2007 Utica Boilermaker

Wow. I don’t know how else to start this entry. I had a great time this year at the Boilermaker.

Last year we stayed at the Quality Inn in Rome, NY. That was a horrible experience and we’ll never stay there again. This year Mary booked us for two nights at the Artful Lodger in Clinton, NY. It was our first stay at a bed and breakfast and we didn’t know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised. It was a nice place to stay. It was incredibly clean and we had a bathroom in our room (as all the rooms there do). It turns out that Clinton is closer to Utica than Rome which was an added benefit. If I don’t take the Fleet Feet/Yellow Jacket Racing bus to the Boilermaker next year I’ll probably stay at the Artful Lodger again.

Last year Mary, my sister, and my brother-in-law ran the race. This year Mary couldn’t run because she was recovering from pregnancy. My sister couldn’t make it this year either. My sister-in-law did run this year. Last year she ran the 5k (sorry for not mentioning that last year!). My friend John also ran this year. After the event I learned that two people that I know from my office also ran the race. Although I knew quite a few people running the race I didn’t see anyone I knew until we met up at the end of the race. I didn’t even see anyone at the beginning of the race. I guess that’s not surprising since there were almost 11,000 runners!

On the way to the race a police officer refused to let us cross over one of the roads that was part of the course. It was still nearly and hour before the event. I think that he didn’t understand that we didn’t want to drive ON the course but pass through the intersection. We were about 1 mile from the starting line so I got out of the car and walked there. Mary had to call for directions to get to our sister-in-law’s parents house due to the road closing. I’m sure that wasn’t fun early in the morning with Cassie in the car.

When I got to the starting area I prepped for the race. The best thing I did this year was pin gel packs to my shorts under my bib. The didn’t bounce because they were under the bib and I could easily tear them off of my shorts because I pinned the top of the gel packs. This technique worked extremely well. I’ll be doing this for all of my races now.

This year I had a yellow bib. That mean that I was one coral ahead of the “everyone else” group. This was really great because I didn’t spend the first few miles avoiding people that were slower runners than I was. It also meant that I was only about 1 minute and 30 seconds off of gun time. Last year I think I was 9 minutes off of gun time!

The race was incredible once again. In the first mile I saw about a dozen belly dancers. The crowds in general at this race are excellent. Once again this year at around mile 7 I saw my favorite spectator — the man on stilts. Once again this year I slapped him five.

This is a 15k event which is about 9.3 miles. They had more than 20 water stops! That’s insane. I took advantage of a huge number of water stops mostly to pour water on myself and not in my stomach. It makes a huge difference for me when I keep my body cool.

The hardest part of the race is the first half. In the first half you face the mental battle of preventing yourself from running too fast too soon. You are also faced with at least one very steep hill which crests at the golf course. This year Mary and Cassie were at the crest of the hill to great me. It’s always awesome to see people you know and slap them five as you pass by. It’s even fun slapping people five that you don’t know.

On the way up the hill some kid more or less flew by me. I didn’t really like his attitude (I guess I’m an old man now). Maybe I’m evil but I felt great when I saw him puking at the top of the hill. Way to go kid, way to go.

After the hill crests there is an extremely downhill mile — mile 5. This year I paid special attention to see how quickly I ran it. I knew it’d be very fast but I was still surprised to see that I finished the mile in exactly 7 minutes. A 7 minute mile! That’s unreal for me, but again it was very downhill.

The terrain of the first half is more challenging but the weather conditions make the second half and especially the final 5k a real challenge. The last 5k has little shade and the heat radiates up from the road. I utilized a lot of water over my head to deal with this.

My times this year were amazing (for me). Better yet was the fact that I ran progressively faster for each 5k of the race.

  • First 5k: 26:32
  • Second 5k: 25:09
  • First 10k: 51:41
  • Final 5k: 24:53
  • Total: 1:16:33 an average of 8:13 per mile

I placedĀ  2379 overall, 1962 out of the male runners, and 209 out of 637 in my age group (!!!).

I’m already looking forward to running this again next year. I’ll end this post with a picture that was taken by Brightroom Photography. You need to pay special attention to this picture. Note that I have leg muscles. I have never had leg muscles before. Amazing! There are many more pictures posted here.

Me approaching the finish line

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