Monday, May 25, 2015

BolderBOULDER: Take 2

The first time running a race is filled with countless uncertainties as no two races are the same. Over the past two years we've been figuring out some races out here in the Denver area, including BolderBOULDER, so when we woke up Monday morning it was a bit of relief to have a pretty good idea of what to expect. 

If you happened to read my last post you know that before the Colfax Marathon Relay I wasn't feeling too confident about how I'd do. Well, that's how I was feeling again before this race. My last two runs were not my best, but I pulled it together, spent some quality time with my legs up the wall over the weekend, and tried to put those runs behind me. 

And it's a good thing I did because I beat my pace from last week and last year's BolderBOULDER. I didn't blow it out of the water, but it was better so I'll celebrate that. 

Now that we're veterans of the race, I'll share a few tips for those who want to take this on for the first time:
  1. Get in a qualified wave. You can do this either by submitting verified race times when you register or running a mile on the treadmill at the race headquarters. Either way, you want to do this.
  2. Plan your parking/transportation in advance. Road closures and rolling waves can make this parking tricky but there are plenty of options to make it a hassle-free experience.
  3. Wear layers you can peel off right before your start time. All clothes dropped at the start are cleaned and donated to Goodwill. It's cold in the morning, especially for the early waves, and this will make your start happier.
  4. Plan on lots of time at bag drop and pay the $2 when you register. This is a great service but it's also the one aspect of the race that the organizers don't have down to a science. It's actually kind of a mess.
  5. Take in the craziness along the course. I really can't imagine another race with the interesting combination of course-side entertainment and distractions. Belly dancers? Check. Slip-'n-slide action? Only if you dare. Bacon pit-stop? Yep. Drum circle. Oh, yes.
  6. Celebrate with friends and family. It's a big party at the finish line and post-race expo. If you can, stick around for a bit to enjoy the good craft beer, cheer runners on to the finish as they come through the stadium and check out the expo and Memorial Day salute after the Elite finish. It's a good time.
Woody enjoying an Oskar Blues brew (no light beer for finishers at this race)
Celebrating with Oiselle teammates with the finish line in the background

Overall it was a great day and now it's time to recharge and focus on my next race, the Gothic to Crested Butte 1/3 Marathon in early July.

Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend and more importantly, thank you to all who have dedicated their life to serving and protecting our country. Our freedom - and ability to do so many things we take for granted, like running races - depends on this dedication.

How did you celebrate Memorial Day?

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