It was nearing 100 degrees Thursday mid-afternoon, and the town was quiet. Folks, and other kinds of animals, were inside or lying low, trying to keep cool. Out on the Potts Field track, however, three figures were moving to and fro: Andy Edmondson, Dan Pierce and John Bridges. The three Boulder Road Runners and volunteer track officials were setting up the facility for the evening’s All Comers track and field meet.

Kirsten Borbe hands off the baton during the 4×400 meter relay at Thursday’s Boulder Road Runners All Comers track meet, which is seeking volunteers. Borbe ran her relay leg in 85 seconds. (Ellen Moelle/Courtesy photo)

The trio has been among a dedicated group from the Boulder Road Runners organizing the biweekly track series for many years. The grassroot meets are a model of professionalism, as the more than 200 entrants who showed up later Thursday found out. The meets run on time, smoothly, as far as participants and spectators can tell, and give young and old, fast and slow, a chance to shine.

That was evident Thursday. The mile was won in a stellar time of 4 minutes, 4.8 seconds by Daniel Michalski. There were little kids, a mile-relay, and a complement of field events, including the javelin, shot put and long jump. Where else but these summer All Comers meets at Potts are you going to get a chance to throw the javelin? Masters world record holder Dan King was out there, and I was glad to see local Horizon school teacher Peter Hegelbach racing the 800 meters, clocking a solid 2:35.

“It was both foreign and familiar,” Hegelbach, a former collegiate runner at Princeton and a past Masters World Champs medalist, said of his return to racing. As he nears the end of his 50s, it seems to me that Hegelbach could be using these meets as an under-the-radar attempt at returning to racing shape.

The All Comers meets (boulderroadrunners.org) do have a familiar feeling to them, with many racers returning year after year. There are not many opportunities to race on the track, and the entry fees go to a good cause. Earlier this year, the Road Runners donated roughly $24,000 to the University of Colorado track program, money collected over the years from the summer track series.

“CU is the team in town to support,” explained Bridges, who ran track for Cherry Creek High School and has stayed close to the sport ever since. “I’ve always been sentimental about it.”

As the late evening clouds glowed orange and the meet was finishing up with the 5000 meters, I saw Edmondson walking across the Potts infield from his post. It was nearing 9 p.m. and he and the others were finishing a long day. When I asked what kept him returning to the track every other week to oversee the field events, Edmondson related a poignant scene, of being at the shot put ring, with a 70-year old competitor and a 12-year old. And the 12-year old was listening with rapt attention to the 70-year giving his advice, learning all he could.

Volunteers who help organize the biweekly Summer All Comers meets at Potts Field include John Bridges, left, Lyle Rosbotham, Andy Edmondson and Don Janicki. (Deb Conley/Courtesy photo)
Volunteers who help organize the biweekly Summer All Comers meets at Potts Field include John Bridges, left, Lyle Rosbotham, Andy Edmondson and Don Janicki. (Deb Conley/Courtesy photo)

Hats off to Edmondson, Bridges, Pierce and meet director Todd Sraka, as well as all the others at Potts on Thursday helping out, from timers to lap counters. Bridges said the club has a need for more volunteers. Those interested can write to john@boulderroadrunners.org. The next All Comers meet is set for July 7. The series ends Aug. 13 with a final meet that includes the Mile High elite mile and the Teri Leicker Memorial Mile.

Contact Sandrock on Instagram: @MikeSandrock.

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Michael Sandrock
2022-06-20 13:00:43
Boulder Daily Camera
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