The rain clouds and gray skies that have plagued Boulder so far this month made way for bright blue skies and radiant sunshine on Monday as some 52,000 runners took to the city’s streets for the annual Bolder Boulder 10K race.
In one of the wettest springs on record, runners rejoiced at their good fortune and jogged in shorts, T-shirts, tank tops and sunglasses — no need for umbrellas or ponchos, as some had feared.
“It felt pretty good,” said Kent Fischmann after finishing the race. “I was happy it was nice out. I thought it would be cold and rainy today. It was nice and cool, it wasn’t windy. Beautiful. It felt great.”
Temperatures were in the low 40s for many of the early waves and came close to 60 degrees for the Memorial Day tribute ceremony.
A good day for Ethiopia as Belete Assefa claims second men’s pro win
Team USA places two in top five, finishes second
It was a good day to be named Assefa in the International Team Challenge at the Bolder Boulder.
It was also a good day for Ethiopia.
Belete Assefa came on strong in the final quarter mile of the 10K course to win for the second time in his career in the men’s race, following up on a victory in the women’s race by Meskerem Assefa. The two winners are not related.
Belete Assefa led Ethiopia to its first team victory in the men’s race since 2012 and Meskerem Assefa led Ethiopia to the women’s title. It was the second career victory at the Bolder Boulder for Belete Assefa and the first for Meskerem Assefa.
Ethiopia’s Meskerem Assefa wins women’s pro race in first try
About a mile into the Bolder Boulder women’s elite race on Monday, Team USA’s Mattie Suver knew that winning was going to be a tough task.
It was around that first mile that Ethiopia’s Meskerem Assefa and Amane Gobena and Kenya’s Risper Gesabwa pulled away from the pack.
“They took off on mile one or so, and we tried to keep them in sight, hoping that some of them would come back,” Suver said. “My legs just couldn’t respond and go that fast right at the beginning.”
On this day, Assefa had the fastest legs, claiming the Bolder Boulder title in her first try.
The fourth consecutive Ethiopian to win, Assefa posted a time of 33 minutes, 31.09 seconds.
Ben Payne wins men’s citizens race in fastest time since 2011
Memorial Day victory carries special meaning for Air Force major
At Monday’s 37th annual Bolder Boulder, a Memorial Day 10K race in honor of United States military servicemen and women, it was fitting that one of the country’s servicemen take home a championship.
In the men’s citizens race, 33-year-old Ben Payne took first place with a time of 30 minutes, 40.3 seconds. For Payne, who ran the race with the names of several family members and friends who lost their lives in service to their country emblazoned on a bib pinned to his back, the most important victory of his running career to date meant a little something extra.
“This is kind of my tradition,” Payne said. “My grandpa Ron was in the Navy, he was an F-4 pilot and he died back in 1958. There is a crew of U-28 pilots and navigators on there that crashed back in 2012, and that’s the aircraft I was flying. And Dave Lyon is a good friend of mine’s husband who died this past year.
— Ben Payne (@BenRonPayne) May 25, 2015
Hard work pays off for Brittni Hutton with women’s citizens race win
A year ago, Brittni Hutton sat in the stands and watched friends run the Bolder Boulder, a stress fracture preventing her from competing.
This year, she wasn’t going to let anything stop her from running one of the world’s most famous 10K races.
On Monday, she not only competed, but won the women’s citizen’s race in 34 minutes, 46 seconds.
“I’m extremely grateful, extremely excited and really, really happy that all my hard work is finally paying off,” said Hutton, 25, who lives in Alamosa.
“(Last year) I was like, ‘I’m running this next year. I’m going to try to win it even.’ I had no idea what kind of shape I was going to be in at the time.”
As it turned out, the 2013 graduate of Oakland University in Michigan was in pretty darn good shape.