Some have spent months preparing for the 35th annual Bolder Boulder 10-kilometer race this Memorial Day weekend.
They've perfected the art of just-crispy-enough-but-not-too-crispy bacon to hand out near Walnut St. and 20th St. They've created kooky costumes to attract maximum attention. Oh, and they've finished their 10-week training programs just in time for race day.
It all comes down to this weekend, says three-time Olympic marathoner and Boulder Track Club executive director Lee Troop. The 48 hours leading up to the Bolder Boulder are critical to having a good race, he said.
This year's new security procedures are a result of the Boston Marathon bombings last month; participants and runners can expect to see more law enforcement and emergency response personnel, and will have their bags searched at the Folsom Field finish. But the old Bolder Boulder classics -- bacon, beer and belly dancing along the race course -- are back once more.
Here are a few tips from Boulder running professionals on how to spend the 48 hours leading up the to race.
- Start hydrating. Don't wait until race day to chug water, Troop said. Hydrate all weekend, and drink something with electrolytes in it in addition to water.
- Get to bed early and make sure to get a full night's sleep, Troop said.
"It's not the night before the race that's important," Troop said. "It's the night before the night before, because most people don't really sleep well the night before the race anyway, just with nerves, and it's an early start."
- Jog for no more than 30 minutes, said FastForward Sports founder Scott Fliegelman.
- Other than that, stay off your feet. As tempting as it is to hang out at the Boulder Creek Festival all day, Fliegelman said, be mindful of how much time you're spending sitting versus standing. Give your legs a rest.
- Lay out everything you'll need for Monday morning. Pin your race number to your shirt, set out your shoes, make sure your timing clip is attached to your shoes and have water bottles filled and in the fridge, Troop said.
- Review the Bolder Boulder revised security plan. Race organizers and police officials are asking participants to refrain from bringing backpacks to the race at all. If you choose to bring a bag, it must be soft-sided and no larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches. Authorities will search bags at Folsom Field.
- Figure out your transportation plan, and have an after-race meet-up spot for friends and family. This applies for Bolderites who won't have anything to do with the race on Monday -- check out street closures, public transit schedules and the parking situation around the city before venturing out.
- Fliegelman recommends a light 15-minute jog for Sunday, nothing too strenuous.
- Carboload, but don't overdo it, according to University of Colorado cross country alum and Boulder Running Company/adidas runner Andy Wacker.
"Don't go crazy," Wacker said. "Don't eat more than your normally would."
On race day
- Eat something that's going to stick, Troop said, like porridge or a banana. An hour before the race, eat something to keep your energy reserves up, he added.
- Fliegelman recommends eating breakfast as early as possible, without sacrificing sleep.
"Three hours pre-race is ideal," Fliegelman said. "For the early waves, that can be challenging."
- Wear a shirt that you can throw away while you wait for your wave. Though temperatures are expected to reach mid-80s on Monday, some early-morning waves could be chilly, Troop said.
- Get five to 10 minutes of light jogging or walking in before you head to the wave corrals. Keep stretching gently while you wait.
- If you stand for too long, make the first half mile to a mile of the actual race part of your re-warming up process. Don't go out too fast or too hard if you're not warmed up, Troop said.
- Drink water throughout the race, not just at the end. Even if you're running for fun, 10 kilometers is no joke, Troop said. Take little sips along the way so that you're not dehydrated at the end.
- The halfway or 5K mark is a good time to refuel. Eat a gel or energy bar.
--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.