Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Colder Boulder

Yesterday morning I ran the Colder Boulder 5K. If it had been held on any day of the previous four or the next four it would have been much colder. My guess is that it was around 30 degrees at 9:30 when I started. Today, it is snowing here and the temperature is not expected to go over 15. I already have the wood stove fired up this morning. It will be perfect today for a truly wintry run, which requires snow falling and snow on the ground.

The Colder Boulder is an invitational as well as an open race. The runners are grouped based on their current year's Bolder Boulder time with an open wave running after the grouped waves. I thought I might actually have a chance to win my wave because I was carrying about 20 pounds more in May than I am now. I've also run over 800 miles since then. I was grouped with runners who completed the Bolder Boulder between 56 and 58 minutes. I was to discover though that those who finished ahead of me were young runners who probably didn't have the conditioning to run a fast 10K but had enough to keep a good pace for three miles.

The course is entirely on the University of Colorado campus and starts off downhill for the first 3/4 of a mile and then is flat for a ways before working its way back uphill with an occasional reprieve built in. The last 1/3 of a mile is downhill with the finish on the indoor track of the Balch Field House. At the start I was just behind those who lined up on the line. As we started out it seemed like mostly kids ahead of me, most notably two tall teens dressed as teenage mutant ninja turtles. I hit the first mile at 7:20 according to my iphone that I brought to map the run. Some of the kids dropped away and I picked off an occasional runner on the uphills, that being my strength. Someone was calling out times later but clearly not at the two mile mark because when I passed he was calling out 13:54,55, 56. I could see the leaders for most of the race but realized I wasn't going to catch them. I did think I was going to catch one of the turtles but he was able to maintain his pace and I couldn't gain on him. I felt good the entire way and caught two men just before entering the field house who had gone by me just before the uphill started.

The clock stopped for me at 23:40. I end up 12th of 91 in my wave. The people ahead of me were mostly in their teens and 20's, with two in their 30's and one person was 43. The results weren't posted by age but I took the trouble to review the entire list to see where I fell for the 50-59 group. I finished 13th of 61 men in their 50's. I was happy with my time and progress in general for the year.