Boise & Garden City

Barber to Boise is back this weekend, but the race’s future is uncertain

The logo for this year’s Barber to Boise T-shirts.
The logo for this year’s Barber to Boise T-shirts.

You can run. You can walk. You can leaf peep.

The Barber to Boise fun runs on Saturday are all about helping you and your family get outside and get moving.

“We’re doing it to improve the health and fitness of the community,” said Tim Severa, organizer of this and many other fun runs for the Treasure Valley YMCA. “I think it has motivated some people to get back out there.”

The once iconic fall fun run, which began almost 40 years ago, has had flagging participation in recent years and was canceled last year.

The YMCA decided to bring it back this year — but registration is well below what organizers had hoped. Severa said they expected to have at least 600 to 800 participants.

“We’re just approaching 300,” said Severa, who expects last-minute registrations will bring total participation to over 400.

The support of two race sponsors — Domino’s Pizza owner Phil Mikelonis and Northwest Traffic Products — is allowing the race to go forward this year, Severa said.

YMCA officials received a lot of positive feedback in June when they announced they were bringing back Barber to Boise.

“We’re doing it for the community, and we’ll have to evaluate whether we can do it again. I’m planning on at least one more year to see if we can get the numbers up — maybe it’s time to let it go,” Severa said.

The 5K race starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Albertsons office on ParkCenter Boulevard and finishes at Ann Morrison Park.

The 10K race starts at 9 a.m. at Barber Park and finishes at Ann Morrison Park.

Participants may register up to 15 minutes before the races start, or register online now at the YMCA’s website. Packet pickup is at Bandanna Running and Walking, 504 W. Main St. in Boise.

The cost to participate is $40 for adults, $30 for youth. There will be music, food and refreshments at the end of the races. Runners and walkers with leashed dogs are welcome but asked to start at the back of the pack.

Shuttles from the finish line to the starting line will run from 7 a.m.-7:45 a.m. for the 5k race, and 7:45 a.m.-8:30 a.m. for the 10k race.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller