The Bolder Boulder regularly attracts 50,000 or more people each year and it stands to reason that a healthy percentage of them have black, silver and gold pumping through their veins.

It's a thrill for those who love the University of Colorado to be able to finish the state's iconic road race on the football field where Ralphie runs on Saturdays in the fall and where thousands of alums have graduated in past springs.

It seems almost impossible that race organizers and CU athletic department officials only came up with the idea of adding a CU wave to the race this year. But that is the case.

The most ardent CU supporters were offered the chance to sign up for the Love CU wave this year, giving them the opportunity to run or walk alongside notable CU representatives such as athletic director Rick George, legendary former women's basketball coach Ceal Barry, skiing coach Richard Rokos, lacrosse coach Ann Elliott as well as Chip the costumed buffalo mascot and members of the spirit squad and dance team.

Matt Biggers, associate athletic director for external affairs, said the department and the race are always trying to find ways to help each other and deepen their partnership. He said race director Cliff Bosley proposed the idea of a CU wave this year.


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"We obviously loved it and moved forward on it," Biggers said. "We have a great relationship with the Bolder Boulder."

George hasn't participated in the race since his first stint in Boulder as a part of former football coach Bill McCartney's staff in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He said he regularly ran the race in those days, last doing so with former assistant coach Gerry DiNardo before they moved on together to Vanderbilt.

Chip refuels after his training run May 21.
Chip refuels after his training run May 21. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

A high school and college football career as well as an active lifestyle have taken their toll on George's knees preventing him from running. He will walk the race this year.

"It's such a good thing for the community," George said. "It's the best race in the world. The last time I ran it, I ran it with Gerry DiNardo and his wife and a couple of our coaches. In those days we started right in front of The Cork. It's a great race. It's a lot of run and it's great for the community."

Ann Elliott is going out of her way to participate in the race for the first time since being hired two years ago to build the women's lacrosse program from the ground up. The NCAA lacrosse championships are usually held each year on Memorial Day weekend along with a big tournament that attracts recruiters from around the nation.

Elliott, who won national championships as a player and assistant coach at Northwestern, said she is traveling back to Colorado today in order to participate in Boulder's famous race Monday.

"I'm very excited," Elliott said. "I've seen a lot of the pictures online and it just looks like an awesome event. I'm excited to be running with a lot of people from CU as well. I don't know exactly what to expect. I thought about running the course a couple times before. I'm sure it's a lot more hilly than anything I've run before in the Midwest but I think it will be exciting and should be a lot of fun."

Elliott said she never has run more than a 5K previously. She participated in several charity races during her days at Northwestern but they were only half the distance she will cover this time.

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Kyle Ringo at ringok@dailycamera.com or on Twitter: @kyleringo.