On Sunday (April 25, 2010), I ran the Boulder Distance Carnival 15k trail race. Also on my training schedule was my last 20 miler before taper time for the Cleveland Marathon. So I incorporated the 15k into the last part of the 20 miler, which worked really well and was a lot of fun!
Weez and I started our journey bright and early from his apartment in central Boulder and ran north towards the Boulder Reservoir where the race was held.
The weather was gorgeous and the route we planned out was equally as pleasant. We only had to cross one major road, but otherwise we stuck to small, country roads and trails. When we were a little ways outside of Boulder proper, we stopped so I could take a picture of the view.
A direct shot from Weez’s apartment to the race start would have only been 5.5 miles, so we took the scenic route and detoured around northeast Boulder to get 11 miles in before the start. We just cruised along, knocking off the mileage before arriving to the reservoir. Once we got to the race location, I ate a mocha Cliff Shot and had some water.
We got to the start of the race 1 hour ahead of time and the race bib pick-up line was already somewhat crowded. Because this was a small race (151 people ran the 15k, 184 people ran the 5k), bib number pickup was only on race day. I felt like the pick up table was a bit unorganized, so the crowd and lines were kind of a mess. After picking up our numbers, we stood in another line to pick up our commemorative Brooks race t-shirts (which I totally love! The fit and material is awesome, nice work Brooks!).
After we left the pick up tables, we met up with our friend Will! It had warmed up since the early morning when we initially started running, so I quickly switched from my long sleeve shirt to the new Brooks t-shirt, dropped my stuff off at Will’s car, hit up the port-o-pots, and we made our way to the start.
The starting line was located about 1k away from the parking lot/pickup tables, which was kind of weird. I wish it had been closer because there were a lot of stragglers, so the race took off a little late. I made this video while we were waiting before the start. You can see how small the race was!
Next thing I knew the race started (no gun, just a friendly voice shouting through a megaphone, which I didn’t even hear) and we were off! The first 3 or 4 miles were on dirt trails that surround the Boulder reservoir. The path was wide enough to fit 4 people wide, which was awesome because Weez, Will, and I could run side by side without blocking the trail.
At mile 4 (which was really mile 15 for me and Weez), there was an aid station with water, Gatorade, and Gu. The volunteers were so friendly and nice! There was plenty of water and Gu lined up and ready to grab, so the transition went smoothly and quickly. I like to power walk through water stations, as to avoid spilling water/Gatorade all over myself, but I “walk with a purpose” so I can keep my heart rate up and get back to running as soon as possible.
After the aid station, we ran along a dirt road for a few miles. The race directors must not have been able to close the road because several cars had to drive around/through us as we ran, which was frustrating. Moving over to dodge cars every few minutes threw off my stride and pace, but eventually we hooked up to another dirt running trail along the reservoir. There was at least one more aid station along the course somewhere between miles 6-8, so I downed another Gatorade.
With only one mile to go (8.3 miles into the race, 19 miles total for the day), my IT band/knee really started to hurt. I knew I was going to be able to finish, but I knew I’d be in pain as soon as I stopped. Will, Weez, and I powered through and negative-split our last mile!
The three of us ran across the finish line in a time of 1:19, for an average 8:35 min/mile pace! I came in 2nd for my age group, and 73rd overall (out of 150 runners). Not bad for running 11 miles beforehand!
Overall, the Boulder Distance Carnival was a success! The race t-shirts are awesome, the course was great (other than the cars during miles 4.5-6), the aid station volunteers were fun and friendly, and the post-race food/beer/drinks were tasty!
Way to go, Boulder Running Co.! I would totally run this race again :)