Tyler Byers is a veteran of the Bolder Boulder push rim race, which kicks off the Memorial Day extravaganza every year.
However, like everyone else, much has changed in the three years since he last competed at the Bolder Boulder. Two of Byers’ three kids were born during his six-year stay in Denver, yet in the three years since the COVID-19 pandemic last allowed the running of the Bolder Boulder, many of those memories have faded for a family now based in Spokane, Wash.
The Byers family has a new memory to treasure now. Byers christened the 42nd annual Bolder Boulder by winning the men’s push rim race, while Kendall Gretsch won the women’s race.
“Pretty awesome day,” said Byers, a Colorado native who finished in 26 minutes, 38 seconds. “It’s great to put it back on the calendar, no matter where I finish. It’s a nice little bonus, and having my family here to watch me come across the line was really special. I’ve been able to start working from home the last couple years, and that’s helped my training. It’s good to be fit again and come out and do events like this.”
Gretsch was able to outpace Nebraska resident Cheri Madsen, who won three of the previous four Bolder Boulder women’s push rim races. Gretsch crossed the finish line in 28:03
“They started out so fast and I tried to hang with them for the beginning and then like the first mile or so I was like, ‘OK, I can’t do this,’” Gretsch said. “And then maybe like mile two or so I realized like, ‘OK, I’m catching up a little bit.’ I just tried to catch up a little bit and then eventually was able to pass.”
Up to speed
Jared Ward represented the United States in the marathon at the 2016 London Olympics, and like most elite distance runners his schedule typically is filled by one demanding competition after another.
That, of course, has not been the case since the COVID-19 pandemic struck two years ago. After finishing fourth in the men’s pro race, Ward expressed gratitude that events like the Bolder Boulder are emerging from hibernation.
“The professional runners of the world, we’re all under-raced right now,” Ward said. “Training has been fine in isolation for the most part for marathon runners, distance runners. But it’s special to be back racing again, especially at race like this that has tens of thousands of participants, to me, this symbolizes to our community that we made it and we can play again.
“I was telling my kids when we were touring the course (Sunday) that the first time I ran into the stadium, I almost tripped because of how powerful the roar was. Outside of world championships, Olympics, you don’t get something like this.”
Given the relatively mild temperatures on Monday, the Bolder Boulder reported few medical incidents, and all of them were minor.
The race’s medical director, Dr. Shannon Sovndal, reported that only 14 people required attention at the medical tent at Folsom Field. Among those, only three were transported to the hospital, but Sovndal said those afflictions also were minor, with two allergic reactions and one fainting episode.
Race director Cliff Bosley said the official entrant totals will not be available until a little later in the week, but it will surely be ahead of the 32,600 figure cited at the pre-race press conference on Sunday. Bosley said the Monday morning line for last-minute entries was so long 45 minutes before the start of the race, those in line were simply given bibs in a “run now, pay later” deal…While the temperatures were optimal for running, high winds forced the cancellation of the skydiving routine that typically is part of the post-race Memorial Day festivities…The winning time in the men’s pro race from Leonard Korir (29:28) was the slowest winning time in the men’s pro race since 2013.
1. Tyler Byers ($1,500), USA Liberty Lake, Wash., 26:38
2. Krige Schabort ($750), USA Rome, Ga., 28:04
3. Matthew Porterfield ($250), USA Knoxville, Tenn., 29:57
4. Howie Sanborn, USA Denver, 31:09
5. Matthew Davis, USA Bowling Green, Ky., 32:25
6. Justin Pines, USA Englewood, 38:38
7. Denny Gordon, USA Longmont, 51:35
1 Kendall Gretsch ($1,500), USA Colorado Springs, 28:03
2 Cheri Madsen ($750), USA Union, Neb., 28:42
3 Katja Stokley ($250), Longmont, 1:11:02
Boulder Daily Camera
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