What’s The Wave Start?

It’s pretty simple actually. Instead of one big start with all 50,000+ people taking off at once, we divide everyone into about 100 waves. They’re organized by people’s expected pace so that everyone can run with people their own speed. Waves start with the fastest runners, then go to slower runners, then joggers, then walkers.

Do all waves require qualifying? No!

The BolderBOULDER is open to everyone. Only the first 30 waves require qualification — meaning people in those waves provide proof of their running pace. All other waves are open to everyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. Qualifed Waves are only for people who finish faster than 68 minutes.

How do I pick what wave to be in?

When you register you just pick which type of wave you think you belong in. You’ll automatically be put in a wave that is right for you. Learn more about the Wave Categories on the right.

Can I change waves once I register? Yes.

If you want to change waves or run in a qualified wave, we can make that happen, assuming there are still bibs available in the wave you want. For $10, bib changes can be done at the solutions tent on race day or through our race office. To request a bib change, please email us. Keep in mind that you won’t be allowed to move up to a faster wave on race day.

Can I start with friends or family? Yes.

To be in the same start wave as someone else, register everyone online or in person at the same time. Just enter everyone’s name in the appropriate field. Qualifying rules will apply, and everyone in your group will be placed in the slowest person’s wave.

If your friends are already registered, check the Friends and Family Search Page to see which wave they’re in so you can enter it when you register. Waves do fill up and they are first-come, first-serve, but we’ll do our best.

How do I enter a qualified wave if I want to? Five ways.
  1. Use last year’s BolderBOULDER 10K time: Anything 1:08:00 or faster gets you in the perfect qualified wave for your pace. Check your results.
  2. Use last year’s ColderBOLDER5K time: Anyone who finished faster than 32:38 minutes automatically gets in a qualified wave. Check your results.
  3. Use other races: Any timed race between two miles and a marathon completed within one year of the upcoming BolderBOULDER gets you in a qualified wave. Check the Equivalent Times Chart to see how your race time translates to a 10K time. Please note, the BolderBOULDER does not accept gps or fitness apps or tracking devices as proof of qualifying (i.e. Fitbits, Strava, Map my Run, etc)
  4. Use our treadmill test: Qualify for free by running two miles at our BolderBOULDER store until May 25, or at the SportsExhibit on the Pearl Street Mall May 26 and 27th 10am-6pm. We’ll cheer every step of the way, and get you in the right wave for your best race experience.
What other races can be used to qualify?

Any timed race over two miles completed within one year of the upcoming BolderBOULDER gets you in a qualified wave. Check the Equivalent Times Chart to see how your race time translates to a 10K time. Find a race near you!

Wave Categories

Qualified Running Waves 
Require proof. The first 31 waves are reserved for runners who finish faster than 68 minutes. Proof must be within one year of the upcoming BolderBOULDER. Check the Equivalent Times Chart to see how your race time equates to a 10K time.

Non-Qualified Running Waves 
DO NOT require proof. For anyone planning to finish faster than 70 minutes (11:16 per mile).

Jogging Waves 
DO NOT require proof. For anyone planning to jog, and finish between 70 and 90 minutes (11:16 – 14:29 per mile).

Jogging/Walking Waves 
DO NOT require proof. For anyone planning to jog more than walk, and finish between 1:30:00 and 1:40:00 (14:29 – 16:06 per mile).

Walking/Jogging Waves 
DO NOT require proof. For anyone planning to walk more than jog, and finish between 1:40:00 and 1:50:00 (16:06 – 17:42 per mile).

Walking Waves
DO NOT require proof. For anyone planning to walk, and finish between 1:40:00 and 2:16:20 (17:42 – 22:00 per mile).

Course Cutoff 
All participants must pass the intersection of Folsom and Arapahoe by 11:30am, and finish by 11:45am to stay ahead of the Pro Race. For the last wave, this works out to a 2:16:40 finish time and a 22:00 pace.