Thousands of runners from across the nation and around the world, invaded the streets of Utica Sunday morning for the city's largest 15K race. The 42nd Annual Boilermaker Road Race is officially over, marking yet another successful run.
Weather conditions were cool and cloudy, perfect for those who participated.
The race’s two winners were Gabriel Geay, of Tanzania, for the men’s division — repeating is 2018 win — and Caroline Rotich, from Kenya, for the women’s division.
Geay completed the 15K track in just over 43 minutes, and Rotich in just shy of 50 minutes.
First-time Boilermaker racer Jenna Fessmeier won the women’s wheelchair division and Daniel Romanchuk won his fourth straight race for the men’s wheelchair division.
“This is my first time out here in Utica so I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” Fessmeier said. “There were a couple of hills along the way and a little headwind, but it was a good day today so I’ll be back next year.”
Boilermaker co-founder Earle Reed said it’s exciting to see how the event has grown over the last four decades.
“You know what? You don’t have to go to the Harvard Business School. It’s called ‘satisfied customers,’” Reed said. “And they walk out of here and they say ‘you know, I did something in Utica, New York the second Sunday in July and I’m going to come back and bring a friend.”
On top of the athletes who ran the 5K, Wheelchair Run and 15K, thousands of spectators gathered around the course to cheer on those running.
Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says the spectators are one of the key aspects of the Boilermaker, calling them “the greatest in the world.”
After the conclusion of the race, many runners and spectators gathered at the post-race party to enjoy live music, drinks and snacks outside the Saranac Brewery.
Festivities will continue throughout the day Sunday.