Why I Love The Utica Boilermaker 15k

The average woman or man is cheered on just as much as the elite first finishers.

It’s a small city, struggling to survive – judging by the scores of people from its four neighborhoods…it will. Talk about community spirit!

The “Shadow Run” they organized, to support our troops in Afghanistan.

A plethora of water and ice stations…as well as people handing out Popsicles, orange slices and misting grateful runners with garden hoses.

Jazz bands, polka music, garage bands, funk, and many others representing a wide variety of cultures. You are carried along the course by music from start to finish – believe me, it truly keeps you going!

Belly dancers. Joking EMTs on bikes. Army National Guardsmen. Irish dance students. 5k finishers staying to volunteer at the 15k water stations. Countless neighborhood folks – some who have cheered on runners for more than 16 years.

You are guaranteed to run into some you know between the start and the after party.

The costumes! Captain America. The guy running wearing Crocs and a sombrero. Someone dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow. The Blues Brothers – complete in the suits, hats, shoes and sunglasses. The drool worthy runner wearing American Flag shorts and thankfully, no shirt…sadly, he was way too fast for me to snap a picture.  I tried…trust me.  I nearly lost my running buddy in the attempt.

The inspirational – the much older runners, the wheelchair athletes, the blind runner, the young lady with a full prosthetic right leg, the people reclaiming their health after years of neglect.

Free Saranac beer afterwards…best small town brewery ever!  I’ll be honest. It tastes damn good after – but don’t overdo it!

The flyover during the after party!! WHOOOOOSH!!!


Lastly – being part of such a fantastic tradition that draws people from all over the world to my little neck of the woods.

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One thought on “Why I Love The Utica Boilermaker 15k

  1. Love it, Shawn! The Boilermaker is the reason I got excited about running. 2012 was my third year running it and I hope to make it an annual tradition. I look forward to our pasta party each year, the guy with the .1 mile (only 9.2 miles to go for free beer!) sign, my cousins hadning out ice chips on the parkway and a seemingly endless, awesome turnout from the City of Utica. Long live the Boilermaker!!

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