Bernie Boettcher

Age: 47, Years running: 12, Hometown: Silt, CO, Favorite product: C-LITE

What are some of your lifetime running goals?

I’d like to keep finding ways to win. I really enjoy seeing the pained expressions of much younger men who finish behind me. I’d like to keep adding these fabulous faces to my collection of photos and live to publish them. I hope to show the younger generations what is possible, and maybe even inspire a few to surpass me.

Do you have a claim to fame?

I’ve raced 376 times in the past 377 weeks, (since I turned 40.) I’ve won Overall 153 times and the Masters 286 times. I was the USATF Masters Mountain Runner of the Year twice. I’ve been on the USSSA National Snowshoe team twice, and have been the Masters champion 6 times, (every time I’ve gone as a Master.) I write a regular column for Trail Runner magazine and Colorado Runner magazine publishes my running photos in nearly every edition. La Sportiva Mountain Cup 2nd/4th Overall, top Master 2008-2009. I’ve been sponsored by La Sportiva for many years! I carry a camera in almost every race I run (training runs too.)

Do you have any vices?

Yes, two of them. I keep them on my workbench in the garage.

What makes you tick as a runner and in the real world?

I love exploring new places and new things, especially places overflowing with beauty and wildlife. Coincidentally, this is where I get most of my ticks.

What drives you to run?

I drive myself, (in my 1990 Toyota Camry.) I took out the back seat and installed a mattress so I can sleep in it before races, much in the same way I removed a 9 to 5 job and installed a running lifestyle in order to accomodate my passions.

What is your favorite movie?

Escanaba in da Moonlight. It was so awful, it was funny.

Do you have any nicknames? Explain:

Not really, but some people will say, “I pulled a Bernie,” used as a verb to describe someone who races more than once a weekend, or twice in a day.

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Why?

About 50 hours. I was working on a 6 x 12 foot canvas painting, and then I painted a wooden chair to match the painting, and then I painted a matching image like the canvas on the back of a nude model, and then I photographed them all together. After dinner and some cleanup, I went to bed. At the time I was doing a series of paintings with this model interacting with the art. It was a self-inspired art project I was doing between other jobs. It all ended when she got married. I never finished the series.

If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?


What did you have for lunch yesterday?

Peace and quiet.

If you could hook up a thought monitor to your head, would you see pictures, hear words or would music be playing?

All of the above, depending on the moment. Most thoughts start with pictures that eventually turn into audible thoughts and conversations (words). Music only plays if it serves a purpose, like a relaxation or a motivational tool.

What really scares you about trail running?

Not being able to trail run.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?

“Run, Bernie, Run!”

Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?

I live in Silt, because “Silt Happens.” (This could also be the title to my movie.)

What’s your worst encounter on the trail?

I once saw a beautiful woman out in the wilderness. She smiled at me, then proceeded to strip down naked and jump into the high mountain lake there to go for a swim. My girlfriend happened to be with me. There were conflicted thoughts.