What: Boulder Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and fundraiser for One World Running
When: 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday
Where: Avalon Ballroom, 6193 Arapahoe Ave.
Cost: $25 suggested donation; students free
O n Saturday, an idea that hatched 15 years ago to celebrate Boulder's rich legacy of endurance athletics will finally come to fruition -- thanks to an old jacket from the Olympics.
Boulder runner (and running columnist for the Daily Camera) Mike Sandrock was at the airport with boxes of donated goods from his nonprofit One World Running when he spied this jacket that spurred him into action.
"At the airport, one of the boxes was open," Sandrock wrote in an email. "And as I taped it, noticed a U.S. Olympic team jacket. It was Mark Coogan's, from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
"Knew it was time to get all these items displayed."
The jacket was just one more article of clothing donated to One World Running that had sports history woven its very fabric.
For Sandrock, that was it.
After thinking about it for years and years of squirreling away sports memorabilia with a story as it came to the nonprofit from Boulder's world-renown athletes, he was finally going to organize a hall of fame for Boulder's brightest stars.
The inaugural Boulder Sports Hall of Fame will take place Saturday at the Avalon Ballroom.
For its first class of athletes, the Hall will induct runner Frank Shorter, cyclists Connie Carpenter and Davis Phinney, triathlete Dave Scott and climber Layton Kor. (Sandrock said Kor will probably not be able to attend due to health issues, but local climber Roger Briggs will accept the award on his behalf.)
"A lot of great, outstanding athletes come out of Boulder," said Ana Weir, director of One World Running. "And that was one of the goals, is to say to them thank you for being part of our city's being one of the best."
Sandrock said the Hall of Fame is a way to honor these athletes as individual greats, for accomplishments like Ironman wins, gold medals, Tour de France stage wins and beyond.
"On another level, we are honoring what they represent -- dedication, solitary pursuit of a goal for its own sake and accomplishing something special in life," he said.
The event on Saturday will also offer a special recognition award to former Daily Camera sports editor Dan Creedon.
Scott Winston, One World Running volunteer and Hall of Fame coordinator, said Creedon covered "the Boulder brand of athletes."
"Someone needed to tell their stories," he said. "Dan wasn't just doing football and baseball. He was promoting other sports here."
Winston said he and Sandrock had been running together since their college days at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and their discussions about starting a hall of fame grew out of the donations to One World Running --hich started in 1986 as a way to get shoes to people who need them.
"If you go up to Mike's place, a lot of the things that were donated we thought we should hold onto, because they had special, sentimental value," Winston said.
In addition to jackets worn by Olympians, Sandrock has acquired other memorabilia over the years that he's giving to the Hall of Fame, including a one-of-a-kind pair of track spikes made by Nike for Shorter's run in the 10,000 meter at the 1976 Olympic Trails. (He won, Sandrock points out.)
"As far as the Sports Hall of Fame goes, this is our first year -- we're looking to grow it," Winston said. "We'll be looking for input from the Boulder Community for people to induct in subsequent years."
For this year, though, the honorees were consensus choices of the organizing committee. And also for this year, the induction ceremony will be a fundraiser for One World Running.
"Everyone at One World Running is a volunteer," Weir said. "So everything goes to shipping shoes."
However, Sandrock said he doesn't want anyone to miss out on the event, which includes dinner, a live salsa band and auctions for One World Running. So he said the cost is a $25 suggested donation, but it's a sliding scale and no one will be turned away. Students can attend for free.
Winston said they're in talks with several places that might be able to house the items for the hall of fame, but he couldn't confirm a location just yet.
"We haven't signed anything, but we will be establishing a permanent home."