Tomorrow morning I will be running in the Utica Boilermaker 15k. Why you may ask? Well, when I decided to stop running ultra's and focus on the shorter distances 3 years ago when I turned 60 one thing I wanted to do was try and compete in some of the classic non marathon races that have been around since the time I began racing or earlier.
In my younger days I ran the Virginia 10 miler in 1978. I met Bill Rodgers there and got an autograph and he just happened to be at the race expo today.( He won this one in 1983). I also ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler a couple of times including my 10 mile pr run in 1983. The Maggie valley 5 miler used to draw a couple of thousand runners and was big on the elite circuit in the early 80's.
But my big time racing ended soon after that and once I decided to start the second life as a racer I concentrated on ultras and marathons.
Well a few years ago about the time I was doing some running and workouts with Laura, she went to Utica as an invited elite masters female and crushed it and came back raving about the race so I thought I'd give it a try. Only problem is it's always the weekend of Grandfather Mt Marathon. But two years ago I signed up but then had the stress fracture in my heel that kept me from running for over 3 months so I cancelled that trip. And then last year I had big plans for GMM but lack of training ( no excuses I just didn't do the work) cancelled that.
So this year not having anything big on the agenda for Summer I decided it was time to finally come to NY. Well, I'm not in racing shape but I'm going to toe the line in the morning and do what I can and try to have some fun.
This is a big race with nearly 12,000 finishers last year and even more in a 5k for about 19,000 total !
Last year I was able to knock off another big race, the Cotton Row 10k and I hope to race one or two of the other classics for as long as I can. But for now, wish me luck, I'm gonna need it.
Here is the race website.