A lot of people are training hard right now to get ready for the big Boilermaker Road Race, and that includes Chuck Lester.
However, he's not training to race.
"I'm the Stilt Guy. This will 25 times at the Boilermaker, in a row," said Lester.
Lester works with drywall so he's always had to wear stilts. Decades ago, he started walking in parades and wore stilts to the Boilermaker with a local radio station.
Now he gives high-fives and cheers on racers with his family.
"Now my daughters and sons-in-law and my grandkids are coming up and watching. It's kind of a family thing. My one daughter brings breakfast. So in-between the beginning run and the main run, I have a little something to eat. Always make sure you wash your hands," said Lester.
During his time as “the Stilt Guy,” he's had some medical setbacks.
"I have two replaced hips, and then I’ve got three revision surgeries between the two of them. I changed my work out a little bit at the college where I don't ride the bikes so much anymore as get on the cross trainers and I think that's making my legs a little stronger."
Lester said he has worked out every day since 1988, and he's excited to use his strength at this year's race. He and his family usually stand in the area outside the Utica Elks Lodge on Boilermaker Sunday.
"I think I entertain myself more than anybody else, but it's a lot of fun."
He has built up a reputation over the years, but he isn't just the Stilt Guy. Lester is also the Village of Ilion's Deputy Mayor.
Spectrum News will once again have live coverage of the race and community response. The race will be held on Sunday, July 14 starting at 7:30 a.m.