By Christina Schiavo, Corporate Relations Intern, Palio
Most of you are probably curious as to what the Boilermaker Road Race is and why it draws so much attention to Utica, NY. This isn’t just any old race; it is touted as the largest 15K (9.3-mile) road race in the United States. Since its inaugural race in 1978, the Boilermaker has rapidly grown into a Nation favorite, drawing in elite and casual runners from all around the world who are looking to experience the magic of the Boilermaker.
Here’s a little history for you; the Boilermaker was created by Earle C. Reed, boiler business owner, who wanted to give back to the local community. According to the official website, the race began with just over 800 runners and a budget of $750. It wasn’t until 1983 that The Boilermaker took off, gaining national attention, on account of renowned American distance runner, Bill Rodgers. Rodgers not only participated but won the event with a time of 44:38, giving the race a great deal of exposure and credibility.
Since, The Boilermaker has reeled in elite runners, including famous Olympians and world record holders. Ed Eyestone, two-time Olympic marathoner and long distance runner, won the 14th Boilermaker in 1991. World record holder, Joseph Kimani of Kenya, won two-consecutive years and holds the race’s all-time record of 42:40.
It is incredible that what started as a race to support the local community turned into not only a nation-wide but world-renowned event that runners everywhere don’t want to miss. “The Boilermaker has been named by the Analytical Distance Runner as the most competitive 15K road race in the world” (Boilermaker, 2012). –With that being said, you can imagine the motivation and drive it instills in runners looking for a challenge.
The 35th annual Boilermaker was held on July 8 and Palio’s own, Tim Roberts, participated in the race. We would like to congratulate Roberts on this incredible accomplishment! Enthused post-race, Roberts had nothing but wonderful things to say about the event, the city and most of all his personal experience running in this year’s 15K. “I had a lot of fun. It was a nice weekend away,” said Tim Roberts, producer. “This was my first time in Utica too, –Everyone is so friendly!”
Roberts was one of 11,360 runners who finished in the Boilermaker 15K. The 5k had 3,300 participating runners. The course is notorious for being extremely hilly, which Roberts absolutely confirmed. He managed to push through the consistently hilly course and finished the race with a time of 1:12. Robert’s time is above average, which the average for male runners was 1:31:17 this year. Out of the 11,360 runners, Roberts finished in 1,201th place. Already anticipating next year’s Boilermaker, “I’m doing it every year from now on,” said Roberts. “This is one race I will not miss!”
The winner of this year’s Boilermaker was Tilahun Regassa of Ethiopia. Regassa flew through the course, finishing in 43 minutes flat. –In simplest terms, he ran a little under a 5-minute mile pace throughout the entirety of the 9.3-mile race.
Roberts is a dedicated runner and his passion pours out as you talk to him about his past racing experiences. He is an extremely skillful runner, having competed in countless races. In fact, he holds a couple of company records for his times in The Saratoga Palio, which takes place annually in the fall, this year on September 16.
One thing you wouldn’t be able to tell is that Roberts suffers from tendinitis, which makes running even more of a challenge. Rather than giving up, he pushes through the pain to reach set goals and feel that sense of accomplishment that he enjoys greatly after a race. “I love racing. –I always feel a sense of accomplishment because I’m challenging myself,” said Roberts. “It’s something that motivates me.”
For Roberts, it was fascinating to see and feel the excitement that ran through the city of Utica (pun intended). This annual event is something that really gets the residents going –When the Boilermaker arrives, that’s all anyone can talk about. Roberts mentioned that local businesses were closed for the day and everyone headed to the race (or to the brewery for the big after party). “I would best describe it as one big parade with tons of people on the sidelines cheering for the runners,” said Roberts. “The crowd was something else, it was exhilarating!” There wasn’t a meter of the race route not covered with cheering supporters.
As you may know, the Boilermaker 15K is the premier event throughout the Boilermaker weekend. Other Boilermaker events include a 5K, a 3 mile walk and a kid’s run. Also available is the Boilermaker 15K Wheelchair Race. –This event begins prior to the 15K and supports athletes in wheelchairs. According to the Boilermaker website, this event provides up to $14,300 in prize money for wheel chair athletes. Roberts found this to be the most inspirational aspect of the weekend. “It was very inspiring –You see people in the wheelchair races and some are really struggling but never giving up,” said Roberts. “Everyone is cheering them on so it’s very moving and just incredible to be a part of.”
Every year there is a Boilermaker Post Race Party that is held at the F.X. Matt Brewery, home of Saranac beer. Interestingly enough, the party starts at 9am (so does the race) and spectators head over to start drinking before the race even ends. Roberts was able to head into the post party for a little after he completed the 15K. –Now that’s a true champ! Bet that was one rowdy, sweaty bunch of athletes celebrating their newest achievement.
We’re excited to hear about Robert’s next big race and athletic accomplishment. Interested in running the 36th Boilermaker? It is scheduled for Sunday July 14, 2013. Start preparing now for the most competitive 15k in the world! All that’s left to say is kudos to you, Tim Roberts, on a job well done!
Here at Palio, health and wellness runs through everything we do – in the office and out. And our employees are involved from every angle! From running to yoga, and tennis to ironman – you name it, we’ve got folks who do it. Because health is such a big part of our lives and work, our Because We Can health initiatives series is designed to highlight the passions, commitments, accomplishments and goals of a few of the members of our team.
Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.