Boilermaker Eve & Some Changes

Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary for Utica 15k Boilermaker. The Utica Boilermaker is the largest 15k race in the country and had a record sell out in March this year. This years 15k race has the largest field in the race’s 35 year history with 14,000 runners lining up at the starting line at 2201 Dwyer Avenue Utica, NY and finishing on Court Street just blocks from the post race party at the F.X. Matt Brewery Company. 300 kegs will be tapped before 9:00am and the free Saranac beer will flowing into the thirsty mouths of the sweaty runners along with 40,000 running fans in the brewery parking lot. There’s nothing like a cold brew beverage to kick off your Sunday with a rapid beer buzz.

I have run this race for seventeen plus years with a PR in 1994 with a time of 1:03:32 and a disappointing time of 1:24:57 in 2007 and lots of finishing times in between those results.

Goal for tomorrow is to finish! I contemplated transferring to the 5k race due to the number of down hills on the course but decided that I wanted to keep my Boilermaker running streak alive so I will walk the downhills so I didn’t miss out on all the festivities along the course.

For the years Tim and I have been running this race, we have followed somewhat of a predictable routine year after year. Friday night – drive to Utica and attend the expo at Masonic Care Community campus followed by dinner (pizza & hot buffalo wings) at Tom Cavallo’s restaurant in New Hartford – Saturday– rest up and consume a carbo loaded meal- Race Day– race, attend post race party and see how many empty Saranac plastic cups I can pile up underneath the one with a full beer, dance in the middle of the parking lot to Nik and The Nice Guys band, spy the legendary Bill Rodgers, approach Mr. Rodger’s and strike up a conversation, take several photos of me & Bill Rodgers, have Bill Rodgers sign my bib number, etc. etc. etc. I think you get where this is going.

So Tim and I kicked off Boilermaker last night attending the expo for race packet pickup. But the expo location was changed this year to Mohawk Valley Community College. I really enjoyed the change of locale. The expo was perfectly organized this year with vendors spread out in front of the athletic building outside and inside the gymnasium. It was really a nice change and there were no parking issues to be concerned with.

I spied Bill Rodgers at the expo this year but bypassed him at the expo in search of another celebrity that was rumored to draw many fans. Who was this celebrity you might ask?? Clue: He was a major player in season 7 of The Celebrity Apprentice. Clue: some of the other celebs in this season were: Piers Morgan (winner), Trace Adkins, Gene Simmons, Nadia Comaneci, Tito Ortiz and Omarosa… The celebrity I was stalking was the 10th person to be fired out of 14 contestants by Mr. Donald Trump.

This famous celebrity was born in Syracuse and has three brothers who are also well know actors. In fact, one of his older brothers recently hosted and emceed the Academy awards. His mother is also well know for establishing a breast cancer research fund in her name.

I know that you are dying to find out who I rubbed elbows with last night. So take a lookey…

We chatted for a while talking about his experience on the Celebrity Apprentice and what it was really like in the boardroom when the show was being filmed. I also told him that I would love to be a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice and asked him to persuade Mr. Trump to hire me! I must say that Stephen Baldwin was a nice down to earth man with a sincere personality.

The Celebrity Apprentice  Stephen Baldwin

The Celebrity Apprentice
Stephen Baldwin

He autographed my Boilermaker bib number and an 8X10 portrait of himself and wished me good luck in the race. After my brush with fame, Tim and I walked back to a car to fetch some pizza at Varsity Pizza on the SU campus that was close to home. It’s good to change-up the pace once in a while and not follow protocol.

IMG_1278

I’m hoping that his autograph on my bib will bring me good luck tomorrow. As I said before there will be no PR’s being set tomorrow. It will all be about the fun & excitement before, during and after the race! Good Luck to all you runners out there that are running the Boilermaker 15k & 5k tomorrow!

If you have ever run the Utica Boilermaker, what is your favorite thing about the race?? Also, what are the chances that Johnny Depp will be in attendance at next years Boilermaker??