The conclusion of the annual state track and field championships was the culmination of weeks, or even months, of meticulous planning and relentless hard work.
Taking a prolonged break after building for a maximum of effort at state seems like a logical next step. Add into that scenario the fact the state meet happens to coincide with the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, and turning around to compete in a race the very next week that features an unorthodox 10-kilometer distance might seem foolhardy.
Sam Lewis, however, was left with a sour taste after her final performance at the state track and field meet. And she was eager to use the Bolder Boulder as means of making amends.
Lewis, a new Boulder High grad who will run at Oregon State this fall, was one of a number of area prep athletes who showed they weren’t quite ready to kick up their feet for the summer by competing at the 34th annual Bolder Boulder on Monday.
“I’ve been running this since I was 7. Every year,” Lewis said. “Maybe I can take long weekends and still come run this, because this is definitely my favorite race of the year.”
Lewis finished third at state in the Class 5A 3,200 meter run as a junior last year, but last week she finished a disappointing 15th in her final go-around. She erased some of that memory by winning the female 17-year old division at the Bolder Boulder, finishing the 10-kilometer race in 37 minutes, 32.15 seconds.
“I didn’t have the state meet I wanted, and when I finished the state meet I was like, ‘You know what? I still have the Bolder Boulder next week,'” said Lewis, who posted a personal-best time for a 10k race. “I definitely wanted some redemption. I was looking forward to running some longer stuff. The longer, the better for me.”
Like Lewis, Mark Roberts could have been excused if all he wanted to do was disappear after the state track and field meet. As the head coach at Lyons High School, Roberts was just over a week removed from leading the Lions’ boys and girls programs to their second consecutive Class 2A team state titles. If anyone deserved a little R&R, it was Roberts.
However, as a member of an avid running family that includes 10 children, Roberts had little choice but to lace up the running shoes on Monday. Six of Roberts’ children participated in this year’s Bolder Boulder.
“It’s a celebration of our wins,” Roberts said. “But some members of my family take this pretty seriously.”
Of course, the Bolder Boulder hardly is reserved strictly for track and cross country athletes. Fairview High’s girls swimming coach, 57-year old Bob Smartt, competed in his first Bolder Boulder in three years. Smartt was joined by recently graduated Fairview swimmer Lindsey Fano.
“My dad and I have done this every year, and I think this is the fifth year we’ve run this together,” Fano said. “I actually try to run a lot in the offseason, but I don’t particularly like running. I joked with my dad that this is my last running until March of next year. My dad is a good runner, and he pushes me really hard.”