As I’m visualizing how race day will go, I’ll post this now, and I can refer back to it as we get closer to the end of May to get pumped up for race day. I call it My Top 10 Kilometers.
1K Chilly/Brisk Morning
I wake up at 8,400 feet above sea level, and on the last weekend of May, it will still be a chilly, brisk morning, with a refreshing smell of pine forest. The sunrise will be 5:35am, and I’ll be going to the RTD lot in Ned. You can take the RTD RunRide on Race Day which brings people in from Park-n-Rides from all over the metro area. In 2014, over 6,100 people chose to walk or ride their bikes to the starting line, and almost 10,300 people rode the RTD bus 38% rode the bus, biked or walked to the start. I’ll need to wear some type of sweat pants as I descend 3,000 feet to Boulder.
2K Transformed Urban Landscape
Around 6:30am I leisurely ride the B Cycle from the bottom of Boulder Canyon through empty streets that have been closed off. Similar to the effect that the artist Cristo creates when he and JeanneClaude, wraps bridges, or buildings with cloth, to bring a new perspective to everyday sights, the quiet stillness of the morning ride through town, with the roads blocked off, all the cars gone, and not many people coming from the base of the canyon, is peaceful, contemplative, perhaps a bit of pre-race butterflies. The buildings seem to offer a fresh new presence. As I get closer to the starting lineup, the activity, number of people, and energy increases. I’ll need a place to ditch my sweat pants where I can pick them up later. Hmm, who do I know that lives near 30th in Boulder? Or, I can use the BB Mobile Locker.
3K Kentucky Derby Trumpet
The BolderBOULDER is set up to run about 100 Waves, w ith staggered start times starting at 6:50am with the fastest A Wave. I’m entering the first non-qualifying wave which is the FG Wave at 7:30am. I think I ran in the KBCO Wave one year, so, maybe I can unofficially designate this FG Wave, as the “Frozen Guy” wave, in honor of Bredo Morstol, Nederland’s Famous Frozen Dead Guy. The classic Kentucky derby trumpet will play ‘ Call to the Post ‘, like the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It will bring back memories for me, because at my very first BolderBOULDER start, I realized that the locally famous announcer guy, Dave Felkley from Nederland, also used to announce the start of the BolderBOULDER from a platform. Dave and I became friends, as we would later conduct the grand opening of Frozen Dead Guy Days, or announce the 4th of July parade. He announced all the Neder-Nederland races too. Some people run the BolderBOULDER, with the name of a veteran, or relative that passed away pinned to their back, for Memorial Day. Once I hear that Kentucky Derby trumpet, I’ll think of Dave, and I’ll be off. You’ll need to sign up for the Frozen Guy Wave (FG) to run with me.
4K Elvis and the Bands
The bands are fabulous. I can’t believe Elvis continues to perform year after year. Welcome distractions, spaced out perfectly the guy that plays the theme from Rocky through loud speakers. In all, there are twenty nine official bands/entertainers on the BB10K course. The BolderBOULDER is a full experience for all the senses.
5K Running in the Hood
I like running the neighborhoods. This will be the first year that I will train before the race and I plan to run the full course, all through the neighborhoods a few weeks before the race. Several people have created BolderBOULDER course maps on MapMyRun. For me that stretch of 13th Street behind Lucky’s Market for whatever reason, sort of marks a part of the race with a new attitude. It’s usually packed with cheering people, and it’s at a high elevation, with a fair amount of down hill after that. So, that area invigorates me.
6K The SlipNSlide at 3 3/4 miles
Of course, one of my favorite moments is the SlipNSlide, plus the belly dancers and people in their front yards with sprinklers or hoses. Even that many runners wear costumes or tutu’s, and many spectators wear costumes. The spectators and runners seem to blend together in a massive moving experience of costumes, sometimes it’s like lava flowing down the street and some runners wearing costumes get caught on the edge or slow down on the sides of the flow and interact with a spectator, or event in a front yard the way lava would stick to a rock and then roll around it, and continue on. The water stations act similarly as runners manage these pit stops. That moment, when I can throw my cup down, I’m grateful that the BolderBOULDER shares Nederland’s commitment for the environment. 250,000 cups are composted and diverted from landfill, and in 2015, eleven tons of recyclable materials from Folsom Field and the course were diverted to recycling facilities.
7K Tunnel Entering the Stadium
After climbing that steep hill up to the stadium, then running through the tunnel, and instantly absorbing the energy from the stadium crowd. This last lap around is just magical. So, being a beginner, it took me a while to figure out that PR meant Personal Record (not Public Relations) in Runners World magazine, when they were talking about races. So, this lap around the stadium gives me so much energy, but it’s still pretty far so that I have plenty of time to wonder if I should have used up more energy during the race, and could have had a PR.
8K International Pro Team Challenge
It’s a chance to see world class runners, most of them represent their countries in the Olympics. I’ve had the privilege of meeting olympic athletes, and I like to watch them live. It’s like seeing the olympics for free, right after trying the same race myself, in a sport where everyone watching can empathize and have a feeling for what the athletes are going through
9K RaceDay Expo
Between the snack at the end of the race, and the RaceDay Expo, there’s no need to bring lunch, and then try and figure out where to stash the food. Hey, that’s right, I have to remember to pick up the sweatpants I stashed before the race. Plus, there’s no need to figure out which restaurant to go to. After I finish, I always head across Colorado from the stadium for great food and drink samples along with tons of other schwag from over 80 Expo vendors.
10K The Biggest Memorial Day Tribute on Earth
Then, by noon, I realize that throughout this experience, I’ve probably seen every possible way of displaying the US Flag, and that me and my closest 70,000 friends are now enjoying the biggest Memorial Day Party on earth, with F16’s flying overhead. I wonder, do they just fly over to the next event in Utah? then Las Vegas? then San Diego? But my thought gets interrupted by the MileHi Skydiving Team landing in the stadium with giant flags from each branch of the military.
There is really nothing quite like the BolderBOULDER, and I am grateful to be a part of it.