Race organizers seek out-of-state runners

BOULDER – Bolder Boulder organizers plan to market the race more to out-of-state runners in the next year to try to get more of them to register for 2014, according to race director Cliff Bosley.

Overall, this year’s 10-kilometer race brought in close to 84,000 people – 43,526 who finished the race and about 41,000 who came to cheer them on, Bosley said. About 10 percent of the racers this year – 5,000 to 7,000 – were from outside Colorado, he said.

The Memorial Day event had an estimated $10.4 million economic impact on Boulder, Bosley said. The economic impact number is calculated using the number of people who register for the race, an estimate of the nights they stay in town, an average nightly hotel occupancy rate and other factors.

“We’re on a three-day weekend, and Boulder is a terrific place to come. When people are running 10,000 meters, it’s not as serious an endeavor as running a marathon, so they’ll probably get out more and take in the local attractions,” Bosley said. Luring out-of-state racers “is an opportunity that we see out there.”

Bosley said he plans to work with the Boulder Convention and Visitors’ Bureau on the new project, a group that’s been a partner to the race for at least the past 25 years.

Nebraska and Wyoming rank Nos. 2 and 3 behind Colorado as home to Bolder Boulder runners, Bosley said. About 40 percent of runners in the race come from Boulder County, about 40 percent come from the Denver metro area (Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties) and about 10 percent come from other parts of Colorado, Bosley said. All 50 states and usually more than a dozen foreign countries are represented in the race every year, he said.

Race participants are asked to fill out a survey that helps organizers find out details of who comes to the event. For example, close to 100,000 people were in Boulder for the race two years ago, the year the start line of the race was changed for the first time in race history, Bosley said.

“That was the year that we celebrated our 1 millionth finisher since the race started,” Bosley said. “People wanted to be there and be a part of it, and that’s why people came.”

The race has grown over the years from about 35,000 registrations in 1993, for example, to the current number, Bosley said. He attributed growth of the race to the marketing strength of the Boulder brand and to the fact that running continues to become more popular across the nation. Boulder County is known for its other outdoor sporting events and companies as well, including some in cycling, rock climbing and others, Bosley said.

The Bolder Boulder’s annual budget, including its marketing budget, is “in the hundreds of thousands,” Bosley said, without giving specifics.

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