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The women‘s push-rim wheelchair race winner in 2014 and 2015, Amanda McGrory has spent a couple years away from the Bolder Boulder.
But having recently moved to Colorado Springs from Champagne, Ill., and living at the Olympic Training Center, life‘s twists and turns lined up for McGrory to jump back into the field this Memorial Day. At the 40th annual Bolder Boulder, McGrory looked as though she hadn‘t missed a beat during her time away from the race.
In her return to the Bolder Boulder, McGrory took first and finished with a time of 26 minutes and 44 seconds which is the fastest time recorded since she won the title in 2014.
“I haven‘t been here for a couple years so I was looking back yesterday afternoon at my previous finishing times,” McGrory said. “I was shooting for something under 27 minutes so I‘m really happy about that. With the move and starting a new job, my training hasn‘t been quite as consistent as it normally is so I‘m really happy with it.”
The first place finisher at three of the last five Bolder Boulders, McGrory‘s three women‘s push rim race victories are now the fourth most all-time in the division.
McGrory slowly reeled in defending champion Cheri Madsen, who has won the past two Bolder Boulder‘s, over the first two miles. McGrory pulled away from Madsen in the curvy neighborhood portion of the course and held on to win by nearly a minute.
“If you‘re not in the front when you hit those, there‘s so much twisting and turning that it‘s hard to gain on anybody,” McGrory said. “I was in a really good position coming into the neighborhoods and it was just hanging on after that.”
In the men‘s push rim race, Aaron Pike defended his win from 2017. Pike took the lead early and was the frontrunner by a wide margin until he crossed the finish line. His goal was to run faster than his time of 23:45 from last May and he did with a time of 22:47.
“That was the main thing,” Pike said. “I‘m pretty sure I went about a minute faster than last year. I can‘t ask for anything better than that, really, pushing the whole thing alone. Hopefully, one year we can get two guys that work super fast and try to get close to the course record.
“You just have to have that ghost runner out there like someone‘s right on your back. Plus, you have the lead cyclist kind of leading the way. They‘re way out in front of you but that‘s still something that gives you a marker to kind of chase.”
The 32-year-old Pike is based out of Champagne, Ill., for the summer and Bozeman, Mon., during the cross country skiing training season from November to March