2019 Utica Boilermaker 15k
51:34 for 53rd overall!
Wow. Didn’t think I would feel super smooth and silky while doing this! Basically felt like I hit cruise control the whole way!
First 2 miles (no clock at mile 1)-11:21
Hearing so many great things about this race, I was extremely excited to finally take on my first boilermaker. Given that it was my first 15k and all the fatigue from the recent mileage, I came in with little expectations and not much of a plan. Mainly just wanted to have fun obviously granted that it’s the summer but I was also looking to put in a solid effort to gage my fitness. So basically I decided to go out nice and steady at an uptempo effort, feel it out the first few miles while running nice and relaxed, and potentially pick it up at the end if things felt good. Weather was nice, besides an annoying headwind, it was nice and overcast, and low 70s. Saw a lot of college runners/alumni from ny schools prior to the start, also got to meet a few tcnj alumni as well. Scott savage and stouber were there along with a few alumni who graduated in previous years, so that was cool.
So as planned I took it out nice and steady. Felt relaxing and conversational, enjoying my time in the big crowd causally splitting two 5:40 slightly uphill miles. Kept the ball rolling up while passing a few runners to the 5k point, things were a tad more challenging on another slightly uphill 3rd mile splitting a 5:47 to hit the 5k checkpoint in 17:43. Then came the challenging 4th mile which features a big uphill along the golf course. Held myself fairly well on it while passing a few runners to split a 5:54. Despite a little muscle fatigue at this point, I continued to feel really strong aerobically so that set me up well for a FAST downhill 5:05 mile to hit 8k in a little under 28 minutes. Things really started to few good on a slightly downhill 5:25 6th mile, started to feel like I could hold this forever while continuing to reel in opponents. Then a nice reality check hit mile on the 7th mile. One of my hamstrings started to tighten up. Fearing a cramp, I had to back the pace off a tad. It was slightly uphill, as a result I had to slow down and settle for a 5:44. But the crowd and a quick drink at the water station kept me grooving to split a 5:13 downhill 8th mile. Felt really good again, obviously things were getting difficult to keep pace but I knew I had plenty more in me to keep the ball rolling for a 5:28 9th mile. Continued to reel in runners while feeling super strong. Closed in with plenty left in the tank to finish 51:34 for 46th overall. Finished right behind to two garden state runners (slowly closed into them throughout the second half) who edged me out in the lager run. Plus a few people made note of my lager run singlet. Small world out there.
Extremely happy with this performance. As stated so many times, things felt extremely strong aerobically. Wasn’t easy by any means but to feel like I averaged 5:30 miles for a 15k on a hilly course without tapping that far into a race effort, is very pleasing for me. Definitely had more in me, now with the experience under my belt with this race, I definitely feel like I could dip under 50 minutes next year. Although there’s still a lot of work to be done this is a great fitness indicator in my summer training. Just a fantastic day all around. The post race party was a blast. Jammed out to some cover band at the saranac brewery for a little while sneaking in a glass of Utica club beer! Sneaked in the giant 15 'can do' pack of saranacs! .... JK they gave some to my dad for free. Nonetheless a big dub!
In addition saw a lot of guys from the D3 Atlantic region on the results. Sean O'Connor ripped a 48:10 although I think he graduated. Besides him only two guys finished in front of me. I'll show you their results and other atlantic region runners that finished inside the top 100. Evan Feigel (RIT - 50:03), Forest Stewart (Ithaca - 51:27), Andrew Chabot (RIT - 52:05), Brandon Marks (RPI - 52:21), Patrick Dye (Hopkins - 52:21), John Blake (Ithaca - 52:39), Kyle Higby (RIT - 53:06), Chris Singer (Ithaca - 53:35), Schafter Wilson (Ithaca - 53:48). Not going to do anyone outside the top 100 because they either raced it causally or are one of those slower, irrelevant runners who everyone thinks they're tempoing every xc race if you read the lets run threads. You can TFRRS all of them if you want, I'm just here to help you fans out in seeing how other rivaling schools are progressing in their off season training.
Hot take: Utica is the greatest city in the world!
Yes scenic Utica is quite beautiful. From old historic buildings to the famous Italian tomato pies and chicken riggies, to the rustic Utica greens, to the classic half moon cookies, and of course the delicious saranac beer makes this city amazing. The people here may not be as wealthy as you Jersey Heads but they're far more diverse and cultured than your life of consuming wawa and bud light. Plus Friday and Saturday nights at the brewery are supposed to be a complete blast! And of course it's the home to one of the greatest races in the world! And I was a big Utica guy ever since growing up as a child! Glad I finally represented this beautiful city today!