The photo is of the "Geezer" along with my nephew aka "Runner's Anonymous", prior to the "Boilermaker 15K" in 2007. The race is held in the Central New York city of Utica. This year the race will be held on July 13th, and we both plan on being there. Contrary to popular belief, the race is not named for the intoxicating combo of a shot and a beer. Rather, it is named for one of the major manufacturing facilities, Utica Boilers, Inc. For many years this race was the largest 15K in the United States, attracting over 10,000 runners, 2007 was the 30th anniversary. This year it was surpassed by the "Gate River Run", in Jacksonville, FL.
For a Florida runner like myself, it is a hilly course. Locals in Utica and "up north" are not as impressed with the hills. Two years ago I was running up one of the hills around mile 7 and found myself next to a young man who was huffing and puffing. He was cursing the hills as we moved along. I asked him where he was from, figuring he was another "flatlander" like me. His response surprised me, he said, "Utica." He went on to tell me he doesn't like to train on hills!
The July date also makes it a very hot run. The start time is 8:00am, please move it to 7:00am! The course has an average of three (3) water/Gatorade/ice stops per mile, that's correct, twenty-seven (27) stops! The locals are also helpful in bringing out the garden hoses and spraying the runners.
The event attracts many world class athletes, including myself (just wanted to see if you were paying attention.) There is a contingent of Kenyan runners, along with top U.S. runners. Brian Sell, a qualifier for the 2008 Olympic marathon, ran in 2006. Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter are regulars each year.
Do you have a favorite race you would like to tell us about? Maybe one not familiar to the readers. What is your "secret" race?