Friday, May 5, 2023

Heading to the Centennial State for the World's Largest 10K

In the midst of working and teaching this month I plan to spend Memorial Day weekend in the great state of Colorado running the Bolder Boulder 10K. I have secretly wanted to run this race for years. With 50,000 participants -- yes, I said FIFTY THOUSAND -- it's one of the largest races in the world and one of the biggest Memorial Day events in the nation. 

I mean, imagine sitting in a stadium with 75,000 other people watching what everyone says is an unforgettable display of patriotism. USA! USA! 

The weather is usually ideal (or so I'm told), though the elevation is one mile above sea level, so the race won't be a cakewalk. 

The Folsom Field stadium at CU is the perfect finishing spot for the race. Not many races can boast that kind of a finish line. The course averages a 90 degree turn every quarter mile for a total of 23 turns, so for most people a PR is out of the question. I found the ideal Airbnb to stay at while in Boulder, and I was able to get great seats on my United flights (both are nonstop from RDU!). I really love the 10K (6.1 miles) distance because it's both a gauge of fitness while training for longer distances and a great way to safely and gradually increase volume in training. I know I won't run this race very fast but thankfully the level of fun we are able to have at races isn't determined by finishing time. Honestly, I don't care anymore what my finishing times are (and certainly nobody else cares either). Running is about so much more than speed. In the end, running (and racing) have taught me how to live and the meaning of triumph and failure -- and the fleeting nature of both. As I face the challenges of growing older -- of the good and the bad of being alive -- I know that in both running and life there will be good patches and not so good ones and that neither lasts forever. Being an athlete doesn't necessarily mean you're athletic but only that you are committed to facing the world all around you -- even at 5,000 plus feet of elevation -- with the courage and conviction of an athlete. 

Like I said, this race has been on my bucket list for years now. I figure this year is as good as any to try and cross it off if the Lord wills. Let's face it; I'm not getting any younger. I'm also protective of my time and energy, as I'm sure you are too. But how often do you get the chance to combine a Memorial Day service with a historic race? I could go on and on, but I think you get the reason why I want to do this race. I appreciate the many opportunities I've had in the past 7 years to train and race in some pretty awesome places, but Colorado is absolutely one of my all-time favorite spots in these here United States. It is a good reminder to be grateful that we are Americans. Warts and all, this is still the greatest nation on earth.