Colorado State University and Team Fort Collins Form Runners Club for High-Need Neighborhoods

Note to Editors: Media is invited to the kick-off event tomorrow at 7 p.m. Please RSVP to Dell Rae Moellenberg at 970-491-6009 or

Colorado State University’s Community Organizing to Reach Empowerment Center and the Center for Educational Access and Outreach are teaming up with Team Fort Collins to form a runner’s club for high-school aged students from diverse, high-need neighborhoods in north Fort Collins.  

The North Fort Collins Latino Running Club will celebrate its kick-off at the Runners Roost at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Front Range Village on Harmony Road. The business has given a $1,500 gift to help club members purchase running shoes, socks, shorts and shirts – proper running gear that the students may not be able to afford to purchase on their own.

The club, which has about 10 students participating in the inaugural event, will receive support from staff from the CORE Center, CEAO and professional runners from the community. Students from Colorado State Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition students will serve as coach-mentors for the youth to work with each student to develop a personal exercise and nutrition plan.

Club members will participate in scheduled runs each week, with the goal of running in the Cinco Cinco 5K race in May.  Their entry fees will also be paid for by Runner’s Roost. The City of Fort Collins has also offered free access to the indoor track in the North Side Atzlan Community Center during poor weather.

Through the program, community members will develop relationships with youth from these communities while engaging in healthy, positive recreational activities.  It also provides an opportunity for community runners of all ages and the students to form friendships. The idea for the club was suggested by Scoot Crandal, a local runner and the director of Team Fort Collins.

"The club students often do not have the opportunity to participate in school sports due to financial constraints, and therefore often miss the opportunity to learn that they have talent or passion for a healthy recreational activity," said Marilyn Thayer, director of CORE, which is in the College of Applied Humans Sciences at Colorado State.

To participate, students must agree to a set of rules including completing a physical exam before starting the program, maintaining a 2.0 grade point average and not using alcohol or drugs before, during or after a practice run or event.

Two well-known professional runners from Boulder, Eduardo Torres and Beijing Olympics competitor Jorge Torres, will also provide advice and support and will be at the inaugural event. The two came from similar backgrounds as students in the newly-formed club and hope to inspire running club students starting in the club with their stories.