The Bolder Boulder is one week away, on Memorial Day and it will be the 8th time I’ve run the race. This local race is a blast and known across the country as one of the best 10k’s!
I really enjoy this race from the course to the spectators and the after party to the swag! The whole city gets into the race and almost every runner in the state of Colorado is there. It’s definitely a race to add to your bucket list, even if you’re from out of state!
There are also so many ways to enjoy the Bolder Boulder. You can go for speed – it’s fun to brag about a good time on the hilly course. You can also go for fun and enjoy the many fun sights and treats along the way: the Doritos house, the marshmellow house, beer chugs (if you’re old enough), bacon, trampolines, Elvis, thebelly dancers and the many slip and slides along the way….just to name a few! Or you can split the difference and go half and half: run fast but pick up a few treats to enjoy while running! I have a friend that one raced it for speed, looped around and ran it again to hit all the fun stuff!
I’ve experienced Bolder Boulder in many of the ways above – partaking in the fun parts, running as fast as I can, running with my mom, with a boyfriend in previous years and all by myself. Now, I have not run this race nearly as many times as some people. I have a friend that has run it every year since 1980, like many locals around here, so I’m by no means an expert, but I do have some go-to habits that I’ve come to rely on for this race.
In all the years I’ve run, I stand by a few things that make my Bolder Boulder experience the best it can be, no matter what way I decided to enjoy the race.
Here are FIVE (plus) tips I swear by to ensure you have the BEST Bolder Boulder day:
1. Take The Bus
-I stand by this 100%, no matter what. RTD (Denver’s bus system) sets up a bunch of stops that are special for Bolder Boulder. You pay around $9 (or less) and you get dropped off right by the start line and picked up at the finish line.
-I swear you’ll be thankful for this; traffic on Bolder Boulder day can be horrendous. $9.00 is well worth the stress of traffic, finding a parking spot and then getting back to your car, wherever you end up parking, after the race.
2. Travel Light
-Bring only what you need. If you just can’t leave the layers and accessories at home, there is a bag drop, but I’ve never used it. In a crowd of 20,000+ people, I don’t really want to lose my bag in the shuffle.
-I wear a waterproof race belt, or depending on the weather, my FlipBelt Crops, that I keep my phone*, car keys, credit card and ID** in. I’ve seen some people wear a water vest, even if it’s not necessary for the distance.
-I’ve only ever experienced good weather for the Bolder Boulder (knock on wood). However, it’s usually pretty chilly at race start and SUPER warm as you’re running and after. I wear a light jacket or pullover that I can tie around my waste. If you don’t even want to do that, wear something you don’t mind giving to charity. All clothing items left at the start get donated.
*Having your phone with you helps you find your friends and family at the crowded stadium finish line.
**You’ll definitely want your ID for the FREE beer at the end!
3. Speaking of nice weather...
-Sunscreen up ahead of time. Just get it done in the morning. Trust me. Afterall, this race is 5,391ft above sea level; you’re closer to the sun!
4. Decided on your goal BEFORE you run
-Are you trying to get the best time you can? Start in the front of your wave group and keep your eyes up ahead to dodge the crowds and run the tangents.
-If you really are serious about a Bolder Boulder PR, qualify in the year before with a speedy time to get seeded in an earlier wave that puts you ahead of the main crowds of runners.
-Just want to have fun? Start farther back and take advantage of all the fun along the course. Grab a buddy with a similar “goal” and don’t forget to take pictures!
5. Most of all HAVE FUN and enjoy the festivities!
No matter your goal, take in your surroundings, smile and say hi to strangers…this event is a blast! My favorite part is when you come into the stadium, right at the end, and are running around the field. The stadium crowd noise is invigorating and feels like they are all cheering just for you!
This event has so much to offer from the fun race course, spirit of the neighborhood, watching the elite race, and the Memorial Day celebration after the race, it’s worth the cheap registration fees and always great swag (shirts and the token lunch box)!
Here are some photos from over the years:
What will 2018 bring!?! We’ll see!