Tag Archives: Utica Boilermaker


At approximately 8:41 a.m. this morning, I turned 23 years old.


Holy cow—talk about old!


Ballet days throwback.  My grandparents included this photo in the above birthday card–aren’t they sweet?

It seems like yesterday I was playing high school basketball, then hanging out at CampHoho going to college.  Where has the time gone?


In all honest, though, 22 treated me very well.


I rang in my second year of official adulthood with plenty of homemade cupcakes and Pinot Grigio.


I ran my first relay race, the Seneca7, with some awesome Writing and Rhetoric teammates.



What?!  Who doesn’t like pondering grammar?

I had so much fun fully embracing the sweetness of senior spring—after completing my Honors project, of course.



I survived my first wine tour.




I graduated?!





I decided to give blogging and triathloning a shot.


I volunteered at the Syracuse 70.3 Ironman—and watched MB kick some serious butt!


I partied through ran the Boilermaker 15-K with Sara.


I bonded with Zelda at the Grapehound Wine Tour.


I finished my first triathlon—and was instantly hooked!


I completed my second and third swim-bike-run events.


I moved to New York City, survived Hurricane Sandy, and found a big-girl internship.


I explored Brooklyn with Gabby and Connie.


I spent lots of quality time with my family during Thanksgiving and Christmas.


I officially started training with Full Throttle Endurance.


I trigeeked out and met Craig Alexander.


Twenty-two was pretty sweet, but 23, I’m ready for you—let’s do it!

Boilermaker Expo and 15-K Roadrace Recap

Wow, I can’t believe it was only yesterday I ran the Boilermaker 15-K in Utica, NY!


Although I attended the race after graduating from high school, this 35th annual showcase was my first time “running Utica.”  I had an absolute blast—talk about a 9.3-mile party!

Saturday – Boilermaker Expo

On Saturday afternoon, I picked up my friend Sara from the Utica bus/train station, and we went to the expo.  Held at Mohawk Valley Community College, this Boilermaker kickoff event allowed the sold-out race crowd (14,000 entered the 15-K and 11,360 finished) to pick up their race bibs and “swag bags.”

In addition to registration logistics, more than 70 vendors set up tables, including booths for the Turning Stone Races and The Mighty Run, a obstacle/adventure race held in Utica.  Sara and I were all about loading up on free samples, and some of my favorites included Larabar and Chobani stops.

For an afternoon snack, I tried this Vanilla Chocolate Chunk, and it was really good!

It tasted sweet—more like a dessert—and I would definitely have it again.

Saranac, a local brewery and another official sponsor, also had a tent.  Although I was tempted to “carbo”-load on beer, I figured it would taste much more refreshing after running 9.3 miles.  Gulp!

Sunday – Boilermaker 15-K

A 4 a.m.-wakeup call started race-day, and my dad, Sara, and I left the house around 5:30 a.m.  It takes about an hour to get to Utica, and we picked up a few fellow runners on the way.

Because so many people participate in the Boilermaker, the race utilized staggered corral starts based on each runner’s estimated finishing time. (During online registration, each runner had to specify their estimated overall time.)

Even though my bib was steel blue—I calculated my estimated time using 8:30 splits, I think—I stayed in the gold corral to run with Sara.  We didn’t have a goal-time or target pace; for us, the race was all about having fun and taking full advantage of the “party in the middle of the pack.”

The best way to see a city is by foot, and the racecourse weaved through the streets of Utica.  By passing through neighborhoods and local hot spots, the runners became familiar with the city.  This 9.3-mile route promised a bit of everything—rolling hills, one somewhat steep climb, refreshing declines, and fast straight-aways.  Overall, the course felt relatively flat and fast; it would’ve been neat to run the race for time (there’s always next year!), and I bet it’s common for runners to set 15-K PR’s at the Boilermaker.

The Boilermaker is what it is—a 15-K party run—because of the awesome volunteers, fans, and spectators.  Along every twist, turn, hill, you name it, friendly people camped out to watch, cheer, clap, and hold up signs.  The energy from the fans was contagious, and I couldn’t help smiling, laughing, and cheering right back!  Honestly, I think I was grinning like an idiot the entire time because I was so happy.  A lot fans sprayed runners with hoses and handed out freezer pops, too.  As if the energetic spectators weren’t enough, every mile contained at least one DJ booth or big-time boom box that blasted music, and there were also live, local artists playing along the course.  Everyone—from the fans to the volunteers to the EMS workers—were super encouraging and supportive.  The 9.3 miles went by too quickly!

Sara and I didn’t run the race competitively—our official time was a leisurely 1:43—but we had so much fun!  After eating some orange slices, we embarked on a new quest—finding beer!  Ha.

Definitely well deserved.  We sipped our beers while stretching out, and then we went to search for food.  Although each runner’s bib comes equipped with a “lunch” tab—you tear it off and hand it in to get a bagged lunch—there were no more bagged lunches.  What the heck?  Luckily, we were able to track down bananas, water, and Chobani yogurt.

Hands down, the Boilermaker 15-K is one of the top two races I’ve ever run.  After the frustration I experienced on Wednesday, this festive and fun run was exactly what I needed.  There was no pressure to perform, and there were no problems with my calves; by scaling down my efforts and completing the race with a friend, I remembered why I run and why I love to run.  Between the lively atmosphere and enthusiastic fans, the Boilermaker was one big party!  I highly recommend running if you can—I know I will next year.

It’s Almost Time

Happy Saturday, friends!  Did you do anything fun last night?  I had yet another extended family get-together; I think we’re on 4th of July, Part III—just one of the perks of having a huge Irish/Italian/Roman Catholic family.

In other news, it’s almost Boilermaker time!

T-minus one day—AH!


I took yesterday completely off, and I went on a short, one-mile run this morning.  My body is finally starting to rebound from Wednesday’s race, but I definitely won’t have rested legs.  I’m worried how well my body will hold up tomorrow—mentally, there’s a huge question mark regarding how my calves will feel—but my main goal tomorrow is to have fun.


After my shakeout run, I toasted two Kashi waffles for a go-to favorite.

Plus PB and banana slices, of course.


I threw together a quick salad with spinach, turkey, carrots, celery, sliced almonds, red peppers, and lemon vinaigrette dressing.

For dessert, I had a bowl of frozen black grapes.  They hit the spot!

The Boilermaker

Coming off a less-than-stellar showing at the Cazenovia 4th of July 10-mile Footrace, I’m going into the Boilermaker with zero expectations:  I will listen to my body, run accordingly, and have fun.  Sara, one of my friends from HWS, is coming to stay with me and will be running tomorrow as well.  We always have a blast together, and I’m looking forward to having a running buddy—there were definitely times on Wednesday when I could’ve used a friend’s positive encouragement.  This will be my first race running with someone, so I’m excited for this new experience.  Plus, one of the Boilermaker articles I’ve read says the “middle of the pack … is just one big, moving party,” and who wants to leave a party early?

I’m off to pick up Sara from the bus station, visit the expo, and pick up some free swag.  Have a great day, everyone!

Have you ever run a race with someone?  Did you have a goal-pace/-time in mind, or did you run for fun?