If you run for the University of Colorado Boulder, there aren’t much bigger shoes to fill than Jenny Barringer’s. Before she graduated a couple of years ago as one of the state’s most acclaimed runners, Barringer competed in the 2007 world championships, set the existing American record for the steeplechase at the 2009 world championships, and participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Now, CU junior Emma Coburn is doing her best to step out from behind her friend’s shadow. Coburn claimed the fastest steeplechase time in the world this year during the Stanford Cardinal Invitational, and although many around her are talking about the 2012 Olympics, she’s advising patience (Denver Post).

Far from the Olympics but on par with lofty goals, Amy Schneider will attempt to run this weekend’s Colfax Marathon in less than three hours. Last year Schneider placed second, behind Runner’s Roost teammate Heather Utrata, in just under three hours and nine minutes (Examiner). Schneider says she’d rather break the three-hour mark than win, but if she hits her benchmark, she may just do both.

For those of us with similarly good intentions but significantly less experience (and ambition), the Bolder Boulder, coming up on Memorial Day weekend, is open to anyone who’s completed a race between two miles and a marathon (Run Colorado).