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38th annual Bolder Boulder
When: Memorial Day, May 30
Start times: Professional wheelchair race — 6:50 a.m.; Citizen’s race — 6:55 a.m.; Professional women’s race — 11:13 a.m.; Professional men’s race — 11:24 a.m.
Start: Dave McLoughlin on trumpet for a call to the post
30th and Pearl: Black and Blues Guys
30th and Mapleton: DJ Covex
30th and Bluff: Chick-Fil-A dancing cows
30th and Valmont: Logo Ligi
29th and Valmont: Solterra
2840 28th St.: 101st Army Country Band
28th and Pine: Edison
Pine and Folsom: DJ Eddie Rose
Folsom/HillTop: Desert Rain belly dancers
Folsom/HillTop: Jane Hunt live painting
Folsom and Valmont: Elvis
Mile 2: Boulder High Poms
23rd and Glenwood: Gamelan Tunas Mekar (music from Bali)
19th and Glenwood: Rocky Ridge bluegrass students
19th and Floral: Beledi Dance Caravan (belly dancing)
19th and Elder: Ms. Tu-Tu
Cedar and Ellison: Zumba Dancers
14th and Cedar: DJ Fleugel
13th and Balsam: AJ Silverberg (folk musician)
13th and North: Zyzzyx Road
13th and Portland: The Royal Pains
13th and Mapleton: Foxfeather
13th and Spruce: Liz Barnez
14th and Spruce: Aspen Hourglass
15th and Pearl: The Who Dos
17th and Pearl: Taylor Scott
20th and Pearl: The Deciders and Friends
21st and Walnut: Brandon Copeland
Walnut and Folsom: Banshee Tree
Folsom and Canyon: The Goonies
25th and Arapahoe: U.S. Navy Band Northwest Passage/Boulder Samba
Folsom and Arapahoe: Tailgater Rockstars
Folsom and Newton: Centennial Pipe Band
Stadium Drive: Boulder High Pep Band
Expo: The Pamlico Sound
Look, Boulder. Life isn’t always about exercise.
Some of us have beers to drink. Rugs to cut. Upright basses to slap. Kegs to tend.
On Memorial Day, this city will offer good reason to do it all.
The 38th annual Bolder Boulder will feature 50,000-plus runners on their marks to get ready, set and go, while another 70,000-plus spectators party on the sidelines.
Like its eclectic race costumes, live entertainment has been a key element of the famed 10K race since 1980. Ron Bostwick, entertainment director for the Bolder Boulder, said he has been wrangling local acts along the 6.2-mile course for 10 years.
“The Front Range has a plethora of talent,” Bostwick said. “My goal is to showcase that as much as I can.”
Touted as the third-largest road race in the nation, the first leg of the 10K kicks off at 6:50 a.m. Throughout the day, more than 30 live entertainers will be featured, and Bostwick said much of the show is catered to traditionalists in an attempt to continue the community tradition.
“I want the entertainment along the course to be like going to the same vacation spot every year,” he said. “Every year, spectators can return and see Elvis at the 7-Eleven. Or the Blues Brothers band right out of the gate. That’s the type of community connections we want to make happen.”
On a route lined with party spots, lemonade stands, cheerleaders, bagpipers, gymnasts, hula-hoopers and costumed pets (no pole dancers this year, says Vivienne Palmer, organizer of the Polder Boulder — but hopefully next year, she said via email), runners can finish with a satisfied smile.
Bostwick said he also likes to usher in a new set of talent each year — like DJ Covex.
Covex, aka Brendan Bell, a 2015 graduate of Fairview High School, said he will be spinning a variety of electronic music (from future bass to drum and bass beats, he said) at 30th and Mapleton.
“I’m happy for the athletes and runners whizzing past me, as long as they can hear my music,” said Bell, who is now studying music and recording arts at University of Colorado-Denver.
Bell had a big 2015. Aside from performing at Denver’s big New Year’s Eve bash Decadence (among the likes of Bassnectar, Odesza and Deadmau5), he was the winner of eTown’s Handmade Song Series.
He said playing the Bolder Boulder can pose a bit of a challenge because, like performing at a DIY show, he has to provide and set up his own equipment. But that’s no stretch from playing house parties, he said, so it should be fairly easy.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” said Bell. “I’ve never played for four hours or performed ‘in front of’ 50,000 people before so it’ll be a new experience for me completely.”
Bostwick said Boulder County craft brewery and race sponsor Oskar Blues will have party spots all along the course.
Diana Ralson, director of sponsorship at the Longmont brewery, said the crew sets up camp at various house parties and will be handing out “canned bling and high-fives to runners from people in beer-can suits.”
“It’s such an iconic event, the whole town comes out,” said Ralson. “People are hosting house parties, so we got together with the community to find out where these parties are happening and we set up close by.
“We like to be a part of the whole spectacle of the day,” she added.
Ralson said when it comes to drinking and running, Oskar Blues’ Pinner is a good choice — it’s a lower-alcohol, sessionable IPA that is a nice fit with the active running community.
“We call it the anti-ficial recovery drink of the Bolder Boulder,” she said.
And what about a pre-run brew?
“Maybe the Beerito?” she said, laughing, adding that Oskar Blues’ low-alcohol Mexican lager could help runners either go fast or at least “numb their pain.”
“The lighter beers are easily paired with running. But it really runs the gamut of which beers the runners like to chug before the race.”
Boulder’s seven-piece horn-funk band, Pamlico Sound, who won Oskar Blues’ Battle of the Bands honor in February, earned itself a headlining gig on the main stage at the end of the course — which will sit outside of Folsom Field on the University of Colorado campus.
Another feature organizers are bringing back from its debut last year is visual arts, through a partnership with the Boulder County Arts Alliance.
“We’ve created a synergy between the athletic world and the art world in Boulder,” Bostwick said.
This year there will be four members of BCAA on the course: Logo Ligi, a group of African drummers; Rocky Ridge Music Academy featuring bluegrass students; The Schiff Dance Collective; and Jane Hunt, a local landscape painter doing a live painting.
And, as tradition, Boulder’s KBCO will release the “Bootlegs Volume 13,” an album featuring the performers who are playing along this year’s route. It can be accessed at kbco.iheart.com.
So as runners are cheered on by thousands of the biggest fans they’ve never met — with signs like, “Go random stranger, go!” — they can make that 10K a bit easier with some sideline bacon, beer, beats and random buddies.
“It’s Boulder’s big party,” Bostwick said.
And we’re all invited.