Runners gather in support of a public track
Runners en mass came out on Thursday night to show support for a including a public ‘running surface’ in the Valmont City Park Concept Plan. There are 500 acres of land still to be developed south of Valmont road and the hope is incorporate a mix of multi-use facilities. The run was organized by the Valmont .25 initiative as an opportunity be bring more awareness to the running community on the next steps of the process.
Runners gathered at the Civic Center parking lot, ran down the Boulder Creek Path before gathering at the Downtown Boulder Bandshell in Central Park to hear several influential names in the community talk about the need for a public running space.
Mike Sandrock, Author and Running Journalist gave some historical perspective about the good old days of running in Boulder; John Bridges, President of Boulder Road Runners, spoke about their all-comers track meets and the talent we can cultivate there if we had more frequent track access; Melody Fairchild, running all-star, mentor and coach, talked about the potential for people of all ages and levels to meet each other and run and how the Boulder running community has made her who she is and helped her be her best. Finally Henry Guzman, Race Director and coach talked about how running saved his life when he was headed down a path of substance abuse and jail. Ramin Razivi who has been involved in several different groups in Boulder, spoke about the fact that we may be known outside of Boulder for our elites but “We all know that it’s the rest of us who are the heart of our community.”
Sarah Rebik a marathoner and coach is one of the key organizers along with Tim O’Brien, owner of Fast Forward Sports but the support roots deep with community leaders such as Mark Plaatjes, Lee Troop, Dan Pierce, Scott Fliegelman, Brendan Reilly, Ramin Razivi, Colleen DeReuck, Cliff Bosley, Don Janicki, Ewen North, John Supsic, Mike Sandrock, Melody Fairchild, Glen Delman, and James Carney who have all been involved in meetings and/or decisions thus far.
Olympians Frank Shorter and Jenny Simpson, Ultra Runner Scott Jurek, and top Boston Marathon finisher Jason Hartmann all have also voiced support and offered to help.
Why a public track?
Currently there a handful of running tracks at Boulder area high schools and CU. But access and availability of those are limited based on school teams/activities, open hours, or locked gates. Several years ago, the schools added a fee for the use of the track for groups larger than seven people making it costly or unreasonable for groups to do workouts there.
Ewen North who leads Revolution Running mentioned on the run, “The current system is broken. We need something that works for our city. I’ve seen hundreds of people on the track at times and if everyone knows what they are doing, it all works”
“But we don’t JUST want a track, but we would also like to see some trails or area that could be a cross country course (suitable for hosting USA XC Champs) and a gathering space (pavillion, clubhouse, bathrooms, maybe more).” Sarah Rebik commented.
“What’s exciting to me is the idea of a place that’s open to the public at all times, where you don’t have to worry about a lacrosse game or something going on,” she said. “And it could be something that brings the running community together.”
Visit and Like their facebook page, Valmont .25 as it will be updated frequently about developments in the public process. The next open meeting for public input will be sometime in August or September and they are looking to have a loud voice there. “The city needs to see that we have a large number of people who will use and support this,” said Rebik.
If anyone wants to be involved with the organizing committee they should contact Sarah Rebik through the facebook page as there is work to be done to reach out to other user groups and important people in the non-running community.
Share photos on twitter, Instagram and Facebook to show your support with the hashtag #ValmontTrack.
There is also an online petition to sign to show support as well.