according to Runner’s World – continues to amaze, with enormous participation numbers, awe-inspiring athletic accomplishments and a massive Memorial Day tribute. 2016’s event yesterday saw well over 50,000 participants start the race in 99 waves, with 46,210 crossing the finish line, and over 80,000 people watched the finishers and tribute from Folsom Stadium.
“It was certainly another wonderful event with incredible turnouts of participants and spectators,” says Race Director Cliff Bosley. “And those numbers don’t even include the over 2500 runners who participated in the many military satellite races around the world. And of course we’re incredibly proud, honored and humbled honor our military with the Memorial Day tribute as well. We’re so thankful to all who took part in the race and tribute, whether running or watching or both.”
The International Team Challenge had a new start line this year: a more spectator-friendly location just down Folsom Hill from the stadium. The scores of fans who watched the new start here – along with lots of late finishers in the citizen’s event who were able to cheer on the pros as they strode up Folsom Hill toward the finish – saw a thrilling race, with Isaac Mukundi of Kenya and Amane Gobena of Ethiopia respectively winning the men’s and women’s individual races, and Team USA “Red” taking second place in the Men’s team challenge.
Mukundi broke away from Ethiopia’s Terefe Debela in the sixth mile and posted a winning time of 29:12:14. Debela would finish nearly 10 seconds back in 29:22.06. Team USA’s Diego Estrada lead a strong US performance with his third overall, in 29:40.86. The U.S. placed four finishers among the top 10, but were just edged out by Kenya for the team title, followed by Eritrea in third.
On the women’s side, Gobena won easily in 33:39.87, 35 seconds ahead of runner-up Miyuki Uehara of Japan, followed by Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui in 34:18.60. Alisha Williams was the top American finisher in eighth place, in 34:42.41.
But Gobena’s effort wasn’t enough to lead Ethiopia to an eighth-straight Women’s team title, as the Kenyan women had three finishers in the top seven in scoring 14 points for the win, followed by Japan and Ethiopia with 25. The USA “Red” team just missed the podium in fourth. This meant a Kenyan sweep of both international Team Challenge races – only the second time in history.
In the professional push-rim wheelchair races, there were two first-time winners. Jose Jimenez, who hails from Costa Rica, was a late entry into the men’s race and he won in a time of 25:43.45, while Cheri Madsen of Union NE won the women’s event clocking a 27:48.87.
The Citizen’s Race saw Brandon Johnson, a recent California transplant in Denver win for the men in 30:34. Boulder local Melissa Dock bested the women with her 35:44. The Citizen’s Race also saw a huge number of sub-40-minute finishers, a landmark time for many age-group runners in any 10k: 492 Citizen’s Race runners broke the mark.
The event finished with a the annual memorial day tribute at the University of Colorado Folsom Field with over 80,000 people in attendance. In what’s become one of the highlights of the event, skydivers, each carrying a flag from a us military branch, landed in the center of the stadium. Then Brigadier General James Taylor, United States Army, conducted an enlistment ceremony with over 100 recruits. The day was then capped with a flyover from the 120th Fighter Squadron, with the Air National Guard at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.
The ceremony also honored two U.S. Special Forces veterans and three WWII veterans: retired Army Special Forces Colonel Lee Van Arsdale, a member of the team that handcuffed Noriega in 1990 and a critical leader in Mogadishu; retired Navy Seal Lieutenant Commander Chuck Chaldekas served as the most respected category of navy leaders; Dr. John Farrington, a WWII vet who served in the battle of Okinawa; Dr. Ralph Christensen, WWII vet, Captain of the landing tank carrier that carried Macarthur's guard; and Don "Stoney" Stonebraker who served in WWII , Korea And Vietnam.
The BolderBOULDER, named America’s All-Time Best 10K by Runner’s World, is the 4th largest running race in the United States and the 7th largest in the world. The race attracts over 50,000 runners, joggers, walkers and wheelchair racers, and draws professional athletes from around the world to compete for one of the largest non-marathon prize purses in road racing. The 2016 race starts at 30th and Walnut and winds through Boulder neighborhoods with live music and entertainment at every corner. The race finishes at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field and attracts over 100,000 spectators. The 38th annual BolderBOULDER will be held on Memorial Day, May 30th, 2016. For more information please visit:www.bolderboulder.com