5 Oscar-Worthy Celebrity Sightings

Friday 5The 86th Academy Awards are this Sunday, and Hollywood is all abuzz with outfits, bling and couples’ gossip.  But what about the celebrity sightings that we really care about?  You know, the running celebrities that we’d love to see while out on a run or doing grocery shopping?  As you all know, many elite athletes live or train in Boulder, making it easy to spot one of our favorite celebs.  The altitude, running trails, sunshine and mild climate make it desirable for training.  On any given day, you’re likely to spot a “running celeb” with the goal of catching some speed mojo by osmosis–at least that’s what I tell myself.

In honor of this Sunday’s Oscars, here are 5  “Boulder-esque” celebrity sightings that you would love to tell your friends about!

Kara Goucher at the 2009 Boston Marathon.
Oh, hey, Kara. What’s up? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1).  Kara Goucher:  Goucher left Jerry Schumacher‘s training group in Portland and returned to her college coach, Mark Wetmore at the University of Colorado  (CU).  Kara has been spotted all over Boulder, running on the trails and shopping around the city.  She has tweeted that she’s grateful for all of the well-wishes and greetings as she’s returned to Boulder.  (Personally, I have not seen her yet, but my husband sees her quite often while running on the Boulder Creek Path).  Rumor has it the she and Adam are currently looking for a house–who knows, maybe we’ll be neighbors?

2).  Jenny Simpson Jenny, like her new training partner Kara, returned to Boulder after training in Colorado Springs for a few years.  Simpson is no stranger to Boulder since she is also a CU alum. Jenny frequents the Boulder Reservoir “Rez” quite a bit with her pals, including Emma Coburn, for her easy runs.  Most recently, she was spotted at the US XC National Championship two weeks ago in Boulder, where she kicked in the final 2K to move up from fourth to second place.

3).  Colleen DeReuck:  The four-time Olympian has called Boulder her home for several years.  Colleen shows no signs of slowing down; at the young age of 49, she clocked a 2:39 marathon last November in Indianapolis, and she was crowned Ironman 70.3 World Champion-Age 45-49 in September!  Colleen runs all around Boulder and coaches Boulder Striders, which is a running group for all abilities.  I am fortunate enough to call her my friend and help her coach Boulder Striders.

4).  Benita Willis:  The 2004 World XC Champion and 2:22 marathoner lives in Boulder, and is a lover of great coffee.  Benita spends most of her time coaching athletes, mainly marathoners, and has enjoyed great success at coaching.  She also visits Boulder Running Company as a guest speaker and served as a panelist at a recent Q&A session right before US XC earlier this month.

5). All Others:   It was tough to narrow this list to 5 outstanding elite women runners, so I will round out this top 5 list with several names that you are likely familiar with:  1,500m and 3,000m specialist Sarah Vaughn, Steeplechaser/Olympian Emma Coburn, the Japanese women’s marathon team, marathoner Edna Kiplagat, 2008 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Constantina Dita.  You get the point … if you want to be star-struck, just come to Boulder!

So Salties… Have you ever had a run-in with a running celebrity? If not, who would you like to bump into on a run?

Native Ohioan now living in Boulder, Colorado. I love to run, tri, train, eat good chocolate, drink good rum, and laugh (a lot). I am a CPA by trade and work for Newton Running.

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8 comments

  1. Only been to Boulder once but think I’d love to live there!

    You know Colleen?! Awesome! She’s so impressive. Can you get her to maybe do a guest column or two on women’s Masters training, racing, recovery both from her POV as such an athlete & from coach POV? It’s a topic that doesn’t get enough discussion/coverage.

    1. That’s a good idea–I should definitely look into that. Another master’s runner for me to think about is Melody Fairchild, who is a Newton runner. She just turned master. She was the first high school female to break 10:00 in the 2-mile and held all sorts of hs records in Colorado until Elise Cranny came along. Colleen is great, and what I admire about her most (besides her work ethic) is that she loves to help people and will run 10:00 miles as easily as low 5’s.

  2. A couple of weeks ago the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix came to the indoor track where I run (Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center). The meet was on Saturday, but I worked out there on Friday and when I got there was completely thrilled to be sharing a track with Jenny Simpson and Sarah Brown, who were doing their pre-meet workout. I was trying to get up my nerve to go up to them and ask for a pic, but there wasn’t really a great opening for that so I didn’t get a chance to do it. But it was still pretty amazing to be literally running a lane over from them. I was surprised at how petite yet powerful they were.

    1. Welcome! Yeah, I agree, it’s pretty surreal. One morning, I was at the track with Colleen, and Dita was doing a speed workout. It was crazy, especially when Dita would wave to me as she passed and gave encouragement. I couldn’t believe I was sharing a track with a Gold Medalist. Jenny is a sweet person, and she is cut!

  3. Maybe not a “running celebrity” but a regular celebrity sighting. A few years ago I was running on a trail here in Philadelphia (Forbidden Drive) and I saw Bradley Cooper and Renee Zellweger (sp?) w/ a dog getting ready for a run 🙂