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Triumphant return for The Boilermaker Road Race in Utica

Boilermaker officials say the 2021 Boilermaker Road Race on Sunday signaled a triumphant return to live racing after a 27 month hiatus for the classic, 44-year old Utica road race.

Posted: Oct 10, 2021 3:14 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2021 4:03 PM

Utica, N.Y. - Boilermaker officials say the 2021 Boilermaker Road Race on Sunday signaled a triumphant return to live racing after a 27 month hiatus for the classic, 44-year old Utica road race.

It was also the first version of the race to be run outside of July and did not feature an elite field or prize money.

Jennifer Dainotto of Utica ran the 5K with her two young daughters, her mom and her sister, all running the race for the first time, "It's amazing, it's amazing. it's our first year together so we're loving it, it's a family affair, it's awesome."

That spirit was also felt by Raw Frawley and his two young daughters who ran the 5K race for the first time as well, "It's great. The community needed it, it's been a long two years."

Mike Dunn of New Hartford was 1 of 28 employees from Indium Corporation in Utica who ran on Sunday. He was 1 of 14 employees to run the 5K while 14 other Indium employees ran the 15K, "Feels really good to have us back in a semi-normal situation again after last year with the pandemic. I believe we're on our way back and we're hoping by July 2022 will be back to where we should be so this is a great start."

Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol was out and about in many spots around the course on Sunday. He says he felt the energy of this huge local event finally coming back after a two year absence, albeit in October rather than July, "It certainly doesn't feel like July or what we're normally used to, but it's just great to see people out to see these events happening again."

As far as the results, this marks the first time the Boilermaker has been won by American runners since 1989 and 1991 for the women’s and men’s race respectively.

Stephen Rathbun, a 29-year old Syracuse native running out of Springfield, New Jersey and representing the Garden State Track Club, won the men’s 15K race with a time of 47:32.

Rathbun overtook fellow Syracuse native, Abshir Yerow, around the 5 mile mark and never looked back.

Rathbun won comfortably but not easily as he was hotly pursued by Yerow and 38-year old Sam Morse of Camden down the stretch.

Ultimately Morse, a local favorite representing the Utica Roadrunners, was able to overtake Yerow for second place while Yerow took third.

Meanwhile, 29-year old Savannah Boucher took the women’s 15K crown with a time of 56:24.

Boucher, originally from New Hartford is currently running out of San Antonio, Texas.

31-year old fan favorite and Boilermaker staple Herman Garic, of Utica, finally won his Boilermaker men’s wheelchair title with an impressive time of 35:35.

After the race, Garic immediately departed to Massachusetts to compete in Monday’s 125th Boston Marathon.

33-year-old Stephanie Woodward of Rochester won the women’s wheelchair race.

Also in the wheelchair division, Erin Schick of Chester, New York completed the 2021 Sitrin Wheelchair Challenge.

By finishing her race in a standard wheelchair, Schick has earned herself a custom-built racing wheelchair.

A full list of finishers and times can be found at https://www.leonetiming.com/2021/Roads/Boilermaker/.

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