Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fortitude--10k road race comes to Fort Collins

I had a pretty cool experience on Labor Day this year. The organizers of the Bolder Boulder, my all-time favorite running race, brought Fortitude, a 10k road race with all the Bolder Boulder trimmings to Fort Collins for the first time ever.  Even better, the race went right past the home where my children grew up, my younger daughter’s house is now, and my own house on Mountain Avenue.

It was a weird and wonderful sensation. I felt as if I was running in the Bolder Boulder but in this totally familiar location. To make it even better, Kristin, my older daughter, joined me from Cheyenne for the run.

And Donna Messenger, one of the fastest female runners in Fort Collins when she lived here years ago, came from her home in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho to join me in the run. It was old times revisited for her as well.

The course began just west of the Colorado State University campus and wound through neighborhoods until it returned to the campus and finished on the Sonny Lubick Field in the brand new CSU football stadium. Runners circled the track inside the state-of-the-art structure to arrive at the finish line.

There were nearly 8,000 participants, making it by far the largest running event ever held in the Choice City. What a kick it was to see so many people circling a good part of the town encouraged by spectators and lively music from several bands along the way.  Okay. So there was no sign of Bolder Boulder’s famous fryers of bacon and belly dancers along the route, but just give it a year or two!

Elite runners took part in a handicapped "chase" race later in the morning, geared to making it possible for all runners to arrive at the finish line at about the same time. 

Participants found seats in the stadium to watch the runners behind them pouring in and stayed for a Labor Day celebration honoring first responders. Race organizers even thought to put a request for donations to the survivors of the Houston, Texas flood on the big screen in the stadium. Heads up!

I now have two favorite races.  The Bolder Boulder that opens the season on Memorial Day and the Fortitude that ends summer running events on Labor Day.  Two just doubles the fun.

See you at the start, September 3, 2018. Registration is now open.

No comments: