As I've mentioned before, running is hard. What I forgot to mention is that running in Boulder is not the same thing as running the same loop, day after day through my neighborhood. Boulder, see, has a tendency to bring out the crazies and ups the entertainment factor by a mile (or SIX POINT TWO MILES as the case may be). Don't get me wrong, running still sucks, but there's something about an Elvis impersonator singing "I'm All Shook Up" along the sidelines that encourages one to press on.
Monday was the day - our family set the alarm for 5am, caught the bus at 6am, pulled over on the freeway 1/2 hour later so a woman who took her pre-race hydrating routine very seriously could relieve a little pressure on her bladder, then arrived about an hour later at the starting line. After a little stretching and a potty break we joined our heat and headed off. Yay us! That was the last time I saw my family until we reached the finish. Samantha ran ahead, Drew and Cory stayed together, and I pulled up the rear. I had to, so I could take pictures of Elvis - while he was asking me to love him tender I asked him to "say cheese!"
Since the race is run through a community the streets have to shut down for several hours. In other words, if you happen to live along the track you'd better not make plans before 2pm. The homeowners are all very supportive - I passed up three offers for free beer, had jumbo marshmallows thrown my way, and welcomed the squirting of water guns aimed my direction. I passed on the invitation to indulge a slip-n-slide run in another's front yard, but stopped to take a picture of this kiddie pool that several runners took advantage of:
Have I mentioned that some people run in costume? I tried to get Cory to wear his Obi Wan Kenobi getup but he declined. I think he regretted it once he saw the 7 college boys in gold sequined leotards, but by then it was too late. Since the race is run on Memorial Day many people run in honor of someone they love, many of whom served in the military. They wear an extra bib on their back with that person's name - I kept a steady pace behind Bat Man:
As I got a little more awesome and went to pass him (which, hellooo, passing a superhero? let's have a little moment of silence for THAT, alrighty?) I noticed what it said on his bib:
Then I kinda felt sorry for Bat Man. Since I wanted to remain supportive I did a fist pump as I passed him and said, "Go Grandpa!" Then two things crossed my mind: 1) Does this poor kid think I'm patronizing him and calling him a Grandpa? and, 2) Hey, you're Bat Man, couldn't you have saved him? Oh well, I guess I'll never know. In the meantime, when is the last time you saw belly dancers? 'Cuz they make an appearance at about mile 3:
It's quite an experience, the Bolder Boulder. I highly recommend it, but that's probably just because it's over. The kids want to do it again next year - I'm not making any promises, but you never know. I might get a hankerin' for some bad Elvis impressions.