If this had been a "normal" year, this would be 2021 Boilermaker Weekend!

America's best 15K race, which is is run the second Sunday in July, was held virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's Boilermaker will take place in-person, on Sunday October 10, after the lifting of most COVID restrictions

I've have the pleasure to cover 36 Boilermakers and I am looking forward to this year's race after sitting out 2020.

Throughout the years, I've been at the start line, at the finish line and in what I like to call "the best seat in the house", the media truck.

Crammed into the back of a National Grid truck with other members of the media, you get to see the race from a unique perspective.

You get to watch the lead runners and see all of the cheering spectators along the 9.3 mile course.

The only downfall, the truck turns off the course before the finish line and you miss seeing the winner cross the finish line!

Oh, yeah, sometimes you have to hold on for dear life while the truck "speeds" up the hill near the Valley View Golf Course.

My favorite Boilermaker memory was in 1983, which is the first race I covered.  Running legend Bill Rodgers was the winner and being able to interview him was quiet a thrill.

Not all Boilermaker memories are good.  The start of the  2019 race was delayed due the tragic murder of Utica teen Bianca Devins near the Boilermaker start line.

One of the best parts of the Boilermaker is the post-race party.  Where else can you have a beer on a Sunday morning with 40,00 people?

But my favorite part of the Boilermaker is standing at the finish line, watch your "Average Joe" runner complete the race with a big smile n their face.  Quite an accomplishment indeed.

And I guess my biggest thrill was winning the Les Diven award in 2015 for outstanding Boilermaker coverage and getting a brick in Boilermaker Park.

So with no race this Sunday, I'll get to sleep in and we'll see you the second Sunday in October.

Jim Rondenelli, WIBX
Jim Rondenelli, WIBX

15 Sports Figures from the Utica-Rome Area

A lot of big names in the sports world come from the Mohawk Valley and the Utica-Rome area.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

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