Boilermaker Virgin No More! 5 Takeaways from Working My First Race
Well, I can proudly say I am no longer a Boilermaker virgin! What an incredible spectacle to witness from the sidelines.
It's not like I was completely unfamiliar with the Boilermaker, obviously. But seeing as that I absolutely loathe to run, my previous attitude with regards to Utica's famous road race has always been, "Oh, the traffic is gonna suck. Let's stay as far away from that area as possible."
But that all changed on Sunday, July 10th, as I volunteered to represent WOUR to rock the runners with some upbeat anthems. I was stationed at the Utica Fire Station by Murnane Field in South Utica, which is mile 5 or 6-ish along the race.
As I began setting up around 6:30am, the men and women of Utica's Fire Department were friendly and accommodating with supplying me with power for my PA system. (And special shoutout to Jessica for the coffee!)
I couldn't begin to imagine what thousands of people running was going to look like. Below are my 5 major takeaways from my first Boilermaker event:
1.) THE WHEELCHAIR RACERS WERE INCREDIBLE
Racing wheelchairs are insane. I couldn't believe the speeds these guys and gals were achieving. Not to mention the challenge of taking that hard right turn onto Sunset by the fire station. Kudos to every one of these guys!
2.) THE AFRICAN RUNNERS ARE FASTER THAN MY HONDA CIVIC
Then the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners started coming by, around 8:20-ish. Jupiter's Moons, man. Superhuman speeds. I didn't know human beings were capable of running that fast. My Civic struggles to go that fast on a slight incline.
3.) THE SHEER NUMBER OF PEOPLE IS STAGGERING
After the elites breezed past, huge congregations of people started coming down Shepherd Place. And something weird I noticed was, when huge numbers of people start running past you, you start to get dizzy. Or maybe that was just my Sunday morning hangover.
4.) I SHOULD'VE HAD HULK HOGAN'S THEME SONG CUED UP SOONER
There was a dude in a "Hulkamania" shirt and headband that was running, and I thought, Oh man! I gotta play Hulk Hogan's theme song, 'Real American' by Rick Derringer! But by the time I got to it, that guy was long gone. He ran a lot faster than Hulk Hogan ever ran the ropes in the ring.
5.) IT INSPIRED ME TO OVERCOME MY HATRED OF RUNNING
Seeing so many people of varying body types undertake this incredible race made me think, hey, maybe I could do this. Or, y'know... the 5K. Let's start there. (Maybe.) I'm giving serious consideration to signing up next year. Free beer is a pretty great incentive.
All in all, I had a great time rocking with WOUR at the Boilermaker! Congrats to all the runners, volunteers and organizers for yet another successful event. Can't wait for next year!