by Rebecca Heaton -
Rocky Mountain Sports Magazine
Planet Boulder. The Peoples Republic
of Boulder. These are just a few of the pet names people have for
one of Colorados most eclectic and outdoorsy places. The town attracts an
array of characters and the politics tend to be left leaning, but these are
qualities that give Boulder its unique personality.
When it comes to recreation, though, that
personality comes on strong as Boulder has continued to grow its reputation as
a training Mecca for some of the countrysand worldsbest
But dont let that intimidate you
because the bulk of Boulders population are people who just plain love
living a healthy and happy lifestyle that involves anything and everything
sports and activity related.
With spring going full throttle, May is a
great time to play in the Republic. For cyclists, US 36 is a bike
highway with its wonderfully wide shoulders leading riders to canyons up into
the mountains or to flatter, rolling spins to the east.
While mountain bikers dont have as
many options within Boulder proper, several stellar rides are within easy
driving distance to town including Walker Ranch at the top of Flagstaff
Mountain and Hall Ranch in Lyons. The bulk of trails in Boulder are designated
for hikers and runners, with a number open to equestrians. And with 120 miles
to explore in the citys open space and mountain parks, one could spend
weeks trying to cover it all.
If youve never explored Boulder
trails, a good place to start is at Chautauqua Meadow at Grant and Baseline
streets. Back in 1898, town citizens approved a bond issue to purchase 80 acres
of land to be used as a Chautauqua. Over the next 22 years
Flagstaff Mountain, Bear Mountain, Royal Arch and Green Mountain were added to
the early protected land system. Today, that protected system has grown to
Stop by the Ranger Cottage for a trail map.
A few hikes of note include Bluebell-Baird, Royal Arch and the Mesa Trail. You
can also hike up to several of the Flatirons, which are popular with climbers,
too. Afterwards, enjoy lunch on the porch at the Chautauqua Dining Hall, whose
world-class chef will tantalize your tastebuds with nouveau American cuisine.
But thats just the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to outdoor fun. Theres paddling and tubing on Boulder
Creek; bouldering all over Flagstaff Mountain; running, biking and roller
blading along the Boulder Creek Path. You name the sport and theres
likely a place to do it in Boulder.
All this activity can make a person hungry.
Luckily Boulder is not wont for eateries to suit all palates. With indoor and
outdoor seating, The Med on Walnut Street serves up an impressive selection of
tapas and Mediterranean fare. Or try the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, which
serves up international food and tea. The vibrantly colored building was a gift
from Boulders sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Looking to carbo load? Try Italian at Pasta
Js or thick crust pizza at Olde Chicago, both on Pearl Street. Or chow
down a burrito at Illegal Petes, also on Pearl.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Boulder
Creek Festival rings in spring with live entertainment, food and drink, art
exhibits, handcrafted items, carnival rides and more. And the annual Bolder
Boulder 10K celebrates 25 years (see sidebar). Theres always something
fun happening in the Republic.
For more on Boulder, call 303-442-2911 or
stop by www.bouldercoloradousa.com.
For so many runners, the Celestial
Seasonings Bolder Boulder 10K is a rite of passage every Memorial Day. One of
the nations largest 10K races, this years event celebrates 25 years
running. And on May 26, more than 40,000 runners and walkers will gather in
Boulder to help celebrate.
I think one of elements of why it
[the event] works is that weve got tremendous community support,
says race director, Cliff Bosley. Were a part of the running
community and have been a part for 25 years.
Cliffs father, Steve, started the
Bolder Boulder back in 1979. That year, he wanted to put on a well-run track
meet for kids because in his view, events at that time were not well organized.
Steve used a friend, Frank Shorter, as a sounding board for ideas and Shorter
suggested organizing a road race instead because it would be easier
Eight weeks later, the first Bolder Boulder
took place with 2,700 participants.
Asked whats going to be different
about this years event, Cliff notes that its going to be a
celebration that, if for no other reason, runners can say, I did it. I
ran the 25th Bolder Boulder.
Cliff also notes that the T-shirt design
will be a special one, too. Its going to a cool, commemorative
So be a part of local history and sign up
for the 25th annual Celestial Seasonings Bolder Boulder. For info, call
303-444-RACE or register online at www.bolderboulder.com.
In the May issue of Mens Journal,
Boulder was ranked the overall best place to live out of the 50
healthiest, safest and sexiest cities of between 50,000 to 500,000
people. Over the past four years, Boulder has been ranked in a number of other
Thinnest City in America, Self,
One of the 10 Healthiest Places for
Women to Live, Self, 2001 and 2000
#1 Ranking in 10 Best Running
Cities, Runners World, 2001
#2 of Fittest Cities in America,
#1 Green and Clean City of 50 Most
Alive Places to Live, Modern Maturity Magazine, 2000
#4 of Best Places, Forbes, 2000
One of Americas Fittest
Cities, Health, 2000
Best Place to Be an Uberjock,