Aliphine Tuliamuk and Stephanie Bruce are set to run the BOLDER Boulder 10K event on Monday

Aliphine Tuliamuk and Stephanie Bruce have a neatly entangled relationship as NAZ Elite teammates.

It's the kind of relationship that's somewhat elusive to the sport of running, and it's been working for the two veterans.

“They are good friends, they respect one another, they have a lot of admiration for one another, and yet on race day they try to beat one another," NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario said Wednesday, "and then afterward they are friends still. It’s a pretty cool situation because they are raising the bar for one another it seems like constantly.”

Tuliamuk and Bruce are set to run the BOLDER Boulder 10K on Memorial Day, and then compete again on Saturday, June 8, when they take on the New York Mini 10K, which serves as this year's USATF national championship at the distance. Both toe the lines of the next couple races on a level of performance that's been demanding attention, with fans and opponents waiting to see what the two will do next.

They have each other to thank for the attention they deserve, whether it be on the big stage such as a championship race in New York City, or a race that's part of their buildup for more major events. 

When Tuliamuk joined NAZ Elite in January of 2018, she brought plenty of past success along with her aggressor mentality that surfaces, according to Rosario, on race day and during practices. Meanwhile, Bruce makes sure she and others are hitting their paces while training, bringing a practical approach to training and racing.

Together, they create a balance and a drive to get better.

Bruce enters BOLDER Boulder and the Mini 10K riding arguably the best run of success of her career. She's also arguably in the best shape of her life.

The last time Bruce ran BOLDER Boulder was in 2017 and she took eighth place in 34:35. Tuliamuk took second place last year at the event with a time of 32:48 while not far removed from her back-to-back national titles.

posted Thursday May 23rd