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!

Race Recap – 2015 BolderBOLDER 10K

This was my second year running the BoulderBOULDER, and it was super extra special because Meridith and I ran it together. I cannot even tell you all how excited I was to have her come visit me and run with her again, especially so soon after our last visit in A.C! That never happens! She handled the altitude like a champ, too, and the hills weren’t too crazy. We had the most fun of anyone on the course, natch, and we have the photos to prove it. Our fun always begins with the perfect outfit, and there was really only one choice for the BolderBOULDER.

Yabbadabbadoo!!!

Yabbadabbadoo!!!

This race is huge. Like, not just big, but massive. It attracts around 50k participants and 50k spectators. This uber organized race does quite a bit to make it easy for runners to have a good time, things like advanced packet pickup and race day registration. The crowds are no joke, and it seemed a little more packed than last year which added to the legendary party feel of the race.

Race Day Registration

Race Day Registration

Go CU Buffaloes! The hats make the outfit.

Go CU Buffaloes! The hats make the outfit.

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Getting closer to the start!

Getting closer to the start!

 

So many waves!

So many waves still to run!

Once our wave started and the crowd thinned out a little we were able to jog. The weather had stopped being a jerk for the morning and we were feeling good through the first half mile. Pretty quickly we caught up to a group of Fire Fighters and Police Officers running the race in full gear and carrying a flag. It was inspiring, and made me feel like a schmuck for complaining about being chilled before the race. These folks are tough! They even went through the first of 2 homemade slip-and-slides in their gear.  This race requires a sense of fun from all participants!

Firefighters run

police run

Soon after, we were approaching our first hill up Folsom and into the residential section of the course (the fun part, really). One of the best things about this race is the organizers have bands playing every so often along the course, but the residents of Boulder step up and provide a TON of runner support and entertainment out of the goodness of their hearts. There’s never a moment when you don’t hear live music, whether professionals, garage bands, or belly dancers and drum circles.

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Just a homemade Slip and Slide. In some dude's front lawn. For 50k people to run through.

Just a homemade Slip and Slide. In some dude’s front lawn. For 50k people to run through.

And some random dude with his dunk tank.

Through the neighborhoods we went, passing up the Jello and Drambuie shots that were offered to us. We heard there was someone handing out bacon but we sadly didn’t see him. We did a lot of bobbing and weaving, and Mer and I got separated a few times, but only briefly. The lesson here is you want to run this race, like, actually move forward at a pace that is faster than a meander, you need to get in a qualified wave. We registered as “jogging/walking mostly jogging, and there was mostly walking going on around us, which is fine, if the walking occurs on the sides of the street. It really made no difference, though, because we had the most fun of anyone on the course. That’s always the goal!

 

Run, Betty, run!!!

Run, Betty, run!!!

We came into the last mile of the course and found the Firefighters again. Hearing bagpipes playing Taps, they stopped, and Meri and I had to stop for a moment too. It was a touching Memorial Day tribute.

Just a few more meters to go and we’d be turning into the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field. We picked up our pace as best we could in the crowd and ran into the stadium.

FINISH LINE!

FINISH LINE!

Running into the stadium with all of those people watching and cheering is a rare experience, and something that certainly sets this race apart. The fine folks with the BolderBOULDER fed us, and gave us some excellent seats to watch the International Team runners finish.

The Memorial day celebration at this event is touted to be the largest in the country, and after seeing it myself, I believe that may be true.There was a touching tribute to 4 WWII Veterans, and skydivers carrying the flags of each branch of service, as well as the United States Flag and a POW Flag.

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Ready for a nap. And beer. Maybe beer, then nap.

Ready for a nap. And beer. Maybe beer, then nap.

The folks at the BolderBOULDER have been really great to me this year, and I want to say how grateful I am to have worked with them in 2015. Despite the crowd and the confusion about the shuttles back to the starting line, we made it work and had fun. I grew up with this race in my backyard so I feel a certain pride about its popularity. It’s a legendary race that you should do if you can. The setting and the crowd support is unlike any other race in the country!

 

BolderBOULDER Tank Giveaway Winner

WOOT WOOT, @laurel_runs You’re the winner of the cutest race thank ever!

WinnerThanks to everyone who entered the Giveaway  and to BolderBOULDER for the hook-up. As always, they, and their race are amazing. I’m already planning for next year!

AND STAY TUNED, RUNNERS! ANOTHER AMAZING GIVEAWAY STARTS IN A FEW HOURS!!

Skechers You Say?

When the BolderBOULDER said they were sending me a brand spakin’ new pair of Skechers GOrun4s to try out, I was all “awesome, free shoes”! After all, it cannot be disputed that the two of the best words ever invented are ‘free’ and ‘shoes’, especially when they are in a sentence next to each other. That being said, the word ‘Skechers’ raised a little flag in my head. I was a teensy bit apprehensive to try them out. Mostly because I’m super careful and picky about my shoes, and never buy a pair without doing a gait analysis in them first. I firmly believe that the wrong shoes can seriously hurt you. Just ask Cam.

The other reason I was apprehensive was that, well…they’re Skechers. Granted, these kicks were developed by their Performance division with input from Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher, but there was still a bit of a stigma in my head. And when I told people I was testing out a pair of Skechers for running, I got a similar reaction to the one I had. “Skechers? Really?”  “But do you think they’re really for running, though?” There was only one way to find out!

New (free) shoes are the BESTEST!

New (free) shoes are the BESTEST!

Things I liked: Right out of the box, the first thing I noticed about these shoes is how incredibly lightweight they are. According to the Skechers website, these weigh 5.2 oz per shoe (based on a size 7).  They should totally be floating in mid-air. Secondly, my husband LOVED them and if they were bigger, I think he might have stolen them from me. The sole is super cushy, and they felt fantastic when I put them on and wore them around the house one weekend. So far, these kicks were shaping up to be pretty awesome!

Things I Loved – It’s been SUPER rainy in Colorado the last few weeks, and getting outside to run has been a challenge.  That being said, the GOrun4s served me well on the treadmill and elliptical, and I think I would really love them for heavy walking activities like going to the zoo or walking the Vegas Strip.  I was able to get them out on one run, in the mud, for the final in my Walking & Jogging class. Yes, I took a class, and yes there was a final. Don’t judge! I was super sad they got all dirty, though. BUT, they held up great, they felt good, and my feet stayed dry, surprisingly.

New no longer but still comfy!

New no longer but still comfy!

Things I could have used more of: Over pronation of my left leg and being flat-footed results in the need for two things; a healthy drop and arch support. These shoes don’t have much of either, which is great if you like a minimal shoe. Which is, in fact, what this shoe is designed to be; minimal. If that is your thing, then I think you might like the GOrun4, and I think Cam should try a pair, too!

Overall, I like the GOrun4s, but I’m still deciding if I like them for longer distances. With the crappy weather lately I’ve not been able to go more than 3 miles in them, and mile 4 is usually when the over-pronating makes my left hip and knee hurty. The jury (me) is still deliberating. I’m excited to keep wearing them and see how they work for me throughout the summer. It will be nice to have a lighter, cooler pair of kicks to put into rotation!

I would recommend them to anyone who likes a minimal shoe, and don’t let the fact that they are Skechers make you pause. I found them to be quality shoes with quite a bit of science behind them. At least try a pair on, I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was!

 

This post was sponsored by the BolderBOULDER and Skechers, who provided one free pair of Chevron Houston Marathon Edition GOrun4s for me to use, review, and keep.