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Apr 23, 2019

What can you do in 4 minutes? Maybe fire up your Keurig and get your coffee ready before leaving for work or chow down your lunch before heading into the next meeting? Well, this week’s Moonlighter is one of only four Iowans who could burn up a track for 1600m in under 4-minutes. Blake Boldon was a successful high school runner from Clarke Community in Osceola who went worked hard every day to really become the best he could be at Southwest Missouri State University and beyond. Blake is now the director of the Drake Relays and shares his passion for track and field in the studio with Tim.

A true underdog story, Blake Boldon walked on to Southwest Missouri State and made a plan with his coach to train and strategically use his redshirt (as well as the fine print of NCAA eligibility rules) to stick around for five years. Over that time, he focused on his training and growth to make sure his 5th year was his best year and he absolutely nailed it. In his final semester, he won 5 conference championships.

Blake’s senior year successes led him to try running for one more year after college to see what happened. Success at the Sea Ray Relays at the University of Tennessee, the Kansas Relays, and the Drake Relays showed Boldon that he had what it took to really pursue a career as a runner and a coach.

The 4-minute mile race came in Ames when Boldon was coaching at Iowa State. His coach and members of the team had established a plan to pace the mile, push the tempo, and help some of the team members aim for low 4-minute times and for Boldon to go sub-4. The race didn’t start out well as Boldon’s nerves had the best of him. Once he made it to the line, things didn’t really improve. He remembers a fellow coach calling out the pace at the 800m mark, he was at 2:03+ and started to realize he wasn’t even helping the younger guys. He made a move to try to help push the tempo, and save face a little as a coach, and ended up finding his groove and then blew the pack away. Boldon crossed the tape in 3:59.18, becoming just the 4th Iowan to do so.

Blake’s coaching career took him from Ames to Birmingham, and to the Penn Relays as the head cross country coach and distance coach at UPenn. After a final stop in Indianapolis, Boldon wanted to come back to Iowa near his family. Blake is the 12th Director of the Drake Relays and the first Iowan to hold the position.