Boilermaker 15k: A Race Recap (Sorta)

18 Jul

The Boilermaker 15k is held each year in Utica, NY and attracts huge talent.  They have pretty good (and deep) payouts and run an incredibly smooth race – this is not only a race that sells out, but it’s a race where you’re hoping to place in the top 50 in your age group.   Well, if you’re a mid-packer like me, I suppose.

This is honestly my favorite race.  I don’t want to trash talk Utica, but it’s not maybe the best of places to live in Upstate New York.  But on Boilermaker Sunday?  This city comes out in droves with the best damn spectators I’ve ever seen.  There is rarely a lonely stretch during this race, and the course is lined with witty signs, people spraying hoses at you, families handing out popsicles, etc, etc.  Then there’s the after party, where the band is actually good and there’s free Saranac beer – this ain’t your typical Miller 64/Mich Ultra post-race type crap.  Unlimited craft beer on tap.  Did you hear me?  Unlimited. craft. beer. on. tap.

Ok, sorry.  This is supposed to be a running blog.  Carrying on.

So I really love the Boilermaker and was very much looking forward to this race.  My co-workers get kind of competitive about it so I was hoping to run strong for bragging rights (I’m shallow, what can I say).  If it was a good day, I was hoping to finish in 67-68 (~7:15 pace), and if it was hot, I was hoping 69 would happen (~7:25 pace).

It was hot.

I ignored it and tried to hammer out 7:15s anyway.

I overheated by mile 3, had to let off the gas, and finished in 1:10:42, 22 seconds slower than last year.


Official time: 1:10:42

925/11,371 Overall
137/5,379 Females
35/994 AG


There’s not much else I want to say about it.  I was humbled by this race.  I thought that I had a PR in the bag, and that I was setting good goals for myself.  But, my fitness just wasn’t where I thought it would be, and that’s that.

I’m not really upset with the result, I’m just not where I thought I was.  And that’s ok.  It’s a long training cycle, and beyond that, I still have a whole lifetime ahead of me to keep improving.

So with that, I’ll bring you the race highlights: the good, the bad, the ugly.

The Good

The post-race party, duh!

And on this day, I declared "I am better at beer drinking than running.  So beer drinking it is."

And on this day, I declared “I am better at beer drinking than running. So beer drinking it is.”

I also love watching the awards ceremony.  From the handcycle and wheelchair participants, to the masters, to the open male and female – the athletes that compete in this race are incredible and I love to get my cheer on.  Especially after a beer or two.

Male masters.  Including the ever-inspiring coach of my running group who is just phenomenal.

Male masters. Including the ever-inspiring coach of my running group on the right who is just phenomenal.

American women!  The fabulous PickyBars co-founder Steph Rothstein-Bruce in first, followed by SU alum Maegan Krifchin.  These women are amazing.

American women! The fabulous PickyBars co-founder Steph Rothstein-Bruce in first, followed by SU alum Maegan Krifchin. These women are amazing.

The Bad

My core temp got pretty high during the race and I was basically shoving ice down my bra every chance I got.  Which then melted, and made it look like I peed my pants in all my race photos.  I’m pretty!

I'm a classy broad.

I’m a classy broad.

The Ugly

I got to the start kind of late, and knew I had to make a choice between a short warmup or waiting in line for the porta potty.  Because I’m a renaissance woman and dammit, I CAN have it all, I decided to run off into the bushes.  Hey, if the dudes are doing it, why can’t I?  Well, the reason – I presume – that the ladies weren’t taking advantage of nature’s restroom is because when I dropped trou to take care of business, I squatted into what I believe to be the home of the entire mosquito population of Utica, NY.  It’s not easy to pee, try to not fall over into your pee, try to not pee on your shorts, and try to keep approximately 100 mosquitos off of you.  Which is why I have no less than 47 bites on my butt and my ankles.  Yes, I counted.  Yes, you are welcome.  (P.S. sorry mom)

The Extra Good

Um, came home and sat on my boat all day doing nothing, hello.

Trying to work off my shorts tan lines.

Trying to work off my shorts tan lines.


So to recap: I still love the Boilermaker, and everyone should come run it with me next year and then we’ll drink some good beer and spend the rest of the day on a boat on the lake.  Ok?  Ok.



4 Responses to “Boilermaker 15k: A Race Recap (Sorta)”

  1. Pittsburgh Runner July 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    My hubby’s BF is from Utica, and he RAVES about this race as well. I’ve only heard about the beer from him, and I have no clue what the course is like!

    We all have races like that, I’m guilty of going out too fast at most races. It probably won’t be the last time you do that either, but hey, I bet you still had fun!

    Nice job regardless!

  2. HollieisFueledByLOLZ July 19, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    I really want to run the boilermaker one day. It seems everyone in Upstate NY runs that race. I feel you though and I wouldn’t worry too much about it…it’s been so darn hot everywhere lately so it’s not exactly enjoyable to run…ever… Maybe you should seek redemption and come run the rock and roll half on Labor Day in VA Beach…just saying…

  3. Laura @losingrace July 19, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    1:10 is a ridiculously solid time for that hard (and packed) course, and in that heat–and you’re just saving your super fitness runs for Wineglass when you BQ, trust me I get it.

    Craft beer, yum.

    I won’t be able to do this with you next year- as I already have something planned but we still will plan something!

    P.S.we need to look at our schedules and find some times to get long runs in together! I’m so pumped and it’s been way too long since I have seen your face. I think we should also make a cardboard cutout of Hollie to run with us. Just a thought (unless you’re work on the teleportation device is coming quicker than planned.)


  1. Wineglass Marathon Training: Week 7 | UpstateRunner - July 24, 2013

    […] 7/15:  40 minutes very easy, Boilermaker recovery. 4.1 […]

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