Sunday, November 05, 2006

[puma-news] Magnolia Road, runners, and politics

Hello all,

I'm certainly not one of the slowest drivers on Magnolia, but I have to say that I love seeing runners up reminds me that we live in a place that lots of people appreciate...and I have no problem at all getting down to 10 MPH before getting particularly close to them (not just to avoid hitting them but to avoid getting a lot of dust in their eyes.)

As for the school bus, my couple of experiences with it (I usually go to work before it's around) did involve fairly long waits behind it, but the driver was very good about pulling over to the side for me and others to pass very shortly after all the kids had boarded.

Other than the dust issues, I don't think it's particularly hard for us all to use Magnolia, on foot, or bike, in car or bus.

Also, as many of you know I'm quite politically active (maybe not in directions you all agree with.)  I don't want to start a political discussion on this news group, but I would like to ask you, if you're interested, to take a look at my blog at and have a read about my voting recommendations/endorsements.  My guess, assuming something about the politics of most Magnolia residents, is that the typical PUMA reader will disagree with something more than half of my suggestions and agree with something less than half.  If you go to and click on the "Colorado Issues" category (scroll down a bit to see the categories below the calendar), you can start with the 10/31 posting and work back up from there. Even if you disagree with me, I hope you'll find my discussion and analysis interesting. I have written an endorsement or suggestion for every state-wide position, Referendum, and proposed Constitutional amendment.  I have not written anything on individual State House or State Senate seats or local (county or city) ballot measures.

I would just like to mention that Mark Hillman, running for State Treasurer, is a good friend of mine, an incredibly solid person, talented and conscientious and experienced in dealing with and balancing state budgets, and (not that it matters for Treasurer) much more live-and-let-live on social issues than one would expect from a Republican these days. Maybe it's because he's a farmer by trade.  I hope that those of you who typically do not vote Republican will consider a vote for Mark. (Tomorrow I'll have a piece on my blog about more specific reasons to vote for him, though I already have much of that in the 10./31 candidate endorsement posting.)

Beyond that I will hope that you read my blog and I would be happy to discuss politics or issues or candidates with any of you in a private email conversation if you're interested.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!
Ross K

Terry Greenberg wrote:
To All:

I agree.  I even run or perhaps its called "woddle" on Magnolia and love it.  I have even put my dog on a leash and we run single file and I love running with the champions, for a split second.  That's great.  I never ever mind the runners on Magnolia and happily slow down for them too.  And I think running on the dirt has allowed my knees to keep on keeping on just fine.  Yay Magnolia.

Terry Greenberg

At 07:56 AM 11/3/2006, Kevin Seeman wrote:
As an avid runner who used to train for speed, I have at least a partial explanation for the elite presence on Magnolia as opposed to our vast trail system.  Access is a huge part of it, as the coaches can stage in Boulder and have their team stretched, warm and ready to run in 30 min.  Of course, they want to run at altitude to maximize their training.  Magnolia is ideal because they can set up any number of training routines, including timed speed work, time trials, tempo runs....  And while it may be dangerous as far as traffic, it offers perfect footing.  You get to run on dirt without the variables of the trail (roots, rocks...), it is well maintained, snow is removed quickly, it dries out rapidly.  Coaches can drive along with their team to offer support and watch their runners' form.  And for the runners, it helps to train with your team, running along with your partners, helping each other through rigorous training sessions, as opposed to being strung and scattered along a trail.

I run and bike on Magnolia with my wife every week year round.  I also commute to the flats every day.  In my opinion, we all have to share the road, and it is ultimately the drivers' responsibility to be aware, cautious and safe.  I love seeing the Olympians running our beautiful road, even if I do have to slow to a crawl to pass a pack.


Kevin Seeman

From: Craig Irwin <>
Reply-To: Craig Irwin <>
To: Allen Gordon <>
CC: Fay <>, "'PUMA News'" <>
Subject: [puma-news] Re: Magnolia mentioned in NY Times article
Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2006 08:25:46 -0700

It is neat that Magnolia got some NY Times press.

We need to consider how PUMA will advise or improve upon the following
regular occurrence.

Here is the real daily scenario: (keeping in mind that all users of the
road believe that they have a 'right' to use the road.

Parents drive the car with kids up to the bus stop, any School bus stop
on Magnolia Road, approx 8 cars pulled over on the side of the road
waiting on the bus.

* Inbound to the same location from the east, (just around a blind
corner) is a group of 14 road runners, running four abreast on the road
in the middle of the road with no concern nor awareness of other users
of the same road.

* Inbound to the same location from the west, one driver with one hand
on the cell phone the other hand occasionally juggling hot coffee,
running late to an appointment, headed around a blind corner converging
on the school bus stop at 40+mph. This driver will be forced into the
oncoming traffic lanes so as to avoid the cars and people pulled out at
the bus stop.

* Also eastbound is a Lumber Truck loaded with a delivery, driver has
been patiently waiting to pass the Japanese running team for two miles
and is now ready to make his move. He too will be forced into oncoming
traffic lanes as he approaches a corner.

What happens next?!


Really this is not a case of 'who is right?' nor 'who is wrong?'. Sure,
the cell phone driver is acting irresponsibly, but thus far, we have
been unable to eliminate the irresponsible members of society, so we
must accept their presence.

This is a case of competing multiple uses where each individual is
equally responsible for their actions.

While county planning has obviously not occurred in order to create a
safe spot for School Bus pickups, perhaps communication to the runners
that Boulder County has hundreds of miles of well maintained trails
ready for their use might be a good start.  Why run on a busy road when
you have unlimited trails to run on?

The road runners are clearly not coherent as to the risks that they are
shifting to the other road users when they run in any form other than
single file.

I truly hope that this situation does not end in a fatality, but rather
the community will come together to creatively solve this situation by
way of education and safe behaviors.

The older I get, the slower I drive.


Allen Gordon wrote On 10/31/06 07:25,:

Having run on Magnolia, the crown of the road makes it difficult to run
on the sides--the slope of the road twists the ankles.  Additionally,
I've found that when approaching a blind curve, running on the inside of
the curve can be dangerous because of the lack of visibility--thus
making it safer to run with the traffic if that side is on the outside
of the curve.  Finally, I think there is a bit more traffic in Boulder
than on Magnolia Rd.  Perhaps the larger problem is how people drive on
Magnolia Rd, not how people run.  One problem that I've noticed is that
people stop their cars in very inopportune places during times when kids
are picked up for school.  For example, many folks wait in their stopped
cars at the top of the hill at Magnolia and Frontier in front of the
mail boxes.  Cars attempting to pass them have to drive blindly on the
wrong side of the road not knowing if another car is approaching on the
other side of the hill.  Similarly at Pine Glade and Magnolia.  Cars are
stopped such that cars coming from Pine Glade onto Magnolia must do so
with very limited visibility of approaching cars.  Of course there are
many who drive pretty fast exceeding the 30 mph speed limit.  Those darn
runners make it difficult to drive fast because they are either running
in the middle of the road, on the wrong side or side by side.


Fay wrote:

Now if they could only learn to run against traffic, single file, and on the
side (as opposed to the middle) of the road, they would all live long enough
to compete!  Funny, same rules they follow in Boulder but don't seem to
apply up here.
Fay Benson

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Greg Ching
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 1:30 AM
To: PUMA News
Subject: [puma-news] Magnolia mentioned in NY Times article

I think most Magnolia residents know we have world class athletes
training on our road but it's still neat to see Magnolia mentioned in
the NY Times.  The complete article can be found at

I'm only copying here the first few paragraphs...Magnolia mentioned in
third paragraph.


October 31, 2006
In Boulder, Runners Gather in Guarded Isolation

BOULDER, Colo. - Here at 5,430 feet, all roads lead to a finish line
somewhere. They just rarely converge.

As the major marathon season hit its fall peak, professional distance
runners from Kenya, Japan, Romania and Tanzania, as well as the United
States, were pounding the dirt roads in Boulder for a high-altitude boost.

Long a popular haven for elite athletes, the area boasts 300 sunny days
a year, 400 miles of trails (including Magnolia, which soars to 8,600
feet), more massage therapists than muscles and a fervent outdoor culture.

But this is no running utopia. Instead, Boulder is an example of the
fiercely competitive sport of road racing, in which runners train in
quiet isolation, passing one another occasionally on hills while
guarding their strategies.

Competitors from around the world may come here, yet the various camps
operate in their own universes. With schedules dictated by agents,
runners compete not just for the podium, but for a relatively small pool
of resources, shoe contracts and race appearance fees. It is a scene
that is more clannish than collegial.