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Will 2013 Boilermaker finishers reflect all the early interest?

By JOLEEN FERRIS

BOILERMAKER 2013 (WKTV) - The hype for the 2013 Boilermaker came early this year, selling out in just 68 hours.

Whether or not the number of finishers reflects all of the early interest in the race remains to be seen, but officials say two distinct possibilities are far fewer finishers than registered runners and lackluster times.

As the Boilermaker hype hit a fever pitch, the 'gotta get in' mentality set in immediately and thousands rushed to sign up.

However, the reality of running nine miles with killer hills set in a little later and now race officials say they are seeing evidence of this.

"What we've seen is a lot of transfers this year, over 800 transfers," said Boilermaker Race Director Jim Stasaitis. "So some of those people realize they can't do it. We've also seen a huge number of deferrals. Over 500 deferrals and they're still taking deferrals."

Between that and what the race president has called one of the worst training years ever, weather-wise, race organizers suspect there might be far fewer finishers than registered runners and not as many personal bests on the clock, as well. Next year, they're debating opening registration later, allowing less time for life to get in the way of training.

"Somebody gets sick, somebody breaks a leg, Cousin Suzie's getting married, we got to go the wedding," Stasaitis said of some of the reasons he hears from people for no longer taking part. "If we move it to maybe April, give it less time for that open time, people will maybe be in better shape. They won't drop out all these other things, so we're looking at that."

For this year, though, if you committed with the best intentions but just simply could not adequately train for the 15k, it might not be too late to run the 5k instead

"Limited numbers," Stasaitis said. "We don't want anyone running the 15k who can't do it. Safety first and if somebody's not up to it, it's gonna' be a hot day, we're not taking new runners, we're just sort of switching them over."

Regardless of when they open the registration window next year, race officials say it might close even sooner than it did this year.

"No matter when we open it, I think there's a very good chance it'll close out in less than 24 hours next year," Stasaitis said.

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