Monday, July 11, 2011

Boilermaker 15K race report.

"The Boilermaker course boasts panoramic views, challenging hills, the MOST water stops, the best entertainment, and the greatest overall FUN of any race event." -- race organizers

I've run a lot of races -- probably close to 30 -- but never one as FUN as the Boilermaker. It was a great race! 

Nevermind that I had to wake up at 4 a.m. to pick up Bridget at 4:45 so we could get on the road and drive for about an hour and a half to Utica, NY. And I'll skip right over the part where I where I slammed into my husband's car as I backed out of the garage (yes, it was awful. yes, the cars need to be fixed. yes, I should have been paying more attention. but, it was 4 freaking 45 in the morning! and I had hardly had any coffee...)

I'll get right to the good stuff. 

Bridget and I made our way to Utica with no problems at all. Parking was stress-free. Finding the start area and hooking up with our friend Elisa, who had our race bibs, was smooth. Using the porta-potties before the race was gross, sure, but easy enough. Everything was smooth, but we got a little nervous anyway. 

Bridget, showing how her nerves were making her feel like she had to puke!

Fortunately, neither of us puked. 

We did drink a little last-minute water and then wish each other well before splitting to line up in our corrals. I was in the yellow corral, so I was basically in the middle of the pack but it only took about two minutes for me to get to the start line. 

Running such a packed race was interesting. I did a bit of bobbing and weaving in the first two miles so it took me a while to get into a rhythm. But once I did, I fell in love with the race. The first 4 miles are all uphill, but it isn't really as bad as you would think (says the runner who runs on hills pretty much all the time). There was music throughout the race (they said there were 27 music stops) and the crowd support was incredible. Cheering people lined both sides of the road for more or less the entire course. I have never been in a race with such support! And there were 20 water and ice stops, which made it so I was never battling thirst.

Once I got into the groove, I thought to myself, "I love this!" and that thought NEVER went away. I felt great the whole race and was just having fun. I even managed to chat a little with some other runners, which is something I never do. I'm usually so focused on a goal that I wouldn't dare to waste energy on talking. But in the Boilermaker, I did. I gave high-fives to the cheerers. Thanked every volunteer who handed me water or ice, and laughed with my fellow runners.

I also ran faster than I thought I would. And that my friends is probably the best part of the race! 

Yup, my A goal was a PR, or 1:15:18 or better and I totally beat that with a time of 1:13:59. Wildest Boilermaker dream . . . achieved!

After the race was over, I downed two red popsicles and set out to meet up with Bridget and Elisa. It took a while (there were over 11,000 people in the race) but we eventually found each other. Bridget and Elisa both ran great races, too -- for Bridget, it was her first 15K, so an automatic PR!

And then it was time to head home. The drive was tough because my right leg started to tighten up but after rolling it out and using the tennis ball on my hip last night, I feel absolutely fine today. And, I'm still happy about my PR!

Elisa, Bridget and me before the start of the 2011 Boilermaker!

Race stats:

Official time: 1:13:59
Overall pace: 7:57/mile
Overall place: 1826 out of 11,055
Female place: 316 out of 5,073
Age-group place (40-44): 28 out of 590

Mile splits:

Mile 1: 8:13
Mile 2: 7:57
Mile 3: 7:56
Mile 4: 8:31
Mile 5: 7:07
Mile 6: 7:35
Mile 7: 8:10
Mile 8: 7:46
Mile 9: 7:52
Last .3: (7:03 pace)

Now, I'm already thinking about next year. I will run the Boilermaker again in 2012! Who's with me????

Have a great week, everyone!

~ Felice


J said...

Definitely running next year! I feel the same way every time I run that race! Congrats on the PR!! Well done! Mile 5 is always my fastest too cause of the downhill!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

They had ice at the Kona Marathon, too, it's great at a hot race. Great to read how well the race went! Congrats!

Felice Devine said...

J -- we will have to meet next year! That downhill in mile 5 was SOOOO nice!

Marlene said...

Sounds like a fantastic experience overall, and you totally killed it! Congrats again!!!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Nice job, Felice! I am definitely on for next year. :)

Darlene said...

Sounds like fun. I did the 5K in 2008. Maybe next year...who knows?

Lisa said...

Awesome race, congrats!!! Glad everything went smoothly after the rough start. I've heard great things about this race, maybe I'll get up there next year. Congrats again!!

Holly @ RUST BELT RUNNER said...

Pretty much awesome!

Way to ROCK IT!

Such an inspiration!

Em said...

Congrats on an awesome race! Sounds like tons of fun!

Quix said...

SO AWESOME! You have such great race days. :) Congrats on smashing your record.

At the last triathlon I did, they gave out icy pops at the end. Best post race treat EVAR (also, it was about 90 and humid).

Suzy said...

F - it sounds like you had an awesome time and a great race all in one! Perfect. And, I have a feeling you'll be there again next year. :)

ajh said...

You make it sound like the race to do.

MCM Mama said...

That's on my must do list. I'm hoping for next year!

ihaverun said...

You are a rockstar!!! Congrats on an amazing race. And I'm glad there was no puking =)

Anonymous said...

Hands down the best spectated race I have ever run. After the first 3 miles of uphill, I was loving it, despite GI issues. My friends and I had a BLAST!

Molly said...

Isn't it the best!? What did you think of mile 6, when you have to run on that stretch of highway? That part bugs me a bit.

I'm definitely in for next year, they let me defer my registration, and it will be the 35th anniversary of the race!

Congrats on your race!

Mel said...

congrats! Glad you had a good race and beat your time!

I loved reading your race report :-)

macnic said...

Great report! You make me want to look at this race next year. NY state isn't THAT far away...

Felice Devine said...

You should!! It seriously is THAT fun!

Robinson said...

I'm with you on the "The first 4 miles are all uphill, but it isn't really as bad as you would think " part - I had looked at the elevation chart and was quite worried.. But then, I do run areas that are as hilly constantly.

Definitly the most-fun race I have ever done - I look forward to next year (and the year after.. and the year after..)

de @ hazeleyedbetty said...

This was such a fun race!!! My first 15K! Congrats on your time!

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