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Fans just as important to Boilermaker Sunday as runners

By By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - As around 12,000 men and women ran the 2009 Boilermaker, many more than that number of fans cheered the runners on, along the 9.3 mile race route.

We caught up with live bands along the Parkway and on Champlain Avenue.  The music gave the runners a bit of a boost, but maybe not as much a boost as the fans themselves gave them. Carol James of Utica heads to the Parkway every year, "I have a brother in Atlanta and his kids all go to the Peachtree Race and I said you need to come here, this is the place to be."

Even a runner, turned into a fan on Sunday.  Marianne Szupryna of Sauquoit has achilles tendonitis and that forced her to stop the race around the two mile marker on the Parkway, "I thought I could make it, I made it this far and I've got to pull out."  So Szupryna picked up cups of ice to hand out, and started cheering on her fellow runners.

Chris Buffa says she turns out to cheer her family and friends on every year along Champlain Avenue, and seems to never stop clapping, "I've been doing it for 23 years, they are out there working hard, the least I can do is this."

John Perry is the girls softball coach at Notre Dame High School, he also spent the morning on Champlain Avenue rooting his players on who run the race, "if they see us, they know they're almost there, they're coming down the homestretch."

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