Fangirling at the BolderBOULDER

When Meridith was in Colorado visiting me for the BolderBOULDER, we had the chance to attend the race press conference the day before the race. We weren’t told who would be there, only that it was with the elite athletes. We did our research and assumed it would be with the elite runners who were making up the international teams at this year’s event. Excited to hear these pros speak and share their training and racing wisdom, we jetted off to the conference with notepad and very giant, press-like camera in hand.

After arriving and finding the person who could give us our press pass, we stood near the food, feeling in the way and wondering what to do next. That’s when we heard someone speak into the microphone to say that Meb would be coming into speak shortly. Meri and I looked at each other with eyes as big as saucers. Meb?! Meb Keflezighi would be speaking in this tiny room to a handful of people which included us?! Needless to say, we were fangirling hard. But we kept it on the inside and remained calm and professional. I think.

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Abdi Abdirahman in yellow, Meb Keflezighi in navy, and Frank Shorter in blue.

Not only did Meb come in to talk to the press, but so did Abdi Abdirahman and the legendary Frank Shorter. They offered some advice on training and achieving goals as well as what makes the BolderBOULDER special. Here, Meb and Abdi comment on how they train for the big races and win, and how the BolderBOULDER has helped them in their careers.

When asked what makes the BolderBOULDER special, Meb remarked on the stadium finish and how it feels similar to an Olympic finish. He noted the race’s rich history and traditions (this was the 37th year of the race). He enjoys how exciting it is to see the elite runners race at the end and how inspiring it is for young runners and said “we’ll see those kids grow up and become the next running stars.”

Abdi reminded us that the race was special because of its Memorial Day significance. For him, it’s about freedom, liberty, and those who sacrificed so that we can have those privileges.

Both athletes are looking forward to the next Olympic trials and hoping to get one of the coveted top three spots. When asked about what time he was hoping for at the trials, Abdi laughed and said it made no difference, as long as it was one of the best three times.  As they said in the first video, age isn’t holding either one of them back.

All three athletes said that it was important to surround yourself with people who love, support, and push you to be your best. Both Meb and Abdi have been with their coaches for many years and feel that their long standing relationship and the familiarity that brings is an advantage for training and racing. Meb commented briefly on his former sponsor and how they dropped him once he reached an age that they felt was too old to be competitive. Meb found a new sponsor in Skechers, who went out of their way to support his goals and give him what he needed. He went on to win Boston. It’s all about who’s on your team and what you want to accomplish.

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The last special guest to speak was renowned coach Joe Vigil. He said what made the BolderBOULDER so special was is that the stadium finish makes everyone feel like an athlete, and gives each participant an immense sense of accomplishment, whether you’re a beginner or a life-long runner. No other race makes everyone feel like a star athlete. It was truly an honor to hear his perspective on this event.

Having the opportunity to see these gentleman speak was really fantastic. One of my favorite things about the #BB10K is that it’s for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned pro or you’ve never run before, this race is for anyone who is a fan of running.  It’s clear that these guys feel the same way!

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