Friday, June 03, 2011

To Bo(u)ld(er)ly go...

I don't really like running much - I tolerate 20-minute jogs as a way of staying active when unable to do anything more interesting, like cycling (or in a previous era, rowing) but that's about as enthusiastic as I can get about it. Jules and I tend to take our running shoes with us when we go to conferences, but the reality doesn't often live up to the good intentions. One problem is that running only very infrequently has the inevitable result of making our legs incredibly stiff and sore, so in an attempt to prevent this, recently we started running in the hills behind our house about once every week or two. This seemed to have paid off on the recent EGU trip to Vienna when we managed several early morning jogs along the canal without crippling ourselves.

Anyway, we found ourselves in Boulder over the recent Memorial Day weekend, and on Monday there was nothing much to do...except the Bolder Boulder 10k road race. This is a huge event with over 50,000 people (many more than the London marathon) starting in waves of a few hundred at a time every minute or so for a couple of hours, followed by a professional race over the same course. And somehow we found ourselves signing up for it.

Our goals were basically limited to hoping that we would make it round without too much pain, and with no previous experience over this distance or much idea how fast we could run, we entered in the middle of the joggers category. I was lucky to soon find someone heading off at what seemed like a nice pace, so I followed her all the way round the course:




and was dragged to a time of something under 51 minutes, which was quite a surprise. I hope she wasn't too annoyed off by my wheezing along behind her. Jules went at a more leisurely pace, as per our original plan, and took a few pictures on the way round. Despite this she was only just outside an hour herself.

Not sure if I'll be giving old Stoaty much of a run for his money any time soon. And I certainly don't plan on any marathons! But it was surprisingly fun to take part in a big event with huge crowds cheering all the way round.

6 comments:

Belette said...

> I was lucky to soon find someone heading off at what seemed like a nice pace

I know what you mean - its always good to follow a nice bum :-)

51 mins seems entirely respectable for an occasional runner, though.

David B. Benson said...

Uh, there are actually quite a number of interesting things to do in Boulder which don't requite streneous excercise at altitude.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

There are quite a few good bars, this much I know....

James Annan said...

Well McGuckin was shut, probably along with other shops (this was Memorial Day, remember), the hire car had been returned, and with an 8:30am flight to look forward to (meaning leaving at 5am to get the busto Denver) we weren't really in a position for a late night extravaganza...anyway, the run just somehow seemed the thing to do. And one week later, I have mostly recovered, though we are suffering from a worrying enthusiasm for doing something similar again :-)

Steve Bloom said...

Just to note that the guy on crutches just behind you also seemed to think it was a nice pace. :)

James Annan said...

Bib number GH026 (for it is he) started about 40 mins before me and took 2 and a half hours to amble round. Not that there is anything wrong with that, especially at 71 years old, but he was a bit naughty to start in such an early wave (nominally sub-70 min runners) with no intention of jogging.

[The photo was at the 3 mile mark (the blue mats) at which I'd taken 25 mins and he was over an hour...the whole race was spent dodging round groups of walkers who had started in earlier phases.]