The course for the professional field in the 2016BolderBOULDER– named America’s All-Time Best 10K by Runner’s World – will have a new start line, near the race finish in Folsom Stadium. The pros will set off north on Folsom, beginning at bottom of the hill near Taft Street and rejoin the citizen’s course around the 2k mark.
While no there should be little or no effect on overall race times, the new start will allow a larger audience to watch more of the pro race, since the previous start tended to have lower spectator presence by the time the pro race began. Spectators can now cheer on the late finishers as they grind up Folsom hill, as well as the pros as they start their own race. As an added bonus, runners/walkers in the later waves will actually share Folsom Street with the pros: Participants will be heading south toward the stadium while the pros head north on the other side of the divider.
BolderBOULDER’s Pro Athlete Coordinator Don Janicki thinks there are a number of benefits from the change, with spectator benefit on top of his list. “I think the main benefit is fan viewership. The past start was somewhat anticlimactic; the pro runners were warming up while crews were breaking down the start,” he says. “Moving closer to the stadium will bring more fans to the watch the start and create some electricity. We believe spectators along Folsom Street will likely stay longer to cheer the pros at the start – with the added benefit of more motivation for citizens finishing in the later waves.”
Among those who will compete on the new pro course is Mattie Suver, last year’s top American woman in the pro race, and 8th overall. Returning to the BolderBOULDER as part of Team USA, she’s enthusiastic for what she thinks will be a more festive and motivational atmosphere. “I am really looking forward to the course change,” says Suver. “My favorite part of the old BB course was always the finishing stretch up Folsom hill and into the stadium. The fans get me really pumped up along that stretch, so I think starting by the stadium will set the tone for an even more exciting race from the beginning to end, for both the elites and the spectators!”
The proximity to Folsom Stadium is another aspect of the change expected to improve the experience for pros and spectators. The pros should gain further motivation from the deafening roar of the stadium crowd as they prepare to start. Spectators who’ve been watching the tens of thousands of runners, joggers and walkers pour into the stadium, will then also have the option to quickly head out to watch the start before returning to watch the pro race on the big screens inside the stadium. The entire pro race will again be televised inside Folsom Stadium on the large video boards.
Another benefit to the change according to Race Director Cliff Bosley, is not about the runners or spectators, but the town itself. Traffic on 28th street, one of Boulder’s main north/south thoroughfares, will reopen before 11am, over an hour earlier than previous years.
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 from all 50 states, 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, winds through Boulder neighborhoods with live music and entertainment at every corner, 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:www.bolderboulder.com