Ardel “Oscar” Boes started regular running at age 37; first, 2 or 3 miles 3 times per week, then 3 miles 5 times per week. It probably helped that he had some early “training” growing up on a small 110 acre farm in Iowa with 5 brothers and 3 sisters.
He ran his first race at age 39 when fellow faculty at Colorado School of Mines begged him to join a team with them for a race among corporations, “The Industrial Run”, which was scored like cross country; top three on a team scored with no limit to members of the team. The race was 3 times around Sloan’s Lake, at that time 2.6 miles once around. CSM won the race; Ardel was hooked even though he didn’t want to race because he didn’t want to get caught up in competition. That summer he ran a burro race in Fairplay with a burro that decided to lie down about a mile out of town. He was able to figure out how to prevent that after she did it two more times and finished the race.
Ardel started to road race with the 10k, marathon and indoor track for which he prepared for the Potts Invitational Masters Mile.
The following fall CSM faculty and staff again entered the Industrial Run and Ardel would have broken the course record for that race, but a young fellow from IBM broke it one place ahead. Ardel won the “World Championship” pack burro race in 1978 and 1979 with different burros each year. At that time there were two such races; Fairplay and Leadville. When Buena Vista established a third race it was known as the “Triple Crown Race”. If a runner with the same burro win all three races in a given year, they win the triple crown. Ardel and Billy did that seven years.
He has run endless 10k, 5k, and 4 mile Turkey Trots, but won the masters division multiple times in the Potts Invitational Mile, Cherry Creek Sneak, Mile High Marathon, Bolder Boulder, Governors Cup, Run for the Zoo and Turkey Trot. Highlights include winning the Masters division of the Bolder Boulder 4 consecutive years when in his mid 40’s including a 32:48 just short of his 46th birthday. He ran a 32:30 10K at a professional conference on a certified course conducted by a local running club arranged by a textbook publisher. His best time at the 4 mi. Turkey Trot was 20:48 which he ran in his mid 40’s. In the Rawhide Marathon, he broke his own Colorado State Masters record with 2:29:30 when he was in the 45 – 50 age group. He set some national age group records. He won the masters division of the Mardi Gras marathon; he and his wife Mary both won the 45 – 50 age group at the National Masters Marathon Championships in Lincoln, NE; and he won his age group in the National Masters Half Marathon Championships in Las Vegas. In his 50’s he ran the Twin Cities Marathon because they provided sponsorship. In those years they were bringing in the top masters and open runners from all over the world. In that setting, he won his age group and was 7th twice among the combined male and female runners of all ages based on handicap.