You are hereRalphie handlers hold on to tradition
Ralphie handlers hold on to tradition
Rated one of the top 'live' collegiate mascots, CU's Ralphie has won over students, fans and alumni by kicking off home football games with a run around the field.
The infamous "Ralphie Run" began in the 1930's, but the organization and execution of the run has been greatly improved over the years.
"They used to just try and hold on to her and skid along. The harness was...interestingly made. The whole technique has just been refined. Now we operate like a well oiled machine," said Cole Schindler, second year Ralphie handler.
It takes a lot of work and dedication to be able to keep up with a 1,000 pound buffalo running at 20 miles per hour.
"We work out twice a week in the mornings for an hour and a half, and we practice with Ralphie twice a week running her around the soccer field," said Stephen Green, a fourth year Ralphie handler.
The work put in to getting in shape to keep up with Ralphie is well worth the feeling the handlers get from rushing down the field with the buffalo in tow.
"Leading the team out on to the field on game days, it’s a blast. When we go out there and start there you don’t hear anything but each other. When we run, we’re so in the zone. It’s so magical and so much fun," said John Graves, a third year Ralphie handler.
Only a select few can be Ralphie handlers, however. Each year try outs are held, and the main requirement — you have to be able to keep up with a buffalo.
Those interested in applying to be a Ralphie handler can download an application from cubuffs.com.
At the end of the run, all the hard work and training is worth it for the handlers, who are nothing but honored to carry on the Ralphie run tradition.