2008 Utica Boilermaker

This post is about 3 weeks late but here it is none the less.

We stayed at the Artful Lodger again this year.  It’s a nice clean B&B about 15 minutes outside of Utica in Clinton NY.  I really like staying there but I think they raised their rates and they require a two night minimum stay for Boilermaker weekend.  Next year we may find different accommodations.  We may use the GRTC Boilermaker bus if it is offered again or we (more likely) will take up our friend Matt’s offer
to stay at his home.

I didn’t run a smart race this year.  I should have known better since I’ve run the course twice already.  I started out too fast.  I wanted to maintain at least a 7:30 minute per mile pace.  That wasn’t a bad goal but I pushed too hard at the beginning where the largest hill is. The fourth (or fifth?) mile is completely downhill and rather steep. I pushed myself going down that hill and paid for it the rest of the
race.  My legs were tired and my stomach was upset.

I’ve never bought into the argument that headphones are a safety hazard on race courses but I was proven wrong.  While running down that downhill in the fourth mile I heard people shouting that a wheelchair participant was coming up (I wasn’t wearing headphones).  I peeked behind my shoulder and saw the wheelchair coming.  I also saw a guy to my left in the way of the wheel chair.  The guy was only a few feet away from me.  I shouted at the top of my lungs at the guy to get him to move out of the way but he didn’t notice I was there.  He couldn’t hear my shouting.  The wheelchair hit him on the side of the leg.  He clearly couldn’t hear people telling him to get out of the way.

I also saw, at about mile 9, a young woman collapse.  She was running along and then pretty much folded in half and fell onto the ground. When I passed her a spectator was on his way over to help her and she had stood back up.  She didn’t look like she was in good shape.  I hope she was OK but I’ll never know.

Seeing Mary, Cassie, and Marie helped me forget about the impending vomit rising from my stomach.  I pushed on for the rest of the race. I finished with a PR of 1:08:11 (a 7:19 average pace), about 8 minutes better than the previous year and 4 minutes beter than my most recent 15k.  Unfortunately there was a problem with the timing system and so my net “chip”) time for the race doesn’t exist.  My official time was about 1:10 as it took me about 2 minutes to reach the starting line.

After the race I met up with everyone (Marie, Corey, Mary, Cassie, Matt, and others).  We enjoyed the official post race party and then an unofficial post race party at the Saccos.  After that party we went to another post race party at Matt’s.  There might not be a whole lot in Utica and Rome NY but Uticians (yes, I just made that up) and Romans and are incredibly hospitable people!  Matt and the Sacco’s, if you read this, thank you again!

I’m hoping 2009 will be just like this year; another year, another Boilermaker, another PR, beer, and more friends.

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