If you’re marshaling a race, one of the first Boulder Road Runners you’ll see is Dave Dooley. Dave has been running in Boulder since 1978, when he moved here to work for Ball Brothers.
Dave grew up in Marquette, Michigan, on Lake Superior. His childhood involved lots of swimming and skiing. Marquette ranks fifth among reporting cities for annual snowfall, logging in at 141 inches. Dave did a little cross-country skiing, but mainly enjoyed downhill. In junior high school he ran a little track, but he wasn’t that good at it and didn’t stick to it. He did gymnastics in college, where he started in Michigan and transferred to the University of Wyoming. He received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming in 1972, and a Master’s in 1974. While attending the University of Wyoming, he was a member of their flight club, receiving his pilot’s license in 1973, and buying his first airplane shortly after graduation. After receiving his Master’s degree, he worked for the University of Wyoming for two years on the Apollo- Soyuz Test Project. When the University’s contract ran out, he took a job with the Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas, where he was employed until moving to Boulder in 1978 to work for Ball Brothers Research Corporation, now known as Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation. Ball Aerospace is a subsidiary of Ball Corporation. Dave’s work was in finite element analysis for heat transfer, a process related to thermal control for satellites and space instruments.
Dave didn’t run much at all until he began working at Ball, but Ball Corporation is home to a number of good runners, and Dave noticed and joined them. There were several runners who were really good, and Dave began to run with them and to increase his training. Ron Harmon, Chuck Downey, and David Mathews were among the group. The runners at Ball participated in the Corporate Cup Relays, which include regional and national competitions. Dave began running seriously in 1982, and he participated in the national competition when it was held at Stanford.
In 1984, Dave decided at the last minute to run the Bolder Boulder. Ball Brothers had a team, and he had to run on the team. He hasn’t missed one since, and if you check the all-time records, his name appears 28 times—twice when he was in his thirties, and every year starting in 1989, when he turned 42. His lowest place was 20th (early in his running career, when he was 38 and again when he was 42), and he holds the records for the first through sixth fastest times for every year since he turned 49, including the fastest times for five years and the second-fastest for six. His fastest Bolder Boulder was 33:50, when he was 39, and he didn’t finish in over 40 minutes until he was 63, when he ran a 40:04. His times when he was in his 40’s are amazingly consistent. The fastest was 34:18 and until he turned 49 and ran 35:13, the other runs are all between 34:24 and 34:57. From 1987 to 1996 there is less than a minute’s difference in his times, and in nine of the ten there is only a 39 second difference. That’s consistency!
Dave has run marathons and half-marathons as well as shorter races. He considers his best marathon to have been Twin Cities in 1987, when he ran 2:31. He ran a 2:28 in Las Vegas, when he was 42, but as it was downhill and he had a tailwind, he considers it to have been nature aided. He ran Boston in 1997, when he was 50, and came in 4th or 5th in his age division. His favorite half-marathon is Canyonlands, which he has done a couple of times. His fastest was Georgetown to Idaho Springs, where he ran 1:12. His fastest pace per mile in a race was 5:09, for a time of 15:59 in a 5k in Washington Park
in Denver. He consistently ran around 16:20 for a 5k, or a 5:15 pace. His best running times relative to his peers came when he was in his mid-50s, about 15 years after he began running.
Dave retired from Ball Corporation in 2006 and embarked on the small project of hand- building an airplane. The plane he built is a motorized glider. He can take it up to altitude, turn off the motor, and soar. It took him about five years to build it, and he flies it fairly regularly. He owns another plane, a 1946 factory-built Swift. Dave began building model airplanes as a kid, and the glider could be described as the platinum- iridium bar of model airplanes. It is a model of perfection. You can see the rivets, but you can’t feel them, and after four years of flying, the glider looks brand new.
Dave’s two planes are housed in a hanger in the yard of his and Nancy’s home in Erie. Dave met Nancy Clair in 1995 through a dating service in Denver. He had been living in Table Mesa, but in 2002 he and Nancy sold their respective homes and purchased a house on the Erie airstrip. They were married in 2005 and Nancy, like Dave, is a regular participant in the Saturday Purple Runner events. Also like Dave, Nancy has an interest that involves precision and attention to detail. She makes extremely beautiful and detailed quilts.
He is also a proud grandfather of Connor and Corryn Dooley, aged 13 and 10, who live in Parker. Connor is a very good football player (does not have Dave’s small build) and also a very good baseball player. Corryn is taking taekwondo and likes playing the piano.
Among the Boulder Road Runners, Dave is known as an inspiration and also as a person who helps others in their quest to become good runners. With his quiet consistency and attention to detail, it’s easy to see why.
Dave flies down the championship course.
Dave doing some more flying.
Get your Bolder Boulder training started with the BRR Sunday runs.
Write an essay on running with the BRR and win a prize. There are two categories: inspirational and humor. First place in each category will receive a $100 gift certificate and runner-up, in each category, will receive a $50 gift certificate. The essay must be 300 words or less. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners will be announced during the June, First Monday Social, at Avery Brewing. Dead line for essays submissions is noon May 10th.
Anyone interested in helping with the judging, contact me at the above address.
Pictures from the March 2nd,
First Monday Social at Avery Brewing
Members enjoying the buffet.
Converstation was lively.
Do you think they will have enough beer?
Smitty was thrilled his friend was home safe.
When Elvis was asked what he wanted to do, now that he escaped his kidnappers, his reply was, "...to go to First Monday!"
Security, provided by Jeff Dumas, was on high alert.
"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of early morn, stays the BRR runners from the swift completion of their Sunday Social Run".
The Sunday Social Run meets no matter the conditions.
March 7th, Boulder H. S. Invite at Broomfield H. S. Field Events Begin at 8:30, Running Events Begin at 9 a.m.
March 19th, Board Meeting
March22nd, Fleet Feet Social Run and Shopping Day 9 a.m. March 28,IAAF World Cross Country Championships
April 6th, First Monday at Avery Brewing, 4901 Nautilus Ct.
April 12th, Frank Shorter Race for Kids' Health, 1st Bank Center, Broomfield
May 3rd, Happy Half Marathon at the Rez.
May 4th, First Monday at Avery Brewing, 4901 Nautilus Ct.
May 10th, All essays submitted by noon
May 25th, Bolder Boulder
June 1st, First Monday at Avery Brewing, 4901 Nautilus Ct.
Winners of essay contest to be announced
June 14th, Fleet Feet Social Run and Shopping Day 9 a.m.
June 28th,Flatirons 10k, 8am