Boilermaker weekend is one of my favorite times of the year. The whole Utica, NY community comes out to support this 15K road race. It is always fun, exciting and inspiring; this year was no exception. I had a lot of family come in for the weekend, some to run and some to cheer on those running. We all checked out the expo on Saturday, loaded up on pasta and water and tried to get some sleep.
Sunday morning dawned beautiful and we had another gorgeous race day, albeit humid. My husband ran his 4th Boilermaker and had a respectable time despite some training setbacks. My dad finished his 3rd Boilermaker with a personal best. Go Dad! My mother in law and sister in law both ran their first Boilermakers. Welcome to the club, ladies! My father in law ran the 5K race that follows the end of the 15K course. So proud of him for deciding to take on that challenge!
My mom and brother staked out space at the finish line to cheer for everyone. As for me, I was technically just a spectator, but got quite a workout in over the weekend anyway! I snagged a T-shirt for doing push-ups at the Beef Council booth. On race day, I logged almost 10 miles on my trusty, folding, 1-speed commuter bike. After parking the car at the finish line, I rode to watch the start of the 5K, rode further down the course and watched some more of the 5K, rode up to my traditional spot just past the start of the 15K and cheered on all the runners. After the last one ran by, I jumped on my bike, zipped back to the finish line, folded up my bike, and hopped into the bleachers just in time to see the winner coming down the home stretch. Then it was time to cheer for the other 13,999 runners:)
Boilermaker is one the few sporting events in my life where I am just a spectator. For most of my life I have either been one of the ones competing or coaching the competitors. The few events I did get to go watch were massive pro or DI college games, where I didn’t personally know anyone who was competing. At Boilermaker I get to cheer on my friends and family and watch them achieve their goals. It’s a nice change of pace and I am looking forward to next year already!