Courtesy of Gillian Vance
Typically, Kirsty Hodgkins takes her running fairly seriously.
A veteran of multiple marathons and one previous Bolder Boulder, Hodgkins is used to tracking her pace and shooting for personal record times.
On Monday, she took a different approach.
A member of the Colorado women’s golf team, Hodgkins brought teammate Gillian Vance with her to not only run the course, but soak in the fun of the Bolder Boulder.
“It was a little bit different, but it was a lot better,” Hodgkins said.
An Australian native, Hodgkins ran the Bolder Boulder last year because it was convenient.
“It was here and I was here, so I was like why not?” she said.
As usual, she kept track of her pace and time, but she couldn’t help but notice all the festivities along the course.
“I saw a lot of the food and a lot of the water slides and I was like, ‘I want to really enjoy that, but I need a friend,'” she said.
Enter Vance, who didn’t need much convincing. She heard about food and water slides and was sold.
“Of course I was,” she laughed. “She got me out here finally. I never had someone to do it with, so this is perfect.”
Vance, who grew up in Lakewood and graduated from Dakota Ridge High School, had never participated in the Bolder Boulder, but was pleased to get the full experience with Hodgkins.
“The first thing that we did was go on the trampoline; it was like 2 minutes into the race,” Vance said. “Then we did the water slides.”
They also had marshmallows thrown at them, ate some bacon and completed the 10K course in a solid time of around 74 minutes.
“So much better,” Hodgkins said. “It’s nice that I didn’t have to worry about trying to keep a mile pace. I could stop and get food; I could go on a water slide if I wanted. It was great.”
She may have also found a permanent running partner.
Vance was a runner in high school, but said, “I haven’t been running much lately because of golf, but we’re done now and I want to pick it back up this summer.”
Moments after crossing the finish line, Hodgkins and Vance were already looking ahead to an even better experience next year.
“We’re going to rope the whole team in next year,” Hodgkins said.
The golfers, just eight days removed from playing in the NCAA championships with their Buffs’ teammates, were two of several people associated with CU participating in Monday’s race.
Among them was Medford Moorer, a former CU football player who has spent the past seven years as an academic coordinator in the athletic department.
“I ran it two years ago and it was a great experience,” Moorer said. “Coming back out here again, it’s wonderful to see all these people come together for something. Have a little fun while you’re going through the pain and agony.”
Moorer ran with his niece and nephew and his wife, Mandy, who is a nurse at University of Colorado hospital.
“My wife is doing a great job of pushing me to stay healthy,” Moorer joked. “That’s what wonderful nurses do for you. She’s right here making sure I don’t have a heart attack.”
CU women’s basketball head coach JR Payne and several members of her staff participated, as well, walking most of the course and enjoying the festivities.
Asked who would win if they ran competitively, Payne said, “Alex (Earl, an assistant coach). She’s the only one who runs and works out for real.”