Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Boulder Backroads (#15) Race Ratings

Boulder Backroads Marathon Race Ratings...
Registration Fee: $80-$85 Early Reg, $90 Late Reg

Overall Race Rating (weighted): 3.0/5.0
Average Calculated Rating: 3.4/5.0
~ This was a good race and there were definitely difficult parts that were to be expected in Colorado. The altitude and heat were a lot more challenging than I thought. The course, start time, and organization of the mile markers left much to be expected.
Race Director: Let's play race director...
~What would I have changed if I were race director? Earlier start time... it's Colorado and you never know what to expect from the weather! The temp took a lot out of you, espectially with NO shade! Gotta fix the mile markers... especially in the last few suffering miles. The last .5 cannot be uphill. Pull the course back a little and end it sooner so you're not climbing the last half mile. Also... when you know its going to be hot and you have no shade... get out the sprinklers wherever possible!

Event Organization: 3.6/5.0 As far as "event organization" we'll go ahead and include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
~ The marathon is set in Boulder with a small airport, so likely you'll fly into Denver (about 30 min away)~ 45 minutes away from the race. The race is difficult to leave with a long line of traffic, so don't schedule your race too close to the time you're leaving or you might miss your flight (OOPS!!!). The website offers hoards of information to look through as you get closer to race day. The race is also close to CU Boulder, so you can catch a local football game!

Race Organization: 2.0/5.0
~ The race went off with little fanfare. The marathon and marathon relay are run simultaneiously while the half-marathon is run on a different course, starting an hour after the full marathon. The full and the half end on the same last few miles.

The Good: There were water stops just about every 2-3 miles and every table had plenty of water, GU and sometimes other snacks.

The NOT so good: The race was HOT!!! And there was just about 0 shade! They had no water spickets anywhere on the course. The race wasn't started until 8am, so on a warm day (like it was) it was very hot from the start. Also, the mile markers were SO off. Some miles were very short while others were long. And try to figure this one out... the 26 and 13 mile markers were in the exact same place even though they had the same finish (shouldn't they be .1 away?). Oh and those mile markers were about a half mile away from the finish... talk about a bad time to have the markers off!

Course: 2.7/5.0
~ To start, I should say that the course is BEAUTIFUL! I guess you could think of the course as what to expect in Colorado. There were PLEANTY of mountains oops I mean hills. When we weren't on hills we were on large open roads with no shade. I know I had a hard time breathing because of the high altitude mixed with heat and mountain climbing... not a course for the weak... a Definite challenge. Oh and the last half mile is on a pretty solid UPhill!!!! How evil.
Spectators: 3.0/5.0
~ Being out in the hills of CO, its hard for spectators to get to us. However, the relay points had pleanty of spectators so every 6-7 miles you would get a few cheers!
Pace Group: /5.0
~ DNE and didn't need

~  No corrals of course, but runners were very quiet! I don't blame them... the heat was enough to make your tongue stick to your mouth. We'll give them an A for effort for staying on the course! A lot of people dropped out with a DNF!

Expo: 4.0/5.0
~ The expo here was not bad at all! It was what you would expect in a state that is known for physical activity. A few feul stations, some free energy drinks, a runner jewlery sale... a little of everything. Also, it was heald at a local outdoor mall so you could go shopping after or go to one of their restaurants. Not bad!

Swag: 4.7/5.0
~T-Shirt... The T-shirt was a fairly nice, plain, sweatwick material shirt. It was a greensleeve shirt so I guess that means eco friendly (3.8). Your T ALSO came with a runner hat with the marathon emblem on it (+1.0)!!!!
~Medals: FINALLY a Metal Medal!!! Cute with the race logo on it. (3.7)
~ Goodie Bag: The goodie bag came with LOTS of free drinks, granola, a sports ache cream... GOOD JOB!!!! + a couple points.


  1. Your picture is awesome. Congrats on finishing another state.

  2. Way to go, Steph. Good luck this weekend on the double!

  3. There was a mile marker issue that the Two Bear Marathon in Whitefish, MT that angered me. For several miles toward the end they read one mile higher than actual. I was quite displeased when the "correction" occurred ... I thought I was at mile 24, but the sign said 23. I was put out, to say it politely. Good luck this weekend! Pick up my race packet in NH & ME!

    - Greg

  4. I know I'm writing WAAAY late here, but I bumped into your blog today and I think it's amazing! GOOD JOB!!! I live in Boulder, so Boulder backroads was my first marathon! Yuck!! Talk about a first marathon experience... Honestly, I'm surprised i've run more marathons afterwards! It's interesting what you say about altitude... I have issues breathing at lower elevations, I guess i'm just not used to humidity at all!! I HATE IT! I'd rather have my dry air ;)

    I'm a maniac too.. #1964!! Hope to see you soon somewhere and please let me know when you are in CO again!! (Hopefully running an easier marathon!!)