On Monday, May 27, following a Memorial Day tribute that included a flyover by four World War II fighter planes, more than 48,000 runners took to the streets of Boulder, CO, for the 35th annual BolderBOULDER, a race dubbed America’s All-Time Best 10K by Runner’s World magazine.
While the event saw some strong performances by American athletes, the Kenyan men and the Ethiopian women stole the show, winning the International Team Challenges.
Crossing the finish line in a time of 29:28, Kenya’s Allan Kiprono took first place overall for the second year in a row. The 22-year-old improved on his 2012 time by more than 25 seconds, Running USA reports, and his victory gave Kenya its 12th title in the event’s history, the most of any country.
Rounding out the top three were Ethiopians Belete Assefa (29:36) and Birhanu Gedefa (29:45), who led their team to a second-place finish. The United States took third, led by Aaron Braun and Brent Vaughn, who finished ninth and 10th in 30:29 and 30:37, respectively.
On the women’s side, Ethiopia’s Merima Mohammed, 20, bested all comers with a time of 33:58. Behind her was countrywoman Amane Gobena (34:08), followed by Marisol Guadalupe Romero Rosal (34:15) of Team Mexico, which placed second. As in the men’s race, the United States nabbed third. Three U.S. women finished in the top 10, and the fastest of them was 40-year-old 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, a three-time BolderBOULDER champion, who took fourth this year. She was followed by teammates Mattie Suver (sixth) and Brianne Nelson (seventh).
Braun, last year’s fourth-place finisher, told the Denver Post that hot temperatures were among the reasons he and his fellow Americans were only able to hang with their African competitors for about a mile.
“Today was set up for the Africans,” he said. “They showed why, again, they’re the best runners in the world.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg