UTICA – The 41st Boilermaker Road Race is only three days away!
Each year on the second Sunday in July, nearly 19,000 people lace up and hit the pavement for the 15K and 5K races, and thousands line the streets – with music, signs, high-fives and more – to watch the runners take on the course.
While many Boilermaker runners, volunteers and spectators have been involved with the famed 15K for years, or they lived locally and heard about the race for years before becoming involved themselves, how much do they really know about the Boilermaker Road Race?
This year’s post-race party beer will be Saranac’s Haus Lager – but do you know how many kegs will be used at the party? Do you know the average percentage of runners who complete the 15K race, compared to how many registered for it? Do you know who correctly predicted the winners of the 15K race in 2011, including their finish times?
If you can’t answer those questions, you’re not alone – but we’ve got you covered!
Check out these Boilermaker Fun Facts provided by the Boilermaker Road Race:
- Through 2017, there have been 296,009 registrants with 250,667 finishers. This gives the race an average of 85% of the participants who register finish the race.
- Participants from 58 countries have participated in the Boilermaker through 2018.
- 2015 was the first year the Boilermaker offered early access entries for those who ran the previous year race within the time limits. Runners only were allowed early access for the race they ran the year before.
- The 2014, Boilermaker sold faster than any other year. The 15K closed in 2 hours and 19 minutes and the 5K closing 20 minutes later. This was before the early-access registration period for previous participants and deferrals was instituted in 2015.
- In 2010, the Boilermaker saw four records fall; the men’s and women’s course records and a record number of participatants in both the 15K and the 5K. The participation numbers have since been broken multiple times but the course records still stand.
- Utica has had six Mayors since the start of the Boilermaker. They are Stephen J. Pawlinga (19781983), Louis D. LaPolla (1984-1995), Edward A. Hanna (1996-2000), Timothy J. Julian (2000-2007) David P. Roefaro (2008-2011) and Robert Palmeri (2012 – present).
- Edward Hanna commissioned the finish line arch. Timothy Julian is the only Mayor of Utica to run the Boilermaker.
- Mayor Pawlinga started the race in 1979.
- The hottest Boilermaker was a scorching 92 degrees, at the time of the race start, on July 10, 1988.
- Oneida County has had ten County Executives since the start of the Boilermaker. They are William E. Bryant (1974-1979), Antoinette Hyer (1979), Seymour Greene (1979), Michael Nasser (1979), Sherwood L. Boehlert (1980-1982), John D. Plumley (1983-1991), Raymond A. Meier (1991-1996), Ralph J. Eannace Jr.(1997-2003), Joseph A. Griffo (2003-2006) and Anthony J. Picente, Jr. (2007 – present).
- New York State has had six Governors since the start of the Boilermaker. They are Hugh Carey (19751982), Mario Cuomo (1983-1994), George Pataki (1995-2006), Eliot Spitzer (2007-2008), David Paterson (2008 – 2010) and Andrew Cuomo (2011 – present).
- George Pataki was the first Governor of New York State to attend the Boilermaker (2002). He is the only Governor to hold the finish line banner. Eliot Spitzer was the first Governor to run in a Boilermaker event. He ran as a candidate with opponent John Faso in the Carbone 5K (2006). Faso beat Spitzer by 14 seconds. Spitzer returned the next year to run the Boilermaker 5K. David Paterson is the only Governor to attend two Boilermakers and run the 15K.
- Robert Duffy is the only Lieutenant Governor to run the 15K (2011).
- There have been three race directors, Earle Reed (1978 – 2000), Bob Ingalls (2001 – 2007), and Jim Stasaitis (2008 – present).
- The United States has had seven Presidents since the start of the Boilermaker. They are James E. Carter (1977-1981), Ronald W. Reagan (1981-1989), George H.W. Bush (1989-1993), William J. Clinton (1993-2001), George W. Bush (2001-2009), Barack H. Obama (2009- 2017) and Donald J. Trump (2017- present).
- From 1978 – 1992 Matt’s Beer was on the back of the 15K glass. 1993 was the first year that the Saranac brand was put on the glass which continues today.
- The first 5K glass was issued in 2004. The first Walk glass was issued in 2007. The Walk has since been disbanded as of 2018.
- The Boilermaker course was changed in 1997.
- Boilermaker Shadow Runs. o 2014 – Camp Buehring, Kuwait o 2013 – Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan o 2012 – Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan o 2011 – Camp Victory, Iraq o 2009 – Camp Adder, Iraq o 2008 – Camp Sauther, Iraq o 2008 – Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan
- The 15K race was first timed with a chip in 1999. The Champion Chip was used first, (1999-2009) followed by the D-chip, (2010) and then finally the B-chip (2011- present).
- The 5K was first timed in 2007 and was first scored as a race in 2011. The first 3 males and females receive medals.
- The Boilermaker has had 3 timing companies in its history. From 1979-1984 it was International Computer Limited. From 1985-2006, Runtime Services took over scoring the Boilermaker. In 2007, Leone Timing took over and times the race until this day.
- The Expo was first held at Riverside Mall from 1978 – 1996, then held at the Masonic Care Community from 1997-2011. In 2012, the expo moved to the MVCC Utica Campus where it is currently held.
- John Cahill and Regina C. Tumidajewicz each captured the record for best time in the age group of 75 and older. They were 75 at the time. In 1999 John won his age bracket for men with a time of 1:08:38. In 2002 Regina won her age bracket for women with a time of 1:58:35.
- In 1989 Michelle Bush-Cuke was the last American woman to win. 1989 was also the last year both a male and female from the United States won the race. Michele won along with Jon Sinclair in 1989. Ed Eyestone was the last American male to win the Boilermaker in 1991.
- In 2017, 270 runners came from outside the United States.
- The greatest percent of participation was in 1978 when 89% of the people who registered finished the race. 2014 saw the most runners complete the 15K, with 11,895 finishers.
- John Korir has the most Boilermaker wins by a male with four - 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2004 and Catherine Ndereba aka “Catherine the Great” has the female record with four - 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001. Mary Wacera has 3 victories and will be trying to tie Catherine in 2018.
- Go the Distance started in 1997.
- In 2011, illusionist Leon Entienne correctly predicted both the winners of the men’s and women’s 15K and their finishing times.
- The Boilermaker has three (3) specially dedicated miles: The Unity Mile (started in 2017), The First Responders Mile (started in 2011) and the Patriotic Mile (started 2011).
- Boilermaker Start Times:
1978-1979 - 10:30 AM
1980-1985 - 9:00 AM
1986-1993 - 8:30 AM
1994- present - 8:00 AM
- The Boilermaker officially allowed transfers and deferments in 2012.
- The Boilermaker offered its first Charity Bib Program in 2012.
- 10 local non-profits participated in the 2018 Charity Bib Program.
- The Kids’ Run has only been sponsored by Utica National.
- There are 10 perennials that have run all 40 Boilermakers. One of them, Sheila Burth, is the only remaining female.
- In 2013, the Boilermaker raised $10,000 in three days by selling a commemorative shirt to support the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
- The Boilermaker uses just under 7,000 gallons of water during the race to hydrate runners.
- 290 barrels of Saranac Haus Lager will be served at the Post Race Party. Combined with other Boilermaker events, at least 316 barrels will be consumed.
- The Boilermaker distributes 30 cases of orange slices and 33,000 bottles of water during each race.
- 330 Porta Johns are used throughout the course.
- 52% of runners are 18-39 years of age.
- Runner gender is split evenly between males and females.
- 38.9% have a college education.
- 29.7% have taken graduate courses or achieved a graduate degree.
- 1979 was the first year all the names of the people who registered was in the paper.
- 1984 was the first year Kathrine Switzer came. She started the race and ran it.
- In 1980, there was 34 kegs of beer consumed; in 1997 - 120 kegs of beer, in 2002 -140 and in 2015 – 315 kegs.
- 1985 was the first year prize money was offered.
- 1986 was the first year David Katz of Finish Line Road Race Technicians worked on the Finish Line.
- 1988 Dr. George Sheehan spoke to runners at the Health and Fitness expo.
- 1990 was the first year Kathrine Switzer called the race for WIBX.
- The corporate logo and the running man were first introduced in 1993.
- Some version of the running man has appeared in 17 logos.
- The oldest 15K runner is Sheldon Kall, at 86 years.
- In 2018, the Run4U campaign raised $25,000 for the Boilermaker Urban Initiative, from registrants’ atwill donations.