Bolder Boulder 10k

This weekend I participated in the largest 10k in the nation – the Bolder Boulder.

This was an especially important race for me because I was doing it with my Aunt Karla, and we were celebrating losing more than 110lbs between the two of us!

Over the last year, my aunt has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me. At 50 years old, my aunt lost 60+ lbs, completed a triathlon, and completely revamped her life. All 22 years I’ve known her, she was overweight. To see her transform herself and embrace a healthier lifestyle inspired me. If my aunt could do it at 50, certainly I could do it in my twenties!

Karla ‘before’ at my high school graduation in 2008

Karla ‘after’ – 60+lbs lost later at the Bolder Boulder 10k!

Karla also did Weight Watchers and having her to talk to about the program and the weight loss process has been invaluable. If I’m ever struggling, I can always count on her to remind me that tomorrow is a new day and to forgive myself.

So the two of us formally-fat-turned-fit ladies took to the streets of Boulder for each of our first 10ks! My friend Tarah from back at the University of Missouri (who did the Chicago Monster Dash with me) also did the race with us, but she was running it while we planned to take it easy and just walk it.

Getting to the start was a breeze. I was wondering what the logistics would be like with 50,000+ participants, but they clearly have a method to the madness. There were military-precise waves for the start, beginning at 7:00 a.m. and going ever three minutes until almost 10:00. Because of that, the crowds were nicely staggered. We took a shuttle bus into Boulder which worked great!

Tarah planned on racing it and her wave was at 7:20 a.m. That meant an early morning wake up to make the drive from Estes Park, but the sunrise coming through the canyon was gorgeous. We waited in a line for the gear check that felt like a 10k itself, and then sent Tarah on her way.

Because Karla and I planned to just walk the course, we weren’t scheduled to start until 9:20. Tarah would already be done by then! (Shout out to her for reaching her goal of sub 60:00!) Karla and I got some breakfast and then headed to the roof of a nearby parking garage to watch the action.

I’m really glad we signed up for a late heat, because the ‘run/walk’ division was filled with many more costumes and nonsensical outfits that weren’t present with the serious runners. See if you can spot all the Waldos! 

The course itself was a blast. With all the participants and entertainers it was impossible to be bored! I was a little worried because walking six miles seems like it could be a little dull, but between the Marshmallow Mile, Elvis impersonators, and the mountains there was plenty to keep you excited!

If you hadn’t noticed, Elvis race pictures are kind of my thing!

Being Boulder, there was at least one keg stand per mile. Part of me wished I wasn’t with my aunt so I could get in on the action – even though I knew she wouldn’t have cared and maybe even would have joined me! 

The race ends in the University of Colorado stadium, which was incredible to run into. I know a lot of races in college towns do this, but this was my first experience. Another reason I liked being in a later wave was that the stadium was packed when we finished, making it a fun climax to the race! 

This was my second year in a row out to Colorado for Memorial Day weekend. My Grandma’s birthday falls perfectly at this time, and I think it just might become a tradition for me to head out there. Karla and I definitely plan on doing the Bolder Boulder again and next time I think we’re going to run it! It was a great experience to share together and I am so proud of the both of us! 

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6 thoughts on “Bolder Boulder 10k

  1. How fun! I can’t believe I’ve never done that race. I’ve been one of the people cheering everyone on in the stands, but never run it. If you ladies keep this up, I may have to get back into running. Congratulations to you both on your weight loss and discipline. You’ve obviously found a way to make it fun!

  2. I’m not big into 10ks, but this race is one that I’ve heard has to be done. Plus, I’ve only been to Boulder once but I remember really liking it. i wonder if there’s a competition between this race and Bay to Breakers for which one is craziest …

  3. Pingback: Touristy Tuesday | The Race for all 50 States

  4. Pingback: Touristy Tuesday: Boulder, Colorado Edition (And a little LA adventures for good measure) | Race for all 50 States

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