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Boilermaker draws deployed soldier home

By CAROLINE GABLE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - With just under four days to go until the 2011 Boilermaker, the field is set to include elite runners from around the globe.

However, one local runner has traveled more miles than most in order to get to the finish line. Sgt. Chris Mursch hasn't crossed the Boilermaker finish line in seven years, but now the clock is ticking and this race that has brought him home to Whitesboro, is just around the corner.

Since that race many years ago, Mursch has been to Alaska, Kuwait, and most recently, deployed to Iraq. Although he's been far from home, the Boilermaker has never been far from his thoughts.

"I told a bunch of the guys in my shop that I was going to run this when I came home and they didn't know what it was...what it was all about... but they'll see," Mursch said.

Mursch has dedicated his life and career to serving his country, and it has earned him the title of Sergeant. It has also taught him the power of determination as a heavy equipment manager while deployed.

During his time in Iraq, Sgt. Mursch worked in a climate that makes this weekend race forecast look like a walk in the park.

"Over there in the desert, it's not that humid, it is a dry heat, but a 100 plus degrees," Mursch said. "It gets pretty hot, plus the altitude is a lot higher too. "

Above all this, Sgt. Mursch will tell you there is one thing that sets this race apart from all the others he has run in before.

"You get free beer at the end," Mursch laughed.

His goal is to finish the race in under 90 minutes and he hopes crossing the finish line feels just as good as the feeling of being home.

You can be certain if you see him on race day, he'll be cherishing every minute of it.

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