Boilermaker motorcycle driver talks race day responsibilities

If you’ve never watched WKTV’s Boilermaker coverage on TV, you’re missing out on seeing some perspectives you just can’t see when you’re running, or watching the race. One of those perspectives is provided from a motorcycle.

Posted: Jul 5, 2018 6:08 PM
Updated: Jul 6, 2018 4:45 PM

When the Boilermaker Road Race starts, thousands of heart rates go up, including Jim Kennedy’s. He’s responsible for driving alongside the world’s fastest runners and it’s a job that requires a lot of concentration.

"I just can’t go full bore. I got to stay with the runners," Kennedy said. "A lot of times we like to be even with the runners. A lot of times we got to be out in front of them because the turns and stuff, so you’re feathering the clutch a lot and the hand gets a little tired at the end."

But there’s no time to think about how you’re feeling when you’re watching for potholes, grates, and debris in the road, and that’s just the beginning.

"I mean, I got to keep an eye, especially on the media trucks ahead of me, because like I said, they’ll slow up and I got to pay attention to them and I don’t run into them, but I also have to look in the mirrors at the runners to see how close they are to us because I don’t want to impede them. I don’t want to affect the race by getting in their way. You know that would be bad."

Being out in the open seems like it would be a nice cool ride, but think again.

"I’m only going in first gear the whole way, so the engine gets hot," Kennedy said. "You know everybody thinks it’s a nice cool ride, I’m not a runner, it’s not hot out, but the engine gets very hot and it’s fun, but it’s a job."

This job comes with rewards too. Unless you’re watching the Boilermaker on TV, there’s a whole lot you’re missing out on as a spectator or a runner.

"There’s a lot of sights along the way that we see. Some interesting things," Kennedy said. "You know there’s some characters out there and we see the reactions of the crowds."

The crowd reactions can be fun for everyone.

“You know, sometimes I pretend they’re cheering for me. I know they’re not, but it’s a lot of fun, and I’ve got the best view of the race. I watch the leaders the whole way and it’s a lot of fun."

So if you’re coming out to watch the Boilermaker on Sunday, be sure to cheer on Jim Kennedy. He’ll be working hard to provide the best race coverage on TV.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1619924

Reported Deaths: 47264
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2073098698
Kings2060299023
Suffolk1602923054
Nassau1459852896
Bronx1411745821
Westchester1061292081
New York1012503863
Erie644141594
Richmond561741564
Monroe52122980
Rockland38138886
Orange36334720
Onondaga32151622
Dutchess21968406
Albany20620328
Oneida19583475
Niagara15156313
Broome14521335
Saratoga11796145
Schenectady10740177
Ulster9898227
Rensselaer8902131
Putnam824486
Chautauqua7257122
Chemung6408130
Oswego595689
Ontario573188
Steuben5463137
St. Lawrence538381
Cayuga533388
Jefferson472463
Sullivan468959
Herkimer4534106
Wayne442564
Genesee4372118
Cattaraugus435176
Madison380684
Clinton350726
Livingston348455
Tompkins342742
Columbia336094
Fulton327281
Montgomery3137105
Cortland311260
Allegany286981
Warren280755
Wyoming278549
Tioga277956
Greene260970
Orleans243380
Chenango239769
Otsego230743
Washington229552
Lewis204630
Franklin200812
Seneca157453
Delaware147833
Essex132826
Schoharie118312
Yates101126
Schuyler85712
Hamilton2792
Unassigned219119
Out of NY0191
Rome
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 35°
Binghamton
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 28°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 35°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 35°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2021 Golfer's Paradise Card - 21 Courses for only $99.99
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve