This is BOLDERBoulder

By Tyler McCandless, Altra Elite Athlete

I visited Boulder a couple of summers before graduating Penn State, but both of those visits occurred just after Memorial Day weekend. However, people were still buzzing about how incredible the Bolder Boulder was and who represented the USA very well in the Elite race. In the summer after completing my BS and MS degrees, I had chosen to come to Boulder to finish my PhD at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) but would arrive after the race so ended up watching the Bolder Boulder streaming online via Denver Channel 7. I’ll never forget watching the elite runners finish inside Folsom Stadium to the roar of the large crowd and the special Memorial Day tribute to follow.

Tyler McCandless recaps the 2018 Boulder Boulder 10K

In 2013, I had the first opportunity to represent Team Colorado (now a part of a larger Team USA) in the Elite race. It was a special day competing in front of thousands of fans lining the course and, in the stadium, and I think I dug deeper than I ever had before in that race. There’s nothing like racing a hard 10K and going up the steep Folsom hill feeling like you have absolutely nothing left, only to enter the stadium in front of 50,000 people and sprint as hard as you can around the field and across the finish line. The last few years I competed in the open race of the Bolder Boulder which is the fastest of the “citizen” waves and starts a little before 7am. Each year I progressively improved my time and place until last year’s victory in 30:54, my fastest time I’ve ever run on the course, which also earned me a spot back on Team USA in the Elite race again in 2019. Running the race with family, friends and the Boulder community made it a special day but earning the win after several years of trying was a very special moment of 2018!

The Bolder Boulder is the epitome of what a road race should be for showcasing our sport, promoting health and wellness while having a good time, giving back to the community and remembering that Memorial Day is about honoring those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in the US Armed Forces. Because of this specialness of the race, there’s a buzz around Boulder in the weeks and months leading up to the event. Fellow colleagues at NCAR ask me around the office how my preparation is going, and all staff emails promote participating and joining the corporate team competition. Various talks, events and fun runs at schools promote running with your family at the Bolder Boulder, which actually gives an award, not for every age group, but for every single age of men and women. Whether you’re 33 weeks pregnant and trying to complete the Bolder Boulder like my wife Kristin, you’re joining friends to have fun eating bacon and doing the slip-n-slide on the race course, or you’ve trained hard and earned the right to wear “USA” on your bib number in the international pro race - the race is a positive and inspirational experience for everyone. To finish it off, there’s no more significant tribute in the country for Memorial Day than what occurs in Folsom Field after everyone finishes. You’ll hear inspiration stories from those that served in the Armed Forces, watch as skydivers that represent each branch of the armed forces descend onto the middle of Folsom Field, and watch as dozens of men and women take the Oath of Enlistment to defend our country.

View the full video here.

This is the Bolder Boulder!

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