The 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!
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?