Cliff Bosley hopes one day folks around Boulder recall the wild year in 2020 in somewhat nostalgic terms as the year the Bolder Boulder did not run on Memorial Day.
Until then, race organizers will deal with the stark reality of what is becoming the new norm in Boulder and across the country.
As expected on Monday morning, the 42nd annual Bolder Boulder, along with its many Memorial Day festivities, was postponed due to the ever-expanding fears regarding the spread of the new coronavirus.
Race organizers announced the delay of the annual Memorial Day 10K extravaganza. No makeup date was announced, though race organizers said they are exploring options to run the event in the fall.
— BOLDERBoulder (@bolderboulder) March 16, 2020
“Difficult for a lot of reasons. Since 1979 I’ve not known anything other than the Bolder Boulder, and running the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day,” said Bosley, the Bolder Boulder race director. “I suppose that’s a nice way of saying there’s a lot of nostalgia and history steeped into Memorial Day and the race. The flip side to this, and it’s the way we’re looking at it, is it’s the first time ever we aren’t running on Memorial Day. Maybe just in 2020 we’ll have it somewhere down the road.”
Those who already have registered will have those registrations honored for the new date in the fall. If registrants cannot participate in whatever new date is announced, the Bolder Boulder allows registrations to be rolled into another year for a $20 fee. Bosley said at this point there have been no discussions about waiving that fee, though that could change in the coming weeks and months, particularly if the race is scuttled altogether.
The Bolder Boulder has been held annually since 1979, and since 2002 the event has featured at least 45,000 participants every year. That figure does not include the thousands of spectators who routinely line the course throughout Boulder, as well as those in Folsom Field. The CU football stadium is the site of the finish line as well as the gathering point for the event’s many Memorial Day festivities.
Moving the event to the fall could present logistical challenges with the beginning of CU’s football season. The Buffs have just two home dates scheduled before the middle of October, with Fresno State visiting on Sept. 12 and a Sept. 26 date against Oregon.
Among the other more prominent hurdles for a potential fall date would be the International Team Challenge, which brings top runners to Colorado from across the world for the professional waves of the 10K. Any ongoing travel bans could limit that field, though the Bolder Boulder certainly still could be run without the pro fields.
Additional concerns would be if the local vendors and sponsors that make the event possible would still be on board, given the economic shutdowns unfolding both locally and nationally will have as yet unforeseen economic impacts. Asked on Monday about those concerns, Bosley indicated the early response from Bolder Boulder’s business partners was encouraging.
“As we are contacting each of our partners and sponsors and key vendors, the indications we are getting is they want to pivot and be part of the race,” Bosley said. “By and large, the feedback has been very positive. There’s an underlying enthusiasm about the race still happening in 2020, and then also about the race happening in a way that gives the community something to look forward to. Let’s get it on the calendar for 2020. It will be the Bolder Boulder, and I’m sure there will be some unique nuances that come out of running it later.”