Monday, May 26, 2014

5 Favorite Things from My First BolderBoulder

Today was BolderBOULDER. A 10K race through Boulder, Colorado that starts at a 5,275 foot elevation, peaks at 5,391 feet and ends just under 5,350. As the race’s tagline says: Sea level is for sissies.

When we moved to Denver almost a year ago, I had a really tough time adjusting to the altitude. It took me several months to get comfortable with the lack of oxygen, but I have to say, I didn’t have any trouble breathing at 5,391 feet this morning!

BolderBoulder is an all-inclusive event. The race begins with the speediest of the speedy and ends with the walkers; kids from 6 years old to a man somewhere in his 90’s. And incredible pros running low 5-minute miles! It’s a city-wide party welcoming in the unofficial start to summer.

We met up with my Oiselle teammate Laura, her husband Josh and their adorable 14 month old son (who participated in his first race too!), at their house in Denver at 5:15am to make the trip up to Boulder. We easily found a spot in a parking ramp and walked over to the starting area. With more than 50,000 participants (runners and walkers) I was pleasantly surprised by how well organized the whole thing was.

My favorite things about my first time running BolderBOULDER:

1. Qualified wave starts – with strict watch kept over the corrals – ensuring that the vast majority of the people starting together were actually running around the same pace. With 30 qualified waves and a ton more beyond that, the BolderBoulder team has there stuff together. When my wave went off at 7:22:50 am, we were right on time.

With Matt, post-race

This guy got a PR!

2. On course entertainment that is purely Boulder – the bands, the belly dancers, the slip’n’slides, spectators offering beer and bacon – only in Boulder.

Bolder Boulder_with Bret

This photo with Bret has nothing to do with the on-course entertainment, but I thought it’s cute and I didn’t run with my camera!

4. Climbing two tough, final hills then kicking it into high gear for a finish in Folsom Field (University of Colorado’s football stadium) in front of thousands of cheering spectators.

The Folsom Field Crowd

3. The chance to hang out with my husband, teammates, and new friends on a sunny Memorial Day!

Strong Birds

4. Watching Shalane Flanagan and Deena Kastor cross the finish line that I just crossed a few hours earlier. Okay, so they finished in less than half the time I did, I’m okay with that.


Go Shalane!!!

5. Stale bagel at the finish line? Not here. A lunch bag filled with food from sponsor White Wave. (I could have really gone for a banana, but the popsicle at the post-race expo hit the spot).


I’m not sure yet if we’ll run it next year, but there’s a good chance that we will! This was a pretty great day!

BolderBoulder Brunch

The Birds: Bret, Rebekah, Jess, Laura, me

And if you’re wondering, Afewerki Berhane of Eritrea, won the men’s race in 29:11.37; Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia, won  the women’s race in 32:21.63, almost a full 44 seconds ahead of Shalane. It was an incredible showing!

Check out Laura’s recap HERE.

How did you spend Memorial Day? * What are you looking forward to this summer? * How is it summer already?


Lisa said...

What a cool race! Sad that i missed it but I will have to join you for one in the future. I love how organized they are! Gives NYRR a run for their money.

You look amazing, Lisa! Glad you had a good race and didn't have a hard time breathing.

Lisa said...

Thanks Grace! You're too sweet! I think BolderBoulder is lucky to have a lot of space to work with, which is not something NYRR has available to them very often.

Would love to race with you again (this was my first 10K since we ran the Mini10K together)!