Bolder Boulder 2014! What a day that was! What’s it been? Two weeks and some change? I haven’t had a day off to do nothing in…I don’t even know, so it feels like it was a really long time ago. But, I’m going to try to recap it like it was yesterday…
Like I said in the pre race review, the Bolder Boulder is quite the race. I do actually really like it. I love the atmosphere, the course, and the after party stuff. The only thing that I absolutely don’t like is the people, er the AMOUNT of people.
I’m a strange person in general, my friends will probably attest to that. Sometimes I can’t keep still and I’m super social. Actually 90% of the time, that’s the case. Lately, however, I’ve been so tired, stressed and busy, I want to just keep to myself. But those wants get conflicted with my love of other things, i.e. races.
I received a free race entry to the Bolder Boulder from 3W races, so obviously I’m not going to turn that down! But there was definitely a tiny voice in the back of my head that didn’t want to deal with the traffic and the throngs of people.
Remember, 50,000+ people come to run this race. If you have a qualifying time, you can start your run sooner and thus not have to deal with AS many people. I didn’t provide a qualifying time, mostly because I forgot to send it in, but I’m also wondering if I even had one (it had to be within one year of the race date) and I think my previous 10K time is two years old.
Anyway, I was scheduled to run at 8:11 am. Meaning, there was TON of people in front of me. The wave I was in is called the “non-qualifying runners/joggers.” I do really wish people would be honest when registering for times, because I was already dodging walkers within a half mile. Seriously.
I had already decided that I wasn’t going to race for time, that I was just going to enjoy the experience, but after sitting in traffic for a bit longer than I wanted to, I was already in a “I don’t want to deal with crowds of people mood,” Like I said, they happen sometimes. (Little bit of race info: the Bolder Boulder has a deal with the local transportation system, even from Denver, and has plenty of “park and ride” bus stations to get you to and from the race. I had to work at the Boulder Spring Creek Festival right after the race, so I had to drive that morning so that I could get home after working. Otherwise, I’m all for carpooling it there, which is how I’ve done it the other times I’ve run this race!)
I parked my car near where I had to work, which is also near the END of the race. Unfortunately, that put me about a mile and a quarter from the START of the race. So what’s one to do? Run, of course. I jogged the mile over to the race started and called it my warm up. Actually, I’m pretty sure I should make my warm up this long all the time, because I had a pretty good run.
I lined up, popped my music in my ears, and just zoned out. That helped the “not wanting to deal with people” mood. Then, my wave was off with the start of a trumpet. I set into a nice comfortable pace, and enjoyed my surroundings. There is a band or performer on just about every block. Even in the neighborhoods people are blasting their stereos out the windows and cheering us on from their front lawn. It’s quiet an awesome experience.
For bands, I’ll pop my music out of my ears and cheer and throw my hands in the air. There’s one turn in the course that has a HUGE stage, but this year unfortunately, the band was on break, so I have no idea who was playing. I don’t blame them. If they were to perform straight through, they would be playing for 4+ hours.
I took to a nice comfortably pace that still made me feel like I was working hard. I would stop to take a few pictures where I thought you guys might enjoy seeing something (like the slip and slide!) but otherwise, I was enjoying the run.
Eventually, with about two miles left, I ran into a fellow 3W Ambassador with her bootcamp ladies (she owns a bootcamp company called Mountain Girl Fitness). I stopped to say hi and walk with them a bit, then decided to go on my way making sure to hit every sprinkler and family spraying super soakers as I could – It was turning out to be a HOT morning!
Eventually the CU stadium came in sight and I knew the end was near, not that I was wishing for it, in fact I was feeling great!
I charged up the last hill (for being such a huge, popular race, the course is actually pretty challenging if you’re running for time – there’s a lot of hills). Around the last corner, you enter the stadium, and the feeling of satisfaction hits you! It’s quite thrilling to run into the stadium. There’s already a ton of people waiting in the stands, either for their families or people who have already finished. The noise is loud and incredible and if feel likes they are cheering just for you. You can’t help but throw your hands up as you cross under the finish line!
Breathing hard, I exited the finish line coral, let the volunteer cut off my timing chip and grabbed my lunch pail (Bolder Boulder always gives the post-race goodies to you in a sweet, iconic lunch pail. If you’re a runner in Colorado, you bring your lunch to work in this sack).
The was a dozen or so 3W ambassadors running the race, so I set out to find some before I had to walk over to work. We took a picture with the few of us there at the time (we have our fingers up on both hands for 3W, get it? 3 – W??) And that was that! I went to work and stood on my feet for 8 more hours! Yes, my feet were very sore for the following week!
I wish I could have stayed, after all the waves have run, the elites get their chance at the course. Once they’ve charged through in a time that laughs at all the other runner’s time, there’s a great Memorial Day Celebration afterwards with a fly over and paragliders! It’s worth seeing and super touching, even for someone like me who doesn’t like feelings. Then you can explore the fitness expo after wards that has a ton of schwag to pick up at a bunch of booths.
The Bolder Boulder is definitely worth doing, for anyone. Coloradans and out of towners – this is a must-do race!