On Sunday, July 13th, the 31st annual "Boilermaker 15K" was held in Utica, NY. Over 10,000 runners were registered for the race. As with most locations around the country, mid-July can be hot and humid. The weather forecasts in the week leading up to Sunday were indicating temperatures into the 90's. Even though I train in Florida, I know that at high temperatures you must slow the pace. So, I was prepared to run the race as a training run if necessary.
On Sunday morning I awoke at 4:00am to find the temperature at 81 degrees! What wasn't in the forecast was the rain that started at 5:00am. We drove most of the way to Utica in a rain storm. I had my large trash bag with me to keep the rain off, or hopefully provide a dry place to sit if the rain stopped. At approximately 7:15am, 45 minutes prior to the start the rain stopped. The announcer kept asking the crowd to pray for sunshine. I knew what the conditions would be if the sun started to heat the humid air. We lucked out and the official start time temperature was 75 degrees with the humidity at 75%, not as bad as it could have been. Several areas along the course are open and there was a nice breeze blowing. All in all the conditions were OK.
For a 15K race the spectators from the community are out in force. Water stops are plentiful and bands are dotted along the course. At about the 8.8 mile mark they had a bagpipe band that gave me the extra boost for the final one-half mile. Crossing the finish line I realized I had set a new PR for the distance at 1:21:20.
The photo is of my niece Eileen who ran the 5K and set a PR and my nephew Jim, who to bloggers is "Runner's Anonymous". He too set a PR for 15K. Quite the family event.