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Bosley, clubs, pass along Bolder Boulder training tips

When Cliff Bosley was a kid growing up in Boulder,he learned how totrain from a master, Olympic marathon champ Frank Shorter.

A couple of times a month as a sixth, seventh and eighth grader, Bosley’s father, Steve, would drop Cliff off at the Chautauqua- area home of Shorter, named by Track & Field News at the time as the “Marathoner of the Decade.”

Cliff Bosley would run 5 or 6 miles of Shorter’s longer run, keeping up for as long as he could. Call it Training 101, as Bosley was absorbing training lessons from a U.S. track record holder as well as one of the top road racers in the world.

“That is where I was first introduced to the concept of hard and easy days, interval training, hill training,” Bosley, 50, said in a phone interview last week. “Those runs were hard for me and easy for Frank. He was teaching me how to listen to the cues in my own running, relating to how hard to push, when to rest, when do easy runs, when to do hard runs, those kinds of things.”

With all that knowledge, Bosley said, half jokingly, “I should have been way better.”

Bosley trained well enough to run sub-40 minutes at altitude, with a Bolder Boulder best of42:27. As a 12-year old in the first Bolder Boulder, he clocked 47:02, good enough for 10th in his age group.

Back in the early years of the Bolder Boulder, training groups were informal affairs, with runners gathering around leaders such as Shorter and Ric Rojas, or coaches such as Rich Castro with the Boulder Road Runners. Castro was hired by then Camera sports editor Dan Creedon to write a running column that offered Bolder Boulder training advice.

“Back then, what we (now) think of as common sense was new,” Castro recalled, “what to eat, how much to warm up, how to taper and how to figure out pace for the distance.”

Now, training information is ubiquitous, with numerous local training programs, ranging from small to large, for fast and slow runners and all in between. Several of these groups were spawned from the original Bolder Boulder training club that Bosley started in 2000.

The program hired hundreds of coaches and helped train thousands of runners during its run through 2011, with Ewen North its last director. He and Bosley developed a Bolder training schedule (bolderboulder.com), and former elite runner North now runs Revolution Running, one of the groups offering 10- or 12-week Bolder Boulder training programs that begin this month. (A complete list can be found on boulderr unning. com).

“It keeps you accountable and gives a structure,” said Jeanne Ulmer, who used Fleet Feet Sports’ 12-week program, run by Olympians Kathy Butler and Lee Troop, to prepare for the 2016 Bolder Boulder. “Kathy is friendly, welcoming and encouraging.”

Ulmer said Butler’s guidance was key for her coming oh-so-close to breaking 55 minutes, her pre-race goal.

That is the kind of response I had from several training program members from various clubs.

According to Tom O’Bannion of Revolution Running and the Boulder Road Runners, grouptraining provides “camaraderie, mutual support and encouragement. It’s serious without being grim. One thing I particularly cherish is that during the times I’m not inspired to focus on my own training and racing, there are loads of others to help.

“Most of the members were not serious athletes when they were younger, so there is a wonderful freshness and enthusiasm which spills over and helps keep me motivated and engaged.”

With today marking 12 weeks until the Memorial Day Bolder Boulder, “you still have time to get in shape,” said Butler.

More than 50,000 walkers and runners are expected once again this year, with entrants being grouped into “waves,” or starting groups, based on each runner’s estimated finishing time. Qualifying standards for the first 32 waves are required, with a new Bolder Boulder partner, the Tuesday night Dash & Dine 5K out at Boulder Reservoir, one of several qualifying races ( dashndine5K. com).Contact Mike Sandrock at sandr ockm@ gmail. com

Cliff Bosley, 13, center, sprints to the finish on the Boulder High School football field during the 1980 Bolder Boulder 10K. Today, Bosley is the Bolder Boulder race director.

Cliff Bosley / Courtesy photo

MIKE SANDROCK

On Running

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