Sunday, July 12, 2009

Boilermaker 09-Utica Shines!

Me at Last years 08 Boilermaker

Start line 08 Boilermaker
by Finish Line Photos

Just relaxing now and savoring the memories of the 2009 Utica Boilermaker 15K Road Race. This event showcases much of what is so great about living in the Mohawk Valley. Over 14,500 runners registered to run in todays 15k and 5k races today. I would guess conservatively there were well over 20,000 people cheering on and supporting the runners on a beautiful summer day in Upstate New York. Runners who did the 15k, enjoyed running though several different multi-ethnic neighborhoods in East Utica, all while enjoying the beauty and scenery of the Mohawk Valley. They experienced the "International Mile" with it's belly dancers, Polish and Irish dancers, and other ethnic music groups and dancers. They had to run up the grueling Valley View golf course hill amidst the beauty of the Valley View Golf Course and the sight of the other side of the rolling hills of the Mohawk Valley as they begin the downhill out of the golf course. As the runners descended into South Utica, they were greeted by various Utica Zoo animals and their caretakers, thousands of spectators cheered them on as they ran through South Utica. Running past hundreds more in Uptown and Murnane Baseball Field, they begin another of the Boilermakers infamous challenges, Burrstone Road. Today was unusually cool and breezy, most times it is sweltering and hot as you run uphill into the hot, humid, July morning sun. It has been the nemesis of many a good runner. Clear Burrstone and make the turn onto Champlin Ave., and you were greeted by many hundreds of spectators crowding the corner, there to cheer on the runners after the grinding climb. All along the race course there were more music groups, dj's and individuals, all playing music to keep the spirit of the runners and the crowd up. Running down hill now past hundreds more runners passed by Utica College and St.Lukes Hospital. Just a little further down Champlin, runners are encouraged by the children and staff of the House of Good Shepherd, and the 10foot tall Uncle Sam giving "high fives". Many hundreds more spectators are crowded along Champlin. The crowd swells by hundreds more along the corner as you make the final turn onto Whitesboro Street, heading towards the finish a little more than a mile away. The music is blaring out "YMCA" there, and several runners form out the "Y" "M""C""A" with their arms, and some even eeek out a little dance step or two. As you work your way down Whitesboro Street many runners are winded and tired and just when you don't think you have anything left the crowd grows by the hundreds and maybe thousands, as you approach the finish line. They all encourage you to finish, along with the leprechaun who wishes you; "Luck of the Irish", and the Scottish Bagpipe band, (my favorite for reviving my spirits) as you make the final downhill charge for the finish line.
more to come...