I am pretty sure you all are aware of my deep love for the BolderBoulder 10K in Boulder, CO. It was, indeed, the race that started it all. About three and half years ago, I made the commitment to myself that I would run the BolderBoulder, this infamous race in my then hometown, that everyone kept talking about. I knew I wanted to be healthier, and let’s be honest, Colorado has that effect on most people, and I thought running was the best logical first step (pun totally intended). It didn’t require any hand eye coordination (which is key for my incredible lack of athleticism), expensive special equipment (also key as I was the only one working at the time while the hubs was in school), or a gym membership (hello beautiful outdoor running space – Colorado’s Front Range is exceedingly runner friendly). So I tied up my laces on a terribly old pair of sneakers, and hit the pavement.
Now here I am in 2015, with a total of 28 races completed, including seven half
marathons, and three straight years at the BolderBoulder. I honestly can say I didn’t anticipate getting to this point. My running path led me to many other forms of exercise that I would have been too scared or intimidated to try before. Starting last summer, I participated in my friend Amy’s LacyFit classes, which were HIIT bookcamp-esque classes twice a week. I went regularly to the gym with my husband to use the hand weights and elliptical. I take Zumba classes once a week at my campus gym, and who doesn’t want to get their dance on with some salsa and cumbia moves? Recently, I have been positively obsessed with Core Power Yoga and Tone It Up, which have elevated my fitness routine to muscle toning and sculpting. It’s been a wild ride over the past 3 years, and I, and my body, are so grateful for the inspiration the BolderBoulder has brought me.
I cannot lie, I may have signed up for the 2015 BolderBoulder the day after the 2014 race… I was pretty pumped about it. So I have been anticipating this race for some time. It is the nation’s largest 10K, and I would say one of the most impressively planned races I have ever seen. I have nothing but respect for the incredible details that go into this race. The sheer number of wave starts alone is mind-boggling, and any race that has 50,000 participants is hands down incredible. So I went into this year’s race with even more appreciation and a lot of excitement.
I had spent the weekend, through that Sunday, in Maryland celebrating my sister’s graduation from the University of Maryland, so I was a little anxious knowing I was coming from sea level. Still, the hubs and I woke early the Monday of Memorial Day to hit the road by 5:45am. The traffic into Boulder on race day is always a bit questionable. We had a new plan for parking this time around, and decided to park under the 29th Street Mall in their garage. We were going to begin with our friends Scott and Danielle, as well as their friend Eli, whose start wave was around 7:25am. Although we left with plenty of time, with the slow line into the parking area, as well as a pitstop at actual bathrooms (halleluiah!), we were still late by 2 wave starts. Luckily you can join any wave after your own, just not before it.
When we were last in Disney World in November 2014 for the Wine and
Dine Half Marathon, the hubs and I picked up Mickey and Minnie bride and groom ears. This amazing couple will be tying the knot this upcoming October, so we thought they’d appreciate a little Disney bling. Little did I realize this would be incorporated into a full blown BolderBoulder costume! They dressed as bride and groom, complete with the ears, and boy was that adorable! So I knew I had to step up our game. Last year’s America themed ensemble was pretty amazing, but what about this year? Well, I had a tiara, and never pass up an opportunity to wear a sparkle skirt, so Aurora it was! The first time the hubs and I went to Disney we bought him a Prince Phillip shirt that says, “Sorry girls, I’m taken!” So combine that with some navy shorts, and voila! A themed costume! What can I say? I may be a race costume junkie.
So we got under way just a few minutes behind schedule. The morning was practically perfect, even just a little chilly, which is always good for race days. The month of May seemed like monsoon season along the Front Range, so I was more than thankful for dry race conditions. I passed through the first mile without even realizing it and we quickly made our way through the mile 2 marker. I have come to just enjoy looking around during the BolderBoulder now, given that Boulder once was my home. Right before mile 4 at the Casey Middle School hill, and the highest point of the race, runners pass my former home on the right, along with my favorite mini Whole Foods ever, Ideal Market. After that point, the last 2.2 miles are just so much fun. You find your way onto Pearl Street with cupcakes waiting (although I have never partaken), and then weave your way onto Folsom after passing a chipper group of cheerleaders. The number of entertainment stations along this course is a bit baffling for as short as it is. Someday I will have to do a mid-race keg stand.
Of course there’s nothing like making your way up Folsom and onto the CU Boulder Folsom Field for the victory lap. The stadium is full of folks who already finished cheering and applauding the runners toward the finish line. The finishers are projected onto the Jumbotron, and there are photographers scattering the finish area. It’s truly one of the coolest feelings I have ever had when finishing a race. Oh, and I PRed, best time yet for a 10K! 1:00:31:82. I was a little bummed, thinking I’d run it in less than an hour, but next year!
After the race, we met all met up for obligatory post-race stadium photos, got our goodie bags (why didn’t they have the lunch bags this year?) and Beer (Oskar Blues, soooooo good), attempted to peruse the Expo (SO MANY PEOPLE), and then headed over to the VIP section. Hello world, I have arrived, a BolderBoulder VIP. My friend Danielle’s sister works for the race, so we took the elevator up to the VIP zone, which had yummy food, beverages of all types, and a stunning view of the stadium. No really, it was spectacular. We got some great photos, relaxed, and enjoyed watching runners make their way across the finish line.
Afterwards, we met up with some other friends at the Chautauqua Dining Hall in Chautauqua Park, and all I will say is lemon almond pancakes. Yes. A beautiful day, wonderful people, and my favorite BolderBoulder to date.