Friday, January 18, 2008

Boulder Trail Runners (BTR)

I have sporadically run with the Boulder Trail Runners (BTR), a group that holds various runs all week long at various times. It's a great way to meet other runners, learn new places to run and improve your running since there are always faster runners to chase. The group includes regular Boulder people like me (i.e., pretty darn fit) and many world class runners (i.e, super fast). This is typical of Boulder; you run into the top athletes in the world out on a run or a bike ride. I hadn't run with BTR for awhile but I have become interested in stepping my running up a notch so I can complete an Ultra-marathon this year(a trail run longer than a marathon). When BTR announced that they were holding an Ultra-marathon seminar after the Thursday Night Happy Hour run this week, I decided this would be my jumping point to get back into running with the group.

I hadn't been on the Happy Hour Run in many months. I've been running mostly by myself or
with Jesper on the rolling hills of Gunbarrel. In contrast, the Happy Hour run is usually pretty fast, up pretty steep stuff and long (60 to 90 minutes). It provides an opportunity for me to push myself in pace, hills and distance beyond what I normally would do out by myself. So last night, I showed up in my winter running clothes. There were about 6 or 7 skinny runner looking dudes standing there, and another more normal looking guy. No other chicks. The skinny runner looking dudes looked FAST.

At 5:30 pm, with our head lights on, we took off from Eben G. Fine park up to Sanitas Valley Trail and then up onto Dakota Ridge Trail. The skinny runner looking dudes took off fast and kept that pace. Me and the other guy, Charles, struggled to try to keep up. The trail ascended and it was icy. I was killing myself. We finally regrouped at a trailhead before the trail turned up to Mount Sanitas. The skinny runner looking dudes were patiently waiting for me and Charles. No complaints. But Charles and I had decided on the way up that we were slowing the faster runners down too much and it was not good for them to be standing around in the cold waiting for us. So, Charles and I split off and did an alternate run that ended up being 1:08, with a few stops along the way. Here's roughly the run we did, mapped through MapMyRun:

Later at Sherpas for the seminar, all the skinny runner looking dudes came in together and sat at one table. Then the speakers were introduced and, what do you know, the skinny runner looking dudes WERE the speakers! Dave Mackey (Ultra Runner of the year twice), Charles Corfield (3rd in last year's Leadville 100), Anton Krupicka (1st in last year's Leadville 100), Ryan Hafer (winner of last year's Pike's Peak Ascent) and Peter Bakwin (ultra-runner extrordinairre, along with his super fast wife Stephanie Ehret, with many wins). Those were the guys I was trying to keep up with! Sheez...

The seminar was informal but very informative. The skinny looking runner dudes, and a super fast dudette named Darcy Africa (one of the, if not the, fastest female trail runners in the world), gave the earnest group of about 30 attendees lots of great tips about ultra running. Now I just need to select a couple of races and plunk my hard earned cash down so I am committed. Oh that and run more with BTR!


Itty Bitty Betty said...


I had to delete the previous post because it had an error in it that prevented me from editing it. So I am copying your comment here:

Super cool! I wish I was a skinny runner lookin' dude, but alas I've been a slightly more accomplished couch potatoe lately.

Although, what little training I've been doing has been a combination of in the water, on trails, and on two wheels. I've got the start, now just need to move forward building the base...

Anonymous said...

So you found the "cult", how fun. Good luck with that one, they are very destructive bunch. I would stay as far away from the Boulder Trail Runners as possible. They are commonly known as Divine Madness or "the community". Anti-cult groups are watching them all the time. You named many of the leaders...

Dave Mackey said...

I like your blog, Betty. I found it by accident.

How interesting that the above comment on the BTR was anonymous. Too bad some folks don't have the spine to leave their names when they mudsling. (I can guess who you are though.) Whoever left this feel free to contact me personally before you decide to smear me.
About your silly comment.. knowing personally the half dozen folks speaking at the BTR ultrarunning seminar (especially me), they are not cult leaders associated with divine madness. I especially find these people to be incredibly inspiring in many ways NOT associated with ultrarunning, including academic, counselling, spiritual, and business accomplishments. These very well rounded folks and hardly the cult types..

Itty Bitty Betty said...


Thanks for you comment. I agree that the anonymous commenter is a coward for not stating his/her name. I also don't personally buy his/her bunk, although I am aware of Divine Madness.

I debated removing the anonymous comment, but decided against that, as it goes against the open and free nature of a blog. I hope keeping it on my blog does not imply that I think the comment has merit.

Anonymous said...

I am not the same "anonymous" as above, but what does the author of the 1/22/08 comment have to gain by associating BTR with Divine Madness? He or she seems to know something that the rest of us don't. Anyone care to elaborate? Dave? Betty? Is the 1/22/08 comment completely baseless?

Charles Danforth said...

What? I don't get to be a skinny runner looking dude too ;-) That was definitely a fast crowd and a fun run, but now I can say I've run with Kyle and company (at least for a few hundred yards before being dropped like a bad habit).

As to BTR being destructive, perhaps anonymous doesn't know about the trail work and advocacy work we do in Boulder.

Charles (normal runner guy)

Anonymous said...

As a BTR run leader (the night runs), I can tell you that the Boulder Trail Runners and Divine Madness are certainly not the same group (heck, I had to look up what Divine Madness even was).

There are 1400 BTR members and they are some of the friendliest people I've ever run with... hardly seems like a cult to me. Seems anonymous #1 has an issue with someone in particular, for some reason, but it shouldn't be projected on 1400 other people.

- Chris (BTR Night Run leader)

Susan said...

Hey, have any of you seen the very cool and effective runners cap with the headlight? It shoots a spotlight out about 30 ft in front of the runner. It is used by the hood to coast group. You can find it at Only $20.00. A find! Thought everyone should know. Cheers,

Lara said...

I trail run around Boulder and have never tried to join the Boulder running group, though now am motivated to look into it just for the new scenery! Do all the runs happen at night? I'm a Mom and nights are kind of tough, I'm more of a "first-thing-in-the-morning" kind of gal, where 6 or 7 AM is looking pretty good.

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