|Number of Runners||2000|
|GPS Analysis||Garmin Connect|
When I left the Boulder Backroads race last year, I was no longer a running race virgin. I had completed my first half-marathon but I knew I could improve. However, I took a big long break over the winter and that was a bad move. Hence, when spring came around, I started running more and more religiously to try and get myself into shape for a better finish next year at this race.
So all summer I was really regular at running. Then I threw in biking for cross-training. However, I wasn’t great at increasing my distance over the summer. It wasn’t until I started reading Ultramarathon Man that I realized that I needed to go further. So I picked up the distances and started going further into town on my runs. It felt great.
Today was the big day…the 2006 Boulder Backroads. I was pretty excited because I knew I could beat my time from last year. The race overall was pretty uneventful — except for mile 8 where I had to visit the port-o-pots again in year #2 to do a #2. I went right before the race started too…but there was more. You probably think “just run through it” but I couldn’t. I would have messed up the course. However, when I got out I ran faster so like to think it was a zero sum operation. I was really shooting for 1:45 which was an 8:00 pace. However, I didn’t hit that but I was close. My official time was 1:48:18. But at the beginning of the race after they say go, it took about a minute to get through the start. There are 2,000 people all starting at the same time. Plus, the first mile is brutal — you are just swerving through people the whole time!
I had one other issue at mile 11. I have this cramp that comes and goes every now and then. Haven’t seen it in weeks but it popped up today for a couple of minutes. That killed that mile’s time so I didn’t hit the goal but I like to think I was damn close. I am becoming a pretty good runner but I need to do better as a racer.
My wife & kids were cheering for me from the sideline as I ran down the chute towards the finish line. Its great to have a supportive family there for you to collapse into when you are done. Its not so great when you take your daughters with you through the food line and then sit down and they eat all your post-race food! Ha ha…kids.
So I placed 325th out of 2024 finishers in a time of 1:48:18 for a pace of 8:16 per mile. Out of 752 men, I finished 226th. The winning time for men was 1:11:13 and that dude was flying! For 30 to 34 year old men, I was 39th out of 111 finishers.
I was planning on hanging up my running shoes for the season after this but I have an itch. I need to run a marathon. Had planned on doing it next year — until I found out about the inaugural Denver Marathon happening in 3 weeks. So I signed up a month ago and turned this Boulder Backroads race into a training run for my biggest race yet. Still have some training to do for that one.
BUT THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY…was this moment!
Ultramarathon Man, Dean Karnazes, is an inspiration to many people and has recently moved onto my short list of superstars. Dean isn’t the fastest runner in the world…those are the Kenya dudes. But Dean is one of those persterving types that runs races of ridiculous distance and challenges. Its downright cool. After reading his book, I find myself wondering if I can do some of those races, such as the Leadville 100. So Dean’s current deal is that he is running 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 days. And the Boulder Backroads happened to be stop #8. I was pretty excited. I saw Dean pop out of his rig about 5 minutes before the race. I don’t think he had talked to anyone yet. He jogged over and used the port-o-pot. So I thought…now might be my chance. So I positioned myself so that when he came out, he would pass me by. As he did, I called him by name and told him to have a great day. He patted me on the shoulder and ran off to complete marathon #8 of 50.
We hung out and saw Dean finish the race. Afterwards he quickly disappeared off the course before doing any meet-n-greet. What the heck? So I got on my cell phone and found out he would be appearing at my local running store soon after. So we headed over there, got in line, and got to meet the man. What a nice guy. I can tell that this new found celebrity is a little overwhelming for him but he is very genuine about it. I got to chat for a couple minutes while he signed my copy of his book. Then my wife took a picture. When she was done, she says to Dean something to the effect of “We are excited to meet you. You are all Brandon talks about.” Dean kinda blushed and I was looking at Kim like what the hell?…but I knew it was true leading up to this appearance today and it was cool that she exposed me for the fan I am. Hopefully, I can continue to raise my running level and someday compete with Dean in an ultra! I can dream can’t I? We will see…