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Bolder Boulder 2008

Started: 2008-05-29 19:45:01

Submitted: 2008-05-29 20:27:09

Visibility: World-readable

On Monday morning, at the tail end of Megafest 7.0, I ran my first Bolder Boulder in five years.

My alarm went off at 0600, barely 7.5 hours after going to bed, uncharacteristically early for a Megafest. I drove into Boulder, past the queue of RTD busses waiting to carry runners to the race start from Twin Peaks Mall, and parked at Boulder's missing-hyphen mall. From there, it was an easy hike up 30th to the start. I made it to my wave, DA, five minutes before it was scheduled to start at 0711. I followed the wave to the starting line, running in place to keep my heart rate elevated, until the starting gun announced the wave start and we surged forward.

I tried to set a reasonable pace as I took off down 30th. The sky was overcast and the air was cool; weather reports later informed me that the temperature had hovered in the low 50s during the morning. It had rained earlier, leaving the pavement damp. It was perfect running weather: cool, but not too cold.

From my watch, I could tell that I wasn't maintaining the pace I wanted to. I managed to pick up the pace after mile four on the downhill side of Casey Middle School on 13th. I was slightly disappointed not to see any Solekites outside Solekai on 14th and Spruce. The course jogged onto Pearl Street itself before jogging onto Walnut and ultimately turning onto Folsom for the final straight stretch before the finish. I tried to keep my pace up through the last fifteen hundred meters. The final hill leading into Folsom Field was brutal, but rounding the final corner and cresting the hill into the stadium was amazing. I sprinted into the stadium and around the u-turn on the field through the finish, completing the 10k race in 56:04.

This wasn't the time I was hoping for; based on my recent 5k performance, I qualified for a 51:30 race. I was hoping to at least beat my unofficial Bolder Boulder personal record of 53:09 from 1998, but I'm still happy that I at least broke under an hour; I think this might be my fastest official time. (I need to double-check my previous eleven race finishes, assuming I still actually have the official race results kicking around somewhere.) I blame my performance on not getting quite enough sleep prior to the race due to the Megafest, and because my training regiment was more focused on general fitness and 5k morning runs than 10k races. (This means I need to figure out how to train for 10k races for the next time I run.)

Last year, the Bolder Boulder tried an exciting new timing scheme: Using RFID tags tied to runner's shoes to figure out exactly when each runner crossed the start and finish. The system didn't work out so well last year, but this year it went pretty much perfectly. At the start and finish, and at each mile, blue mats covered the street embedded with RFID readers, which seemed to beep constantly as they read each tag. Thanks to these readers, I knew my mile splits and official time within hours of the end of the race. (I texted my bib number, DA275, to the designated number and received a text in response with my official finish and splits while I was eating breakfast at home.)

My complete results are available at the Bolder Boulder's website; my mile splits were:

Mile 1 8:25
Mile 2 9:09
Mile 3 9:35
Mile 4 9:40
Mile 5 8:41
Mile 6 8:49
Final 56:04

After finishing the race, I crossed the bridge on the east side of the stadium, picked up my snack bag, and looped back into the stadium to watch more of the citizen's race. As I sat and attempted to replace some of the calories I burned during the race, it started raining and I started to get cold. I left the stadium half an hour after finishing and headed back to my car. I walked along the race course on Folsom, then picked up a much earlier section of the race westbound on Pearl, around the first mile. This was the slower, recreational runners and run/walkers. They weren't going as fast as those in earlier waves but they were still enjoying themselves.

Pictures of me during the race are currently available online. (My bib number makes me easy to identify.)