Bolder Boulder – Pre Race Preview

It’s been less than a week since my last race. And I’m still on cloud nine about it. Mostly for the mere fact that I seem to have reclaimed my running motivation.

I have kept my training runs this week pretty minimal just to recover from last weekend and to stay fresh for Monday because I will be running another race!


The Bolder Boulder! Easily Colorado’s most popular race, but they claim to be America’s most popular 10K. Anybody who is anybody runs this race. Ok, just kidding. That’s not the case, but it has been quite the social gathering versus a race.

BolderBoulder2014ERLogoYou ready for a small history lesson? The Bolder Boulder was first run in 1979. The inaugural race started with 2,200 participants! The following year, participation doubled, and since then it has continued to grow and grow until nowadays there are about 50,000 runners (That’s a lot of people! To put this in perspective, the Boston Marathon attracts between 35,000 and 38,000 and the NYC Marathon attracts about the same, around 50,000)! A lot of big races these days of the “wave” system. The Bolder Boulder is no different; it takes a lot of time to get that many people through the starting arches! The “wave” system was started in 1983 to give all runners equally competitive chances. With start times from 7am all the way until after 9:30am.

I will give the Bolder Boulder this: It definitely combines ALL types of runners. There is the competitive runners, like me, that aren’t elite, but still care about their time. There’s the social runners that only show up to say they did the event and spend most of the time jogging/walking/drinking the free beer along the side. And, after all of those people finish the race, they release the Elites. While everyone is sitting in the CU Football Stadium, on the big screen they show the Elites racing down the same course we all just trotted along. They finish the 10k is a time shorter than my 5k. It’s ridiculous.

bolder boulderI actually love the Bolder Boulder. 90% of it anyway. I love the course and I love how you finish in the stadium and just because everyone is chattering, it creates an echo that sounds like they’re cheering for you as you come in! I love that neighborhoods get involved having the same things every year (slip and slide house, Doritos house, marshmallow house…and the beer houses). What I don’t like is the crowd. Now, they have a bazillion different waves. The faster you can run a 10k (with proof) the sooner you get to run, thus, less crowds. I have yet to get a non-crowded run time. This year, I would have been able to register for an earlier wave, but I didn’t send in my 10k time in a timely manner. No pun intended.
boulder boulder10

I’ve done the Bolder Boulder three different times. The first year was in 2010 with a good friend of mine, Joanna. I joined her and her family and we ran together for the 6.2 miles. This was right after my first half marathon and the racing bug hadn’t quite bitten yet. Nevertheless, it was a great time.

The second time I ran it, it was with a guy I was dating at the time. This was before I started my blog, before I really go into racing. But, I was regularly running, and that guy started running with me. We would “train” after both of us got off of work, and run the streets that we grew up on (he and I had gone to the same high school, way before we even dated). That neighborhood is pretty hilly and definitely prepared us for the challenge of the Bolder Boulder. I remember my goal that year was under 60 minutes, but I think we ended up running in 60:02; so close, yet so far!

97705-4423-003fThe third time I ran it was a year after that. It was after I started my blog, after I really started racing, and after I knew how to push myself and train better. I ran it in under 55 min (not my PR. My 10K PR was achieved after that at a race in New Mexico). I ran it “with” my friend Theresa, but I was really concentrating on my time and met her before and after.

Last year, I did not run the Bolder Boulder. It was the day after my first marathon. I was kinda sad, because I was getting in the tradition of running the race, but I knew that it wasn’t a good idea after running a marathon (my FIRST marathon) and then sitting on a place for a cross-country flight.

This year, I wasn’t going to run it due to finances. That really bummed me out, BUT you’ll see from this post that I have regained my motivation and thanks to the lovely people at 3W Races, they somehow got a handful of Bolder Boulder entries for us and now I’m registered! Super excited!

I’ve been debating on if I have any goals. That sounds silly. Basically, I’ve been debating between trying to have a really good time and get close to or beat my PR, OR having a really good time running just for fun, stopping to take pictures and participating in the festivities.

There’s a few things to consider. 1. I just ran a really good race last weekend, and I really want to see what I can do with a slightly smaller race, an actual 10k. 2. But my start time is 8:05am, and that would put a lot of people in front of me, possibly making my attempt harder as I have to dodge people. 3. If I were to go the fun route, I would love to have company, and I’m not sure who of all my 3W friends have registered is going the fun route. 4. I have to work at 10:30am, after the race. I’ll already be in Boulder, where I’m working, but if I go the fun route, will I have time to change/clean up after the race??? That is the dilemma!

What would you guys do??



Bolder Boulder Website

Bolder Boulder – Post Review (2012)

7 thoughts on “Bolder Boulder – Pre Race Preview

  1. This race sounds so fun! I can’t imagine a 10k with 50,000 people. The last one I did had like 85 🙂 Best wishes to you, and enjoy! Looking forward to the race recap.

  2. Hey! Love your blog ad it’s positive-ness 🙂 Also love this post… and OMG I want to go to Boulder one day so many of my triathlete friends have gone there to train and love it… hopefully one day I will! Happy running… Auds 🙂

    • I haven’t had a chance to respond yet. Thanks so much for this comment. it really made my day last week. Boulder is quite the running mecca, but so is pretty much all of colorado.

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