Monday morning my sister Kristiann and I headed off to the Bolder Boulder starting line bright and early, a full hour before our scheduled start time. We secured our signs to our shirts and posed for multiple photographers commemorating the occasion.
We allowed ample time to complete our respective warm up routines. While I performed my intimidating, cutthroat arm windmills I noticed that Kristiann has adopted aggressive leg swings as her preferred cardiovascular and musculoskeletal stimulation activity prior to her runs. She can throw her legs about almost as well as a giraffe and the two of us together made for a menacing tornado of limb flailing activity that clearly identified us as a familial force to be reckoned with.
Wanting to secure the best possible chance for a successful run, I waited until the last possible moment before our wave took to the streets of Boulder to revisit the port-a-potties. Unfortunately, this tactical diversion made us miss our wave start entirely by about 10 minutes (there were long lines, people. LONG LINES). Thankfully, that’s not a problem for the expert crew at the Bolder Boulder and we were assured of the full legality of late starts and that our times would not be impacted. Then, we were off! We promptly overtook a crew of firefighters dressed in helmets and full fire fighting gear. After we determined there was no successful means to siphon off some of the oxygen from the tanks on their backs, we passed them. While we briefly contemplated a strategic position directly in front of the crew for the entirety of the race to expedite a race rescue, we were happy to be able to abandon them and continue on our quest for speed. With the signs on our backs proclaiming my open heart status I am sure they were equally pleased with our departure, as I am sure that with all that heavy gear the last thing they wanted to do was to drag either of us to the finish line.
After the first mile and a half, we encountered the first of about four slip-n-slides. Last year, there was only one of these entertaining diversions, and it was near the fourth mile. I was not expecting this play structure so early in the race and I declined to partake in what suspiciously appeared to be Boulder’s newest attempt at a mud run. Kristiann however, was immediately drawn to the slippery surface and she could not resist its magnetic pull. She tried to execute a side sit approach and landed on her right hip briefly before she slipped gracefully onto her back with her feet in the air. She apparently had a sufficiently aerodynamic take off as she sped clean off the wet sheet of plastic head first in this position, traversed through some mud and came to a halt with her head on top of the curb, inches from the street pavement. Sadly, I did not think to snap a photo of her eloquence in motion. I stood around with my jaw open and watched her in amazement and utter pride, celebrating my decision to not partake in the waterworks. Kristiann briefly complained about her knee and hip after this maneuver but as she is tough and obviously practiced at throwing herself about willy nilly, she had fully recovered by the end of the block and still managed to persevere without noticeable impairment throughout the remainder of the race. All things considered, we only lost a minute in total to the wet mudderland.
Arguably the most exciting event happened between the second and third miles, when I decisively bypassed the road side port-a-potties and continued on my run. Kristiann was amazed at my Kegel power and snapped my photo.
In fact, I made it through the entirety of the race without having to stop for a restroom break even once. That alone should have earned me a medal of some sort, or at least a moment on the podium with the other race day victors!
For the rest of the race, we buckled down and blasted through the bulk of the mandated mileage. We successfully ran up most of the hills that last year I was unable to conquer, but the last hill into the stadium still got the better of us. We were reduced to a walk up that final hill, preferring to meander breathlessly in peaceful obscurity, mumbling fragments of encouraging words at each other before we rounded the corner into the watchful eye of the stadium. I am grateful for the lack of multiple camera angles targeting that spot to view the pathetic crawl of our asses and the masses up that hill. By the time we entered the stadium, we had sufficiently recovered and pulled off a noteworthy finish in grand style.
I jumped emphatically at the first camera and in a blaze of excitement with renewed energy, zigzagged around my opponents and sprinted across the finish line. At the end, even though I still couldn’t run the entire distance, I came very close and I bested my time from last year by thirteen minutes!
After the race, I claimed my victorious Survivor Support piggy back ride:
Our race was a blast and Kristiann is committed to retuning for another go at the Bolder Boulder next year. In an effort to keep my mileage going, I have optimistically signed up for my next race–another 10K in less than 2 weeks! I figure I feel good and I am already trained! It’s practically in my backyard, so it should be a piece of cake! Let me at it!