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Remember when you were a kid and saw a present with your name on it, just begging to be opened?
That feeling is what led Colorado State University and City of Fort Collins officials to create the FORTitude Labor Day 10K Classic – a brand new Fort Collins road race that will showcase several city landmarks and classic neighborhoods. The race will end at CSU’s new on-campus stadium, making the FORTitude 10K the first official event in the much-anticipated multi-use facility.
The Labor Day race will give fans a chance to see the $220 million stadium one week before the CSU Rams officially open it Sept. 9 against Abilene Christian. The race will begin near Moby Arena, at the corner of Shields and Elizabeth streets.
"The stadium, in many ways, serves as Colorado State University’s primary engagement asset," said Joe Parker, CSU’s director of athletics. "The FORTitude 10K Classic offers a unique opportunity for thousands of people to experience this incredible University and the City of Fort Collins."
The new event in race-crazy Fort Collins, where dozens of races take place each year, was created in collaboration with BolderBoulder Inc., which has staged the BolderBoulder – considered among the world’s top 10K races – on Memorial Day annually since 1979.
CSU, the City of Fort Collins, Visit Fort Collins, the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce and BolderBOULDER Inc., are partnering on the inaugural event, set for Sept. 4, 2017.
“I’m very excited about having this event in our city,” Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell said. “The FORTitude 10K will really showcase Fort Collins as a world-class city and Colorado State as a world-class university. I think it will engage a broad section of our community and will turn into a great celebration and Labor Day tradition.”
The FORTitude 10K will take runners on a scenic and challenging course through Fort Collins, passing landmarks like City Park and the historic CSU Oval, as well as weaving through picturesque Fort Collins neighborhoods along Mountain Avenue, Sheldon Lake and near Avery Park.
The race will finish at Sonny Lubick Field at the newly completed on-campus stadium, and will offer students, faculty and staff, the community and visitors a sneak preview of CSU’s first on-campus stadium in nearly 50 years.
“After three years of analysis and discussion with Ft. Collins and CSU, everyone is committed to do what it takes for all three entities to work together to achieve the goals we have all set,” said Cliff Bosley, BolderBoulder race director. “Also, the timing fills a gap for hosting a 10,000-meter race in the fall in Colorado, without crowding the running calendar.”
Race organizers expect to attract nearly 10,000 runners and walkers from throughout the region for the inaugural FORTitude 10K. Among the expected participants is Fort Collins running legend Libby James, who has set numerous age-group world records during her nearly four decades of competitive running.
“I am very excited about the FORTitutde 10K,” James aid. “I love the course and the way it winds through the neighborhoods, and I love the fact that the BolderBoulder is on Memorial Day and the FORTitude 10K will be on Labor Day, really encompassing the prime running season in Colorado.”
A separate race for elite runners is expected to attract top runners from around the region. Registration opens Nov. 1; information is available at www.fortitude10k.com.