Of the handful of perennial boilermaker runners there's only one woman left. Shelia Burth has crossed this line thirty-four times and it all started at the age thirteen. But the more amazing feet may be the time she ran it eight months pregnant. In 1979 Sheila Burth was just a teenager but loved to exercise thanks to her family. Naturally running became a big part of her life and so she entered the very first Boilermaker. "It was hot, they started it at 10 o'clock in the morning and my parents were along the line with squirt bottles with water because at that time they didn't know as much about distance running. So really my parents followed me along the race and gave me water."
Eleven years later Sheila accomplished another interesting milestone. She finished the 19-90 boilermaker eight months pregnant. "I read a lot of literature on running and being pregnant and actually now a lot of the long distance runners do keep running. A lot of it is keeping your heart rate at a certain level so that the baby will get the blood flow and it's not taken away as you're running, keeping your body not over heated, but also you're conditioned to run, I had been running all the time."
Sheila says for the most part she's been injury free and she attributes that to her profession as a physical therapist and an active lifestyle. But she did suffer a significant injury just weeks before the Boilermaker. "I tore my calf muscle probably a month before one year and that was probably the closest. I was on crutches but I iced it and did my exercise."
Given her profession Shelia sees injuries all the time and that's why she feels fortunate to have completed in 34 straight Boilermakers. "That I'm lucky, that I've been able to mechanically my body's withstand just keeping on running to do it, yeah very grateful."