Monday, May 27, 2013

Race Report: 2013 BolderBoulder

This weekend, 30 years ago, my younger brother and I spent a weekend with our grand parents at their home in the St. Vrain Canyon about 45 minutes from Boulder. On a cold and rainy Monday morning, they drove me to the start of the BolderBoulder--my first ever.

It wasn't until this afternoon that I realized I've hit that anniversary. Otherwise, it was Memorial Day so, of course, I was in Boulder.

Like any race that starts out of town, my day began very early, about 5:30 in this case. That was okay. I made good time all the way until Boulder. And then I hit town.

There's no doubt that thousands of cars converging on a town at the same time create traffic. However, near as I can tell, the handling of traffic near the intersection of 28th Street and Colorado Avenue might has well have been handled by a four-year-old. Despite me and thousands of my fellow runners coming in on 28th, some genius decided to short cycle the light. This lead to it taking about 15 minutes to drive the last mile to the starting line. It nearly cost me starting with my own group.

Fortunately, that didn't happen, but I did make it to my group with about 45 second to spare. Not the way I would have planned it.

But start I did and soon I was running north on 30th Street and feeling pretty good Before I knew it the course was moving back south on 28th and the Flat Irons were in clear view.

It was a warm day...really warm actually. I had the benefit of starting earlier but as we approached mile 4, this annual tradition looked fairly inviting:

I abstained because I was carrying my cell phone but also because I was not sure I could get up again if I stopped.

It was harder than last year, but it also went by quickly. I struggled through the last mile up Folsom Street, including the big hill leading to the stadium and was soon enough met with this view:

It was nice to be finished.

Race Review:

Next year:

There's not a lot but a couple of points I think the race organizers should consider:

1) Get the city to make it easier to get into town. I left 90 minutes before my start time which would have been more than enough had I not hit the traffic snafu right after getting into town. A cop at the intersection actively metering the traffic flow would have saved a lot of time and congestion.

2) Timing based on a tag on your shoe is better than none at all:

but with the ability to put the chip on the bib, this is probably something that needs to be done away with.

The Good:

Course support: Despite being very late, the security guards that maintain each section let me through. It would have accomplished nothing to make me wait for the next group. Common sense prevailed and they let me through.

Post Race: Every year, I get a new lunch bag with lots of good stuff in it. Here's the bags waiting for the finishers:

Finish: It's always cool to run in a stadium, but more so when it's the stadium of your alma matter. Granted, the CU Football team has not been very impressive lately, but it's still a great way to cap your race.

My 11 year old niece ran her first BolderBoulder today. I have not had a chance to talk to her yet, but I'm guessing she liked the finish too!

Even when the race feels a little tougher, it's still the best place to be on Memorial Day.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the week ahead!

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