Here it is the moment we had been waiting for since we flew out of NYC on Friday evening. It was time to run more boldly than we ever had before.
Wake Up Call
We woke up at 6AM, I had everything ready to go, so we were out the door by 6:30AM. However, the weather was much warmer than forecast, so I immediately regretted having a jacket on.
The start was a 1.5 miles from our hotel, and even though our hotel front desk said that it was a 10 minute walk, we budgeted 30.
Walking to the start was a lot like taking the subway to a race in NYC, everyone around you is a runner because no one in their right mind would be up so early. A mile from the start we spotted a porta potty with a short line, as we approached it everyone was leaving. Apparently it was so gross that even runners highly accustomed to less than pristine johns refused to enter. Fortunately, I noticed that we were at a swim club. If I know a swim club—and after 6 years guarding at the Clifton Park Town Pools I think I do—there’s always a restroom nearby. Around the other side of the building there was a restroom that was miraculously open at 6:50AM. Running water, toilet paper, all the comforts of home! Now we could get on with things.
The Start Area
We arrived at the start area, which was swarmed with people excited to start the race. We even met a Chik-fil-a cow—with a bib!
The race had waves starting every minute beginning at 7AM. The start was probably the most organized I had ever experienced. Each start wave was based on the expected finish time down to the minute.
Wave Run Time Launch
A Sub 38:00 Qualified 7:00:00 AM
AA 38:00 – 41:00 Qualified 7:01:00 AM
AB 41:01 – 43:00 Qualified 7:02:00 AM
Frank was wave DB leaving at 7:13AM with an expected finish of 52:11-53:11.
I was wave EG — 60:16 – 61:10 Qualified leaving at 7:24:30 AM.
By the time we got there, Frank’s wave was long since gone, and mine was 3 minutes from launch. We hurried to get to the corral, which were manned with security. By making people stick to their assigned times, the 60,000 person race never felt crowded or hectic, it was amazing!
Our start wave felt very intimate. As we waited for our launch the announcer called out people in our corral and got us psyched up.
And then it was time!
This could almost be a tail of two races, Frank was having the time of his life, taking pictures, high fiving the crowd, being the life of the party. I was ever-so-slightly less energetic. I am not sure if it was the altitude or residual soreness from Reach the Beach last week,but my body wasn’t feeling fleet of feet. I was definitely working for it. For the first mile or so, it was pretty tough. Fortunately, there were so many great fans, bands, and sights to be seen, I was able to keep my mind off the effort required to keep my legs turning over.
Top Ten Reason Boulder Bolder Rocks
1.) Each Kilometer and Mile are Clearly Marked
I found it very helpful to countdown the kms and looked forward to every sign.
2.) The Mountains
If you don’t know what I am talking about, see the photo above. Having the mountains all around you is amazing. What’s more amazing is the course isn’t crazy hilly. There are four big hills, with the steepest at the very end, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as Peachtree.
There were at least 10 bands on the course, which was great since I didn’t have an ipod. My favorite was a band of 12 year olds signing Forget You by Cee-lo Green!
4.) The Locals
The local fan support was stellar! People were just hanging out on their lawns cheering us on! They never left our side!
5.) Dance Teams
There were all kinds of dancers, belly dancers, hip hop dancers, it was like watching a performance while we ran!
6.) The Costumes
The costumes in this race were incredible! Bunches of Grapes, Puppets! I even saw a box of crayons, a gorilla chasing a banana, and so many more all out costumes. I don’t know how people do it, but I am glad they do!
7.) Marshmallows Mile 2.2!
Lots of food was given out, but the marshmallow throwing was the best. Frank actually caught one!
Although the Cotton Candy Corner wasn’t bad either!
Popsicles won for most practical snack!
All business with my popsicle.
8A.) Slip N Slide!
Seriously! How cool (no pun intended) is that? I love this race.
I was actually feeling pretty good at this point so we picked it up for the speedometer!
9.) The Stadium
Entering Folsom Field was amazing. It felt like such a monumental ending!
I did my best to pick it up, but I was shot!
I finished completely spent. While it wasn’t my fastest 10K at 103:40, it was one of the most scenic. We really enjoyed the race, even if it was only effortless for one of us. I was happy to finish at 17,000 out of about 50,000. My last two 6 mile races have been tough, but I think I can do better. My goal is to break an hour by November.
10.) The Finish Area
After we finished we headed through the refuel line, which was fully stocked with snack bags, water, oranges, Silk soy and almond milk, beer and mini bagels!
Even better than the snacks was the being able to sit in the stadium and watch everyone come in!
After we left the stadium we went to the celebration area where there were all kinds of vendors giving out everything imaginable! Chik-fil-a sandwiches, mini burritos, popsicles! This race has awesome sponsors!
So that was it! Another one for the books. The Bolder Boulder was as big and bold as they said, but it was more home grown than I anticipated. It was the love from the local crowds that really made it amazing. They cheered us on, they offered us all kinds of crazy food, the set up slip and slides, they performed, they were awesome. Usually races through neighborhoods are boring, but this race wouldn’t be nearly as fun if it it was just through the city.
Do I recommend the Bolder Boulder? Heck Yeah!