UTICA, N.Y. – The Boilermaker Road Race is going virtual this year, due to safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, and the current state restrictions on mass gatherings.
Boilermaker President Mark Donovan says this is the first time the event has not physically taken place since the first race in 1978.
“The 2020 virtual Boilermaker will allow people from anywhere in the world to participate by running their 15K or 5K on a course, on a treadmill or a track, of their choice. They can do it at any time of the day that works from them between the window of Sept. 1 through Sept. 13,” said Donovan. “Whenever they finish during that period, they simply report those results back to us. Those results are obviously based on the honor system.”
Those who are already registered must choose one of the following options by June 30:
- Participate in the new virtual experience
- Receive a refund (minus a small processing fee)
- Transfer registration fee to 2021 race
- Donate fee to the Boilermaker
There is still time to register, according to Donovan, and pricing remains the same until the cap is reached for each race.
Following programs will continue:
- Charity bib program
- Wheelchair division
- Corporate Cup Challenge
- High School Challenge
- Age group awards for 15K
Donovan says that there will be no elite runner division this year.
“However, due to the nature of a virtual event there will be no elite runner division, nor will there be any prize monies available,” he said.
The kids run may go virtual as well, but a decision has not yet been made.
The annual Health & Wellness Expo has also been canceled due to safety concerns.
“The Boilermaker Road Race has been Oneida County’s signature event for more than 40 years and it’s hard to imagine a summer without thousands of people flooding our region from across the globe to participate and celebrate,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Unfortunately, the very thing that makes it so special, now poses a threat to the health and safety of our community in light of this pandemic. Not only does its loss deal a blow to the spirit of our community, but it also takes an immense toll on the local economy. I’m glad that it will still carry on in a virtual form, and look forward to the day when it will return as a live event, bigger and better than ever.”
For a full FAQ on the updated event, visit boilermaker.com.