Twelve years ago I married the best guy ever. My hubby and I celebrated our 12th anniversary by running the Utica 15k Boilermaker. Yes, we are sick like that.
This was the first time we ever ran this race. We've heard two opinions: People who love it and people who hate it. No in-between. People who love it, love the crowds, and the party aftewards. Free beer. People who hate it, hate it because of the crowds and the party afterwards.
Utica is a small city that brings in about 10,000 runners and elite athletes. The guy that won ran the race in 45 mintues! 9.3 miles. 45 minutes. INSANE.
They call it the Boilermaker for a reason. It is usually freakin' HOT and the course is tough. Hilly. Last year, there was a sad and tragic death of a young man who died due to a heart condition. Awful. This year, the weather was absolutely PERFECT. Cool, high of 74, with clear blue skies. It couldn't have been better running weather.
The start was crazy. The corral I was in was the largest. We were packed in like sardines and it took about 5-6 minutes to cross the start. After I crossed the start, I wasn't going anywhere. The first 3 miles was on narrow streets and there was no way to manuever. Plus, I didn't want to waste my energy trying to bob and weave around people. I knew, once we hit the first big hill, it would break up. And it did.
The first hill was fairly long. Okay, it was really long. Like, almost a mile. It was tough, but after coming off 4 weeks of hill training, I didn't find it that bad. At the top of the hill I had to hit the port-a-potty for a quick pee. I knew I couldn't hold it the rest of the race. When I got in there my quads where like "what the hell are you doing!?" Hovering over a port-a-pot after doing a mile long hill is not easy folks. After a quick pee, I carefully open the door so to not clock anyone, and try to get back into the salmon stream. Some AHole, thinking I was going to literally run into him started screaming at me to watch it. I, of course, say, I see you and I am not going to run into you. A very nice gentleman gave this guy a nasty look and said, 'what an asshole' Ha!!! We had a nice chat for the mile downhill.
The downhill was my fastest mile: 8:54. I paid for it later. The last mile was tough. I mean, really tough. My legs felt like they were made of lead. Today, my quads are mince meat.
The crowd participation was like none I have ever seen. It was amazing. People cheering, holding signs, handing out ice and some people using their garden hose to cool runner off. The whole city turned out to support the runners. When you really need a boost it is nice to have people cheering you on.
I finished in a decent time -1:33:45 (about a 10 minute mile). My time could have been a lot better, but I am content with it. I didn't go into the race with the mind set of "I am going to race," but one of I am just going to enjoy the run. Which I did.
Bill did amazing and ran faster than he thought he would - 1:12:46 (7:49 mile) was his official time. I don't know if I will ever know what it is like to run that fast!
Afterwards, we went to a lovely dinner to celebrate 12 wonderful years together.
Happy Anniversary, babe.