Does the idea of running a 10k or eating a plateful of bacon get your blood pumping faster? Tough choice, and luckily, it’s one you won’t have to make, at least not on Memorial Day.
The annual BolderBOULDER is around the corner, and it offers bacon, running, and probably even running for bacon among other festivities.
The fun begins bright and early Monday morning with the Wheelchair Race at 6:50 AM. All are welcome to watch, and it is a spectacular and fast-paced race to witness.
At 6:55, the runners of wave A will race against the clock and each other for championship rights. The athletes in this wave had to pre-qualify and prove that they would cross the finish line with a sub-38 time.
From there, waves of runners enter the fray at one minute intervals with increasing time frames to finish, ending with the straight walkers, who start at 9:25. Only the first 31 waves require proof of the runner’s ability to finish within a given time frame.
The race is open to everyone; whether your goal is to average six minute miles, or to take in the scenic views the Flatirons have to offer, happily munching a stick of chocolate-covered bacon (this is not me promising chocolate-covered bacon, I’m just saying its a great idea).
If you know your hair will be all in a tangle before noon, don’t worry, the fun is just beginning. Participants and spectators alike are advised to stick around after they sweat out the 6.2 mile track, because starting at about 11:00, the most serious of the serious runners begin.
This race will showcase the gems of the US running team, including Rio-hopeful Sara Slattery. Back in 2006, Slattery became the first American to win the BolderBOULDER Team Challenge since its inception in 1998.
“Winning in Boulder is the best feeling I have ever had,” Slattery had said. “It is an amazing feeling and the highlight of my career.”
Between then and now, Slattery got hitched, had two kids, moved to Phoenix and has hit running highs and lows. This, her 34th year, clocks in as a definite high. She has a chance to compete for team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, pending her results at the trials in Eugene, Oregon.
If you have the chance to watch an Olympic athlete compete, I would not miss it. Slattery is also a CU Boulder alum, so the homecoming and the finish in Folsom Field are sure to be nostalgic.
The men’s US team will look to Bobby Curtis as the pace leader. He was the first American to finish the team challenge in 2015 and, like Slattery, caught the Bolder bug.
“You go up a steep hill where you’re desperate — you just want to be done,” Curtis told Daniel Petty of the Denver Post. “You can start to hear the roar of the crowd, and then you get in, and you just forget everything. You can really take it to another level.”
Curtis will be flanked by talent with Olympic marathon team member Jared Ward and Boulder natives Sean Quigley and Ben Payne.
Registration for the race is still open, but only of you are willing to drop a minimum of $70 for the short-sleeve package. Discount tickets for seniors and military members are only $55 but spectating is free.
At noon, the real purpose of the day begins, with the BolderBOULDER’s nationally-recognized Memorial Day tribute to service members and veterans. Held within the storied stands of Folsom Field, it has become the largest Memorial Day celebration in the nation.
After the Mile-High sky diving team kick off the tribute by – you guessed it – taking a dive straight out of the sky, Naval Strike and Air Warfare F-16s will fly-over the crowd to the presentation of the red white and blue.
The national anthem will be sung, CU’s NROTC team will give a 21-gun salute, and most likely, tears will be shed for those who have given their lives for this country. In addition, 30 bands will make their way round to showcase their sound.
And, there will be bacon.
All in all, you can’t really dream up a better way to spend your Memorial Day holiday. There’s a little something for everybody waiting in Boulder.
BolderBOULDER website: http://www.bolderboulder.com/
BolderBOULDER Child Care
PRKids is offering child care during the BolderBOULDER for children ages 3-12. Wonderful care in a safe, entertaining environment with great staff! The PRKids camp will be held conveniently at the Boulder Marriott hotel, between the start and finish lines.
PRKids website: www.prkidsusa.com
BolderBOULDER registration: http://www.prkidsusa.com/bolderboulder-info.html