Though born in Germany and raised in New York, Frank Shorter is still considered one of the more prominent figures in Boulder history. So much so, that a commemorative statue of his likeness resides right near CU Campus. Why? Well, it’s largely because of Shorter in the ‘70s that Boulder is the athlete-magnet that it continues to be today.
Shorter moved here to Boulder in the early 1970s, to train for the Olympic marathon. He came for the training at altitude, and stayed for the sunshine and the beauty, and the people.He spread the word amongst his athletic colleagues, and they, following suit, found that he was right–not only is Boulder an optimal place to train at any time of year, but it’s “the best place in the world to live.” He has been living here in Boulder for many many years since then, and started one of our biggest Boulder traditions.
Shorter was one of the founders of the Bolder Boulder, our famous 10k, which still ranks among one of the largest in the nation. Every year, top athletes as well as amateurs flock to Boulder to train and then to compete, and way back in the 1970s, having a resident Olympic gold medal winner running himself put the race on the map. Now, different starting lines and race routes later, the Bolder Boulder still ends at Folsom Field, near which the running statue of Shorter lives, just near where he used to train for the Olympics.
You may have seen that there was a reading and interview last month with Shorter, as his memoir, My Marathon, recently came out. Discussions of his gold and silver medal victories, his traumatic childhood, and everything in between, Shorter’s story is nothing if not inspiring, even if you’re not an Olympic-level athlete (but, hey, so many Boulderites are).
- Shorter not only has been touted as the guy who brought runners to Boulder, but also one of of the main reasons why jogging as an exercise and a pastime became so popular in the 1970s.
- He has degrees in law.
- He is adamant about the unfairness of athletes taking performance enhancing drugs–he chaired (and co-founded) the anti-doping organization called The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.