The Founding of the FORTitude 10K

The FORTitude 10K Story

Early in 2013, Colorado State University’s Community and Outreach director Gary Ozzello went to Fort Collins city officials with a question—What could the college and the city do together to celebrate the opening of the new football stadium that was slated to replace the iconic Hughes Stadium?

A small task force was established to explore ways to showcase Fort Collins through an event to mark the opening of the new landmark. The team looked at a variety of options including the idea of a road race that would start somewhere in the city and finish at the new stadium set for completion in July of 2017.

Gary was selected to call BOLDERBoulder race director, Cliff Bosley to discuss how that organization had created the success that defines the BOLDERBoulder. In September 2013, Gary and Cliff talked about how a community race could highlight the growth and energy of Fort Collins, help drive tourism, create a positive halo, and drive economic impact for the city.

As one of the most respected names in road racing, BOLDERBoulder Inc. has staged the BOLDERBoulder Memorial Day 10K Classic for nearly 40 years. One of the largest road races on the planet, the BOLDERBoulder is honored to be named America’s All-Time Best 10K by Runners World. Over its rich history the BOLDERBoulder team has been asked to consult or create new races many times, yet no opportunity had met the BOLDERBoulder’s world-class standards.

Conversations continued until 2015 when the decision was made to move forward with the idea of collaboration between the organizations. Over the next year, the logistics and dynamics of staging an event that would symbolize the best of the City of Fort Collins and Colorado State University, as well as showcase the new Sonny Lubick Field at Canvas Stadium, were finalized.

The City of Fort Collins, Visit Fort Collins, the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, Colorado State University, and BOLDERBoulder Inc. were pleased to announce the inaugural running of the FORTitude Labor Day 10K Classic on September 4, 2017.

While 2017 marked the inaugural event, we are all committed to creating an event that will become a Labor Day tradition for years to come.

Did you know?
Fort Collins is the only city in Colorado certified by the Road Runners Club of America as an official “Runner Friendly Community.” Learn why this such a great place to run. 

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The Route

The FORTitude 10K takes runners on a scenic yet altitude challenging course through Fort Collins, passing landmarks like City Park, downtown and Colorado State University, as well as weaving through picturesque Avery and Mountain Ave. neighborhoods. The race finishes at the Sonny Lubick Field at Canvas Stadium.

First Responders Salute

Historically, on Labor Day, our nation has paid tribute to the American worker. The celebration of Labor Day has expanded to also become a celebration of community, family and friends with backyard barbecues, hometown parades and the end of summer.

On Labor Day, the FORTitude 10K also recognizes those who work diligently, often in harms way, to keep our communities safe. We honor the first responders on our streets who rescue us when we need help, often confronted by danger, and comfort us in the face of tragedy.

We also remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty.