Utica Boilers celebrates 39th year of Boilermaker Road Race

July 10 marked the 39th running of the Boilermaker Road Race in Utica, N.Y.,

The 15K race starts at ECR International’s Utica manufacturing facility where they have been producing boilers since 1928. Runners from around the world gathered there on an overcast Sunday morning to participate in the 9.3-mile “Tour of Utica.”

This year’s 15K male, first-place winner was Teshome Asfaha of Ethiopia, with a time of 43 minutes, 58 seconds to complete the course. Coming in 28th place overall was Cynthia Limo of Kenya, the first female competitor to cross the finish line this year with a time of 48 minutes, 50 seconds.

Two-thirds of the way into the 15K course commences the 5K run, where for the fourth year in a row, 19-year-old Kelan McKenna of New Hartford, N.Y. placed first, with a time of 15 minutes, 18 seconds. Fourteen-year-old Sarah Sharpe, also of New Hartford, was the first female to cross the finish line in the 5K, with a run time of 19 minutes, 42 seconds.

The race was established in 1978 by Earle C Reed, who was looking for a way to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary and give back to the community that had been such a big part of his family’s business, Utica Radiator, later known as ECR International.

Earle convinced his father Bob Reed, then president of Utica Radiator, to underwrite the cost of a new road race, which Earle named “The Boilermaker.” What started as a race with 876 runners and a budget of $750 has grown into one of the top 15K races in the United States with over 14,000 runners registered for the 15K event and another 5,000 runners for the 5K event. The Boilermaker has been named as one of the top races in the country by Runner’s World magazine and attracts top elite runners from all over the world, Olympians, and world record holders. 

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