LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Every Memorial Day, the BOLDERBoulder attracts walkers and runners of all ages from all over the world. But it’s more than just a race. For many participants, it’s the course map to a lifetime of fitness.
For many younger runners, that journey starts in a BB Racers Club. There are 1,500 kids in 80 clubs across Colorado spending their afternoon hours training for the race. At Monarch K-8 School, the team is lead by 5th-grade teacher Cliff Roberts.
“We’re in a day and age of video games and TV and YouTube, so it’s a great opportunity for kids to get out and do something after school before they go home,” Roberts said.
Not all the training is running. At least it doesn’t seem that way. The kids go on short and long runs, but spend a lot of time playing games where they run around. The idea is just to keep them moving. While it’s something to do after school for many of the kids, for others, it becomes a way of life.
“One of my students in particular, Bella, she actually came back once she was in high school and told me how much it meant to do the BOLDERBoulder running club,” Roberts said.
“The program kinda gave me my love for running to continue every year,” Bella Kosienski said.
Kosienski is now on the track and cross-country teams at Prospect Ridge Academy.
“When I ran it was like a meditation for me,” she said. “I could clear my mind and my stress would go away and I could enjoy every moment of it.”
Her advice to young runners: Give the sport a chance.
“You can make a ton of new friends and maybe find a new passion.”