>> Monday, July 12, 2010
We've written about how much we love the Boilermaker 15K before. And after this year's event, I'll go as far as to say it's my favorite road race . . . EVER. Not only because I prefer half marathons and 15Ks to marathons (faster racing, faster recovery, less mileage-intensive training). But also because it's incredibly well organized . . . it's a great course . . . and the after-party is out-of-this-world amazing -- complete with free Saranac brews.
We also have a ton of friends who do the race each year (and it's definitely the kind of race you do again and again and again). I'd say in all, we knew over 15 people racing this year (and I'm sure more than that). So, we were definitely excited to see all of them at the expo and at the finish.
But, wait. Who's that FL girl in the lower right-hand photo? Is that . . . Healthy Ashley?! Yes. It is! We left for Utica, NY, on Saturday morning, and I just happened to check Twitter and then some blog posts. When I saw that Ashley (one of my favorite bloggers) would be around the expo for Bondi Band, I was -- at first -- in disbelief!
I was thrilled when I realized that this was "really happening" and I'd get to meet someone I've been chatting with for months now. Ashley is a sweetheart, and it was super fun to meet up with her and even do a little yoga.
I even snagged 3 Bondi Bands for myself. They're AWESOME. Especially this very race-appropriate one that reads: Will Run for Beer!
But after a bit, we had to move on and check out the rest of the expo with our best friends Lindsey and John.
I even tried a push-up challenge. But everyone looking at me psyched me out and I could only manage 48. Oh, well. There's always next year! (Plus, the prize was a shirt that said something about loving beef. Not exactly something I want or need.)
Some ladies really rocked this board!
Also! Free Greek yogurt!
Now, back to the real matter at hand: the race! We headed to bed early on Saturday night after watching a couple cooking shows. We don't have cable, so I was pretty much glued. Sleep wasn't that great. I woke up several times and then in what seemed like 10 minutes, it was 5AM and time to get up. Parking wasn't difficult, we parked near the start with no problem. The race attracted over 13,000 participants this year -- so, we were happy to experience little hassle.
More people meant more problems using porta-Johns before the race. I think the race directors did a good job with adding more this year. However, the lines were still horrendously long! Stephen and I are coming up with a list of race essentials, but related to the porta-Johns, we recommend bringing a bit of your own toilet paper and some antibacterial wipes! Ick.
The course isn't exactly flat, but I wouldn't call it hilly. I think my least favorite part is in the final mile. Spectators kept assuring us that "it's all down hill" after mile 7. But, uh. Hello, peoples . . . it's flat with a tiny up-hill near the end. So, if you -- like me -- decided to go all-out, that gentle incline didn't feel so gentle.
Yeah. Don't always listen to those (seriously fantastic) people on the sidelines.
But we couldn't have asked for better weather. Though the temps had been in the mid-90s all week, race morning temps were in the 70s. The sun was out. The humidity wasn't terrible. So, good overall.
After the race we searched around for our friends, ate snow cones, drank a couple beers, and enjoyed music. My favorite part every year is when the fighter jets fly overhead -- but I didn't seem to catch those this year. Our times, you ask? I PRed! Stephen didn't have the best race day (according to him), but he did wonderfully, too!
Here are our stats:
Official time: 1:13:45
2009th out of 11,525
78/932 for F25-29
341/5,114 F overall
Official time: 56:16
172nd out of 11,525
44/865 for M25-29
156/6,411 M overall
Will we do this race again? You betcha! And again and again and again! So, if you're in the upstate NY area (or even if you aren't), check out the Boilermaker 15K. As I wrote above, this year's event attracted a record-breaking number of people. It's the best-organized race I've ever participated in. And the people are just great -- every neighborhood comes out to cheer on the racers, it's one huge party from start to finish and beyond! Plus, if you "run for beer" like I do, it's the perfect motivation to get yourself off the couch and start running!
Now we're wondering -- what's YOUR favorite road race? Is there one that you return to year after year? Is there one we and other readers should check out? Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.
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