Post Bolder Boulder Thoughts & A Look Back On The Years

Now that it’s been a little over a week since the Bolder Boulder, I’ve finally had time to compile my thoughts…

I just love running the Bolder Boulder. As I’ve written before, this event is fantastic! The swag is great, the organization is impressive, and there’s a party around every corner. It’s well worth the low registration fee! As a way to celebrate those that have fought for our country and remember those that have lost their lives, the Bolder Boulder is always on Memorial Day and the race is followed by a show and celebration including paragliders landing in the stadium.

This year was my 8th year running and every year has brought new and unique experiences.

2010
This was my first year running the Bolder Boulder. I had just graduated college and was just breaking into the running events scene. I had done my first half marathon a month prior, so my friend Joanna invited me to join her and her family at the Bolder Boulder. They introduced me to the whole event, including the bus system, the wave system, and everything; things that I still follow to this day! I remember something about her Grandpa having had done this race almost every year prior – or something equally as awesome. I had so much fun! They had cotton t-shirts still (because that’s what races did back then and I wore it ON race day – tisk, tisk!) and Joanna and I ran and walked together the whole event, I think.
Finish Time: 1:10:35


2011
After the previous year, I knew I wanted to run the race again. Looking at Athlinks, and my race document, this is the only race I ran in 2011. I brought up the idea to the boy I was dating at the time who was not a runner – ever, but he decided it sounded fun and wanted to do it with me. I still remember our random training runs, running around the hills of Arvada, the city we both grew up in, with our Camelbak for water on the run, cotton training shirts and shorts, and then stopping by the gas station to get a power bar afterward because we knew we needed the protein. Looking back, it makes we realized how much I have changed as a person and as a runner, in addition to the advancements in running gear, clothing, and technology. I still wore the race shirt on race day – how terrible – but at least it was tech fabric! 😉 Since then, I have also become a personal trainer and RRCA run coach and have learned so much more about training and nutrition.
Finish Time: 1:01:19


2012
Ah! The year I started this blog! I was super gung-ho about training and doing as many races as possible having just started my “racing the states” goal. I was getting faster overall, figuring out training and reading a lot of running books, magazines and articles. I had finally been taught that wearing that race’s shirt on race day was bad luck. I traveled a lot this year and ran a lot of races out of state (including Alaska). Of course, I was going to do the Bolder Boulder again; I had to blog about it! I don’t remember much about that year’s race except that I wanted to get under one hour. I do remember my friend Teresa ran it too (we did a few races together that year) but I can’t remember if we traveled together and met at the end or what!
Finish time: 53:03 (I believe this was a new 10k PR at the time)


2013
This is the year I skipped and when I first started this post, I couldn’t remember why! I was racking my brain trying to figure out why in the world would I not do the Bolder Boulder!?! I was looking through pictures, thinking through where I was in life at the time….But thanks to Athlinks, I figured it out! The week before Bolder Boulder 2013, I was out of town for my best friend’s wedding AND, more related to running, I had just run my first marathon, the Vermont City Marathon, which is Memorial Day weekend!
Finish time: DNS

Holding up one finger for my 1st marathon!


2014
This year, I knew I wanted to come back to the Bolder Boulder. I was a new 3W Ambassador and they had a few free entries they had gotten. After a raffle, I won one! I was still in training mode and working as a personal trainer here and there. I wanted to run fast but I don’t remember what my specific goals may have been.
Finish time: 55:11


2015
I had become a 3W employee and earned a free race entry again. I don’t remember my specific goals, again, but that I wanted to try and do pretty well. I had also run the Colfax Marathon relay the week before and had just finish coaching track so I was pretty tired. However, it ended up being the fastest time I ever got on this course/race. 3W had a booth in the expo, and I’m not quite sure how I got out of working it that year. 2015 was the strongest year for me in terms of running. I was running A LOT and had a ton of running friends. I was working as a personal trainer, a coach and for 3W Races, so I was really fit. Even though I had a couple of jobs, they were very low-key, and I still had a lot of time to train. This was a good running year and when I last felt really strong.
Finish time: 51:53 (Course Best for me, but not a PR. I had PR’d the 10k at the Heart and Sole 10k a few months prior.)


2016
This was a really fun year. My Mom told me she really wanted to do a 10k and do the Bolder Boulder – so we did! We walked/ran and I had a lot of fun taking in the sights and enjoying some of the fun things along the side. I do remember really wanting to do one of the slip and slides, but the lines were always way too long!
Finish time: 1:34:28


2017
Last year! It was the end of 2015 and into 2016 and 2017 when I really start slowing down on running and having a hard finding motivation to train. I did way fewer races than I had the previous 5 years. I think I was finally feeling the effects of working three jobs. Springtime is when track season is and I was starting to become a race director with 3W Races …. all while starting a business with my boyfriend! Since this time, I have still been on and off with training and running, but last year, I wanted to do the Bolder Boulder again. I got another entry through 3W and tried to get a good time, always shooting for a course PR. I didn’t have that in me that year, not by a long shot, and I do remember feeling very tired on the course. I still finished with a respectable time in general but I remember feeling very down about running in general.
Finish time: 55:16


2018
This year, I’m mixed with thoughts. For my lack of training prior, I did pretty well actually, but overall, I know I can do better and I want to. I really, really, really want to be fast again. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m pretty speedy compared to the general running population, but compared to ME, to my past times, I know I have more in me. What it really comes down to is…well, I’m not quite sure and I could probably write a whole post on this topic. To put it in simple terms, I’ve still been dealing with on and off again love and motivation for running. Having only run literally about 13 times during the months of March and April (truth), I still wanted to do the Bolder Boulder this year. I know it will just sound like excuses, but simply, I’ve been tired. Like, really, really, really, tired. It is probably due to my many jobs, but I just haven’t quite found that happy medium and right motivation to make running a priority again. Anyway, I digress. This year, I wanted to run because I love the event as a whole, but I went in with an open mind that I was going to just treat it like a long run (yes, 6 miles is a long run for me right now) and run how I feel. After finishing, I had to immediately make my way to the expo to work the 3W booth.
Finish time: 56:35


Looking back at all the years I’ve run the Bolder Boulder, it is really cool to see the advances in running gear, the racing industry and myself. From race shirts going from cotton to moisture-wicking tech fabric and my running knowledge of training, form and race practices evolving. It’s cool to see trends in the racing industry too, from pictures moving from having to pay for a print to getting sponsors for them so they can be free for racers and so much more!

I will probably try to keep running this race every year. There are few races I do this with; I’m typically a “one and done” type of racer. I do have a few goals in mind associated with this race specifically:

-I want to introduce a new people to this event; whether they are new to running or just new to the event itself.
-Run for complete fun, drink beer, eat all the food, do the slip and slides and the trampoline…all of it… one year!
-Break 50 minutes at this specific event/race because the course is pretty challenging.

Finish photos from every year! They usually get a good one of me except for this year!


Find out for yourself, come run next year! BolderBoulder.com

They used to only have the one event but now have the Colder Boulder in the winter and the Fortitude 10k at my alma mater, CSU in September.

July 23rd, Castle Rock Prairie Dog Half/10k/5k – Review/Discount Code

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Many of you know I work for a running company in Colorado called 3W Races. This is a dream job that I started almost two years ago now!

I mainly do marketing for them (emails, local event promotions, acquiring sponsors and social media) but I have been transitioning into more race production and race day tasks. For our big races, our half marathons, after set up, I am the volunteer coordinator and organize all the water stations and course marshals. This means recruitment, mapping  out where they go, communication with volunteers and making sure they get to the right location and do the right thing.

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The next one that I have been working on is coming up on July 23rd. We have the Summer Splash Prairie Dog Half, 10k and 5k in Castle Rock. This race in particular I got to run two years ago! It’s a beautiful course that is just hard enough to give you a workout and feel accomplished without being too hard.

The year I did it, I placed second in my age group for the half marathon! I remember that day pretty well because I showed up early to help set up, ran the race, then stayed after to help clean up. I also remember my knee hurting really badly for that race after doing a double race weekend. You can read all about it HERE.

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Anyway, let’s just cut to the chase. I’m writing this post to invite all you (Colorado) runners to run with us!  As you can see from the picture below, I am offering 18% off any of the distances (which is probably the biggest discount we, as staff, are ever allowed to offer). *Cough, cough* we may be having a friendly office competition to see who can get the most people to register. Cough*

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This year’s race has awesome swag: a gender specific t-shirt, souvenir race bib, wooden finisher’s plaque, and a SPINNING medal for half marathon participants! If you place overall, you get a unique wooden carved trophy (pictured below) and if you place in your age group, you get a wooden, carved plaque (not pictured).

So, if you’re interested, check out the website HERE, sign up HERE and don’t forget to use you 18% off discount code ( 3WWHIT18 )!

Bolder Boulder 2015 – Post Race Recap

I am going to recap this race first since it is most fresh in my mind. I still have the Colfax Relay from last week and the Colorado Women’s Classic from the week before to recap!

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The Bolder Boulder is one of those races that if you are a runner in Colorado, you have to go to this event. It’s the biggest running event in Colorado and voted America’s Favorite 10k! It’s, I want to say, the 3rd largest 10k in the country. Don’t quote me on that though.

It’s just a great event all around – and that’s saying a lot from me because with over 50,000 people, I don’t usually like being stuck in a crowd that large! But no matter if you’re a competitive runner, casual, social, or a walker, this race is perfect.

For that many people, you must have a wave system, and they do it perfectly. It’s always well-organized and tons of volunteers to help. They have a great transportation system in place (recruiting the local buses to help out), and a huge expo at the end.

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The wave system

The course is kinda difficult; pretty hilly and lots of turns, but it’s manageable. There is entertainment the whole way with bands, belly dancers, gymnastics, houses with slip and slides, beer, jello shots, bacon, cupcakes, and Doritos.

But the best part is when you finish in the stadium. With a quarter-mile left, you run up a steep, short hill and end up in Folsom Field, where the CU Buffalos throw a football around. There’s a ton of people in there and you make a horseshoe finish, with the sounds of everyone cheering for you! It’s an amazing and empowering moment.

The Bolder Boulder is also all about Memorial Day. There is a big Memorial Day celebration after the race finishes and elites have gone with a fly over, para gliders dropping in to the stadium and more!

This is the 5th time I have run the Bolder Boulder, but not 5 years in a row, I skipped one somewhere in there…

In 2010, I ran it with my dear friend, Joanna. In 2011, I ran it with a guy I was dating at the time. 2012, I returned by myself after I started Racing the States and crushed all my previous times with a 53:03. I skipped the race in 2013 when finances were tight. I returned last year when I got a free race entry from 3W Races for running as an Ambassador and lolli-gagged around the course to finish in 55 min.

 

This year, I returned. Another free entry from 3W Races, and I crushed my previous course record of 53:03 to kill it with a 51:53!

I debated between running it for fun and taking part of all the free jello shots and slip and slides, but decided to try for a PR. After all, I did PR on this course in reverse at the Heart and Sole 10k last year. Although, I was looking for a PR today, I told myself I would settle for a Course PR. And that’s just fine with me. This course is hard! This year, with a decently fast qualifying time, I got to register for wave EB, a 7:15am start. The first wave starts around 6:55am, I think, and EB is the EARLIEST I have every gotten to start, which means slightly fewer people on the course to dodge!

Before I started!

Getting ready! Rockin’ 3W gear and my skirt sports skirt!

I started off conservatively, with the idea of finishing strong. I felt really strong for the first half. I slowed a bit with the hill at the midway point, but with 2 miles remaining, I picked it back up and felt incredibly strong, flying by people. It was right within the last quarter-mile, that I described above, that I was struggling, and tried to give it all I had.

Finished!

Finished!

I very happy with how it played out. After visiting with a ton of friends and some of the kids I coached at Green Mountain that also ran the race, I jumped over to the expo where the company I work for had a booth set up. Seeing how busy it was, I jumped in to help and hand out some prizes for the spinning wheel.

Exhausted after tearing down the booth once all the racers left, I was driven back to my car and straight home to my couch! I was super tired!

If you live in Colorado and haven’t done the Bolder Boulder, you should give it a whirl. If you are looking for a great destination race, it’s worth the trip, even though it’s only a 10k!

MORE:

Fellow Coloradoan’s Race Report

Bolder Boulder Website

Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) Runs the Bolder Boulder! 

Turkey Trek – Post Race Recap!

images_(1)Saturday was finally the day! The day for the Turkey Trek, duh! You all read my pre-race report and my story on the failed attempt to bike the course. If you didn’t, you can check that out here.

This race was by 3W, the company I am an ambassador for, but I had already well-fulfilled my volunteer requirements so I just decided to run this race for fun. However, like normal, once I got there, I saw that they needed a little help and jumped in at registration.

Lined up at the start. I'm in there, peeking around someone!

Lined up at the start. I’m in there, peeking around someone!

It was actually a perfect day for a race –  weather wise! Especially in the middle of November. It was about 47 degrees, bright and sunny! Once the registration line was through and everyone was settling towards the start line, I joined the pack to get ready to run.

Ready to go in the Skirt Sports!!!

Ready to go in the Skirt Sports!!!

This race wasn’t chip timed, so to make timing easier, they staggered the men and the women start times. The men went first and the women followed three minutes behind. Some people in the crowd complained, but really it’s not that big of a deal. It was kinda fun for me to see how many guys I could catch, even if that sounds mean (reverse Skirt Chaser?).

The course started from the Long’s Peak Regional Park on the Ralston Creek Trail around the Blunn Reservoir in Arvada, CO. The first quarter mile was dirt and then you met a concrete path for the remainder of the race. The course was actually really hard! The first mile or so was a gradual up hill and then you got a few rolling hills. But at about mile two, you had a mile long hill up some steep switch backs! It was brutal! After the crazy hill, the rest was an overall decline, but there was a few small hills towards the end.

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My Race: 

I wasn’t sure how this run would go. I actually hadn’t run more than four miles in a row since September!!! Don’t judge! I’ve just been battling injury, motivation and a busy schedule. So going for a 6.2 mile race was a long shot. My only goal was to complete it (and maybe under 60 min).

Those first three miles killed me. The mile long hill was so rough! The only thing that kept me going is I knew there was the Egg Nog Chug Challenge was at the top!

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Drinking my egg nog – It was pretty hard after you’ve been breathing hard up a huge hill!

When I stopped to chug, a bunch of people passed me, and the competitive person in me was screaming but I held her down and told her to shove it; I was just here to run for fun!

I finished my glass of egg nog, ran a few feet to the water station to wash it down. I DID NOT PUKE! Hooray!

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But for the next half mile or so I was definitely burping up egg nog. Too much info??

The rest of the race was cake. It was over decline, and there an equally steep hill on the other side of the reservoir, but we got to go DOWN it this time. We encountered a few more tiny rolling hills but my legs were pretty dead after that ginormous hill so they felt like mountains.

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That took a lot of energy!!

In the last mile you run by the Fill Your Pie Hole Challenge that the 2K people did. They had leftovers and I was so tempted to eat some pumpkin pie, but I was exhausted running wise and knew that if I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to get going again, so I ran to the finish.

For not running more than four miles in over two months, I finished in less than 60 min (54:59) – even with an egg nog chug stop! I actually prepared very well that morning: I foam rolled, ate a good breakfast (hard-boiled egg and muffin – one of my favorite pre race meals), and got plenty of sleep (I’ve been so tired lately, I fell asleep on the couch by like 9pm like a lame-o hahaha).

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Overall:

Like always, 3W put on a great event. Well organized, fun, good after race food (Bobo’s Oat bars, burritos from Evol, apple cider), plenty of sponsors, and fun activities!

It was really cool to see the girl who one the free race entry from my blog and there was also three people who I had given away race entries to at local run clubs. I loved sharing the experience with them AND two of them placed 1st and 2nd overall in the 10k and the third run-club-giveaway-winner placed in his age group!