UTICA, N.Y. --- Sunday would have been the day tens of thousands of people flocked to Culver Ave. to participate in America's greatest road race. This year, the race went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it didn't stop dozens of people from running the 9.3-mile course on Sunday morning.
"It's a tradition in our family. We come here every year, it's a holiday. 20+ years and running we started running when we were 12. We've got our old bibs so we are ready," said Gia Constantino.
The run was not an officially sponsored event. People just showed up to the start line on their own. That means there was no race support teams or police officers blocking the roads. Runners said that traffic is something they weren't worried about.
"I think if you're an experienced runner, you keep that in mind and you realize there are several thousand-pound vehicles and you give them the right of way because they may not realize what's going on," said Norris Pearson.
Out along the course, people volunteered their time to support those running the 15K. Verneil Johnson set up a water tent with some friends in front of Utica College.
"People are still running they still need support and they still need water. It's a great idea I know my son has gotten in shape for it and it's good for fitness and it's good for the community," said Johnson.
At the finish line, dozens gathered to watch runners finish including Boilermaker Race President Mark Donovan.
"I've got two words Boilermaker spirit. This is what this is all about. Every shot you've taken wherever it's been. You know these people y were not going to let COVID-19 stop them from doing this on the second Sunday in July. Obviously we couldn't do it at full scale but here they are," said Donovan.
The virtual Boilermaker race is scheduled between September 1st and September 13th. Runners have until noon on September 13th to submit their time.