Darcy Kitching + circumambulating the Boulder Bubble

The pied piper of Boulder explains the joy of walking a 26-mile city loop

By Paul Hagey Oct 9 2018

Editor’s Note: We have collaborated with Ignite Boulder to share some of the stories from the Boulder nonprofit’s recent 10-year anniversary show at Chautauqua auditorium. First up is Darcy Kitching, who designed, and leads, a 26-mile walk around Boulder.

Boulder presents a beautiful, textured bubble. We all know that. The more your look, the deeper, more varied it gets.

Walking-lover Darcy Kitching, a founding member of Denver-based coop Walk2Connect, a partner with the GO Boulder Walks program, offers yet another way to experience this variegated place.

Last year, she designed a 26-mile circumambulation of Boulder which she calls a “slow marathon.” At 11 hours at a moderate pace, it could also be called a moderate Ironman time. The first group course walk occurred June 2017 with 13 people. This June, 55 started and 35 finished.

Known for adrenaline and speed, Boulder might appreciate this slow relish.

The route

The route spans all the walking surfaces Boulder has to offer: paved and unpaved trails, streets with and without sidewalks, alleyways and paved and unpaved multi-use trails.

Darcy, who has done the walk eight times in all seasons, came up with the idea based on the Community Cycles-led bike version, B360. The pull goes deeper than that, though.

At her Ignite Boulder talk, she mentioned how her mom, a teacher, ignited her connection to walking as a child, when they disappeared for summer trips to explore and romp across the U.S.

A trip to the Pacific Northwest at 14 particularly stuck with her, she told me. The trip coursed from San Francisco to Canada’s standout park, Banff National Park. The Oregon coast tidepools and ocean hit her, so much that she moved to Portland, Oregon, upon graduating college.

Darcy loves that the Boulder Walk 360 route provides an opportunity for community to come together and discover their city, and also to see and be seen. See her Ignite talk below.

Paul Hagey

Paul Hagey is BLDRfly’s founder and editor. When not wrangling video, audio and words in the name of story, he’s riding his mountain bike, trail running and hanging with his awesome wife Jen and their young daughter. paul@bldrfly.com