Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Time on Legs - Bolder Boulder

Memorial Day in Boulder for the past 29 years has meant the running of the Bolder Boulder 10K. This year there were 50,816 entries. I have never ran in such a large race. It was a constant dodge of runners from start to finish.

Due to the large number of runners, the race is set up to start in waves. Each wave is about 1 minute apart. The first several waves required a qualifying time for entry. Since I did not bring a copy of a qualifying time to registration I was placed in one of the first waves known as "sub 60 minutes - no proof." All I can say is there was a lot of fibbers in my wave. It was clear shortly into the race that a sub-60 minute 10K was a dream for most of those runners. I do not mean that in a bad way since I am no speed demon, but I am a rules person and there were reasons for how the waves were set up. I was shooting for an average pace of 9 minute miles for a 10K PR. So, I spent a lot of time dodging runners just so I could get a good time. It was a little frustrating. As I dodged runners I became more determined to set a good time for next year's wave start. I also had to remind myself that this was for fun and to just enjoy the race.

I started the course in the usual too fast mode. My first two miles were about the 8:30 pace range. This is definitely a pace I cannot sustain over a 10K and knew I would pay at some point. There are a few hills on the course and those did not factor too much into my race with the exception of the finish. At the mid point of the race I started feeling the effects of my earlier pace and had to slow some to get rid of a side pain. Slowing up helped. Along the course there were live bands, an Elvis singer and belly dancers (my personal favorite). The final portion of the race goes up a pretty steep hill into Folsom Field (Home of the University of Colorado Buffaloes) where the runners take a half lap to the finish line. What a great experience of finishing in the stadium. There were thousands of people cheering for the runners as they entered.

I finished with an unofficial time of 55:45 which is an 8.59 pace. As of yet there are no posted results.

An amazing part of this race is the Memorial Celebration that follows the race. As you wait for the celebration the begin you get to watch other runners finish. There are several military groups that run this as well. As the groups enter the stadium there is a standing ovation for the military runners. The most memorable group was the Marines. They entered in formation holding a US flag and a USMC flag high into the air. Before they finished the race the formation dropped and did several push-ups and then reformed to finish the race. Of course I am a little biased, but the Navy and Army did not look near as sharp. Air Force did not even have a team. The Memorial Service was capped with a tear jerking playing of Taps and finally with the National Anthem. I had tears streaming down my cheeks as the US flag parachuted into the stadium. What a great way to spend the day, a great run and an even better tribute.


petra duguid said...

Cory - well done and what a great report! I love the pictures as well. keep it up.

Kevin said...

I agree with Petra, well done!!! Made some very cool memories Cory.

ShirleyPerly said...

Oorah!!! Great race report. I've never run a 10K before and should consider doing that one just for the fun of it. What a wonderful way to celebrate Memorial Day!

Maddy said...

fantastic race! fantastic report! fantastic memorial day!

thanks for sharing!

Gwendolyn said...

great entry! do you happen to know what unit that is, in the picture? we've sparked interest when a travelling photographer happened to catch them in the race and wanted to know who they were. i'm a corpsman just doing my job, and i see you want to run the mcm in 08. i'm going to run it forwarddep this year and next year in dc. keep in touch. :-)