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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
[Runners compete in the "Oh Yes You Can" 10k race]
[Runners compete in the "Oh Yes You Can" 10k race]

Bolder Boulder

With its inspirational message "Oh Yes You Can," this 10K road race is run every year on Memorial Day. Started in 1979, it emerged from a meeting between champion marathoner Frank Shorter and Steve Bosley, President of the National Bank of Boulder, and was devised as a celebration of health and fitness, a premier road race whose appeal to participants -- citizen runners -- would be all-encompassing. The 10,000 meter race distance was chosen because it afforded the most challenge to the competitive as well as the recreational runner. To allow runners to be less impeded by slower runners on clogged streets, to allow them to get "up to pace," and to maintain an even flow of runners, the concept of the "wave start" was developed. Each wave, or group, of runners -- up to about 900 -- were their own race. In 1998, in keeping with the theme "Oh Yes You Can," the wheelchair race was added, the first wheelchair race to be televised in its entirety. In addition, a walkers' race was instituted, encouraging those whose health would not allow running, to participate. A tradition of many years includes Marine Corps units jogging in formation (wearing red Marine Corps t-shirts and combat boots), to honor fallen American soldiers.

Twenty years ago, Bolder Boulder's partnership with the University of Colorado began. Use of the facilities, particularly the stadium, for the finish area was crucial. Bach Field House, the Dal Ward Center for the race day brunch, numerous conference rooms, and the recreation center were also made available. The race has grown from 2,700 to 42,500 entrants, making it the fourth largest road race in the world and the largest tribute to American veterans on Memorial Day in the U.S.

Project documentation comprises 13 8 x 10 photographs, 15 color slides, a 30-page written report, a list of Bolder Boulder champions -- in the men's, women's, and wheelchair divisions; a list of runners who have participated in every race since its inception; newspaper and magazine articles; a poster; race programs; promotional materials; and a press kit.

Originally submitted by: Wayne Allard, Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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