Boulder Backroads report (late)

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Bear G, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Bear G

    Bear G Guest

    I just realized I mentioned my experiences with Boulder Backroads,
    but not a more general race report.

    Location: Boulder, Colorado (Boulder Reservoir)

    Course Description: Rural, mostly dirt roads with several
    segments on asphalt. Roads are mostly laid out on a grid, but
    from miles 10 to 12 is a windy, hilly segment that seems endless.
    Altitude ranges from ~5000' to ~5500'. There are hills but with
    one exception they're no worse than overpasses, the exception is
    about as steep and 3x as high as local pedestrian overpasses.

    The first/last few miles are closed to traffic, but runners must
    be prepared for vehicular traffic on the rest of the roads. A 2
    mile segment is on a relatively busy road, a running lane is
    marked with traffic cones. Cops direct traffic at every
    intersection - about every 2 miles or so since this is a rural

    The half-marathon is a simple out-and-back. The full marathon
    does a loop around Table Mountain then an out-and-back towards
    Longmont, Colorado. The loop is skipped on the way back.

    Both runs end on a slight hill.

    Field: 750 registered marathoners (610 finished), 2300 registered
    half marathoners (I don't recall how many finished). You will not
    see first-tier marathoners here but you might see local national
    teams running the race as a training exercise. (I know the
    Japanese team trains here and I thought there were others as well
    - high altitude, strong running community, easy access to
    international airport...)

    Weather: this year it was sunny and cool. Colorado weather is
    extremely variable - in prior years it was has been scorching
    (over 80) or snowing.

    Support: exemplary. As I mentioned elsewhere I was one of the
    last finishers and I still found every aid station staffed and
    with ample accelerade and water, fruit, etc. It was actually
    ridiculous to see a hundred cups of liquids put out for the dozen
    remaining 'runners'.

    One of the local marathon prep courses set up a station near mile
    25 and offered to help "run in" stragglers. That was a very nice

    Spectators: few but enthusiastic. These are rural roads bordered
    by agricultural land so spectators were naturally channeled to the
    few intersections... and had to park their car and walk back to
    the intersection. This meant there were very few spectators, but
    the ones who were there really wanted to be there.