Boilermaker Part I (The Expo and the hotel)

This past weekend Mary and I ran our first “real” race, the 29th annual Utica Boilermaker 15k.

We left on Saturday and arrived in Utica around 2pm. Amazingly we didn’t get lost on our way there but we did get awfully confused as to why they have a road in Utica named 5S. No, that’s not route 5 south. Route 5S runs east-west. The road signs tell you how to get to route 5S E or 5S W. Anyhow, we arrived at the expo with little trouble. The expo was outdoors with a number of large tents and trailers from the large sponsors. GM had a trailer with video games and some of their newer vehicles. There was also a Buick trailer where you could get your picture taken with Tiger Woods. Of course it wasn’t real, it was just a blue-screen setup. I find that to be a really boring use of an expensive tractor trailer rig but hey, what do I know about running a large corporation?

There were plenty of people selling snake-oil. My favorite was a little piece of cloth that you put over your finger to wipe sweat away. They were trying to sell these things for 3$ a pop. I think I’d rather wear a sock over my hand. It’d probably work just as well and cost me a lot less money. There were also some terrible tasting energy bars and equally bad tasting wheat pasta. The only thing that I tried that didn’t taste too bad was a boca burger.

There wasn’t much that was exciting in the goodie bag. A pint glass was given (in place of a t-shirt?). There were some misc. other things in the bag but nothing very interesting.

At the expo we met up with my sister who was there on business. She was there promoting the Disney running events. She was rather ill and wasn’t functioning well even on Dayquill (sp?). We also met up with the official Rowe Runners Fan Club at the expo (my parents). We decided to leave the expo together to find out hotel in Rome, NY.

We made a number of wrong turns, which would become the norm for the weekend, and eventually found the hotel. When making a left into the hotel there was an SUV that I could not see around to safely make the turn. Some jerk two cars behind me starting honking his horn and getting upset. If that guy is reading this I would like him to know that I hate him. Hate is NOT a strong word. I hate him.

After I could make a safe turn we checked in. The “Quality” Inn in Rome was anything but quality. The place was disgusting. The hallway carpets were stained beyond belief. The room was dirty and all around disgusting. I can’t believe that they charged 130-150$ per night for this place. The walls in the room were stained and bubbled, there wasn’t enough strength to get wireless internet access, there was a smear on our headboard, and the fridge was stacked on top of a pallete. I will NEVER stay at this place again. The only person on earth that I would recommend this place to is the jerk that was honking at me…he’s probably the owner.

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