There may be a number reasons why the greater Utica area loves to run. It could be the generous nature of people or a love of exercise or even just participation in tremendous community events. Whatever the reason may be running brings this community together and every Wednesday hundreds of runners descend on the parkway and many are training for one thing, boilermaker Sunday. Executive Director of the Boilermaker Tim Reed says, "I think that speaks a lot to the running traditions of this community. You know if you ran 36 or 37 years ago you were probably looked at as pretty strange, they were probably wondering what you had stolen and you're running away. But it's been a great feeder program for us."
Many of the runners come week after week and year after year just as a way to prepare for the biggest event in Central New York and that's certainly the case for Pete Smith of Sauquoit. "You know it's a great way to train for the Boilermaker, it's got the hills and if you can run the hills you can run the Boilermaker. It means the race of the year, basically the race of year. It's the only race that I train for, after that it's all gravy."
After thirteen straight Boilermakers Kevin Sutton says prep runs are much better in crowds than running solo. "Definitely better to run with somebody, at least one person if not the crowd because then you're more motivated to run. Like right now if I don't have somebody to run with I don't get out and run, I've got to run with somebody."
Some that are integrated into the running community remark of the difficulty the developmental run brings. Reed added, "The long run on the developmental run is probably legalized murder, it seems like you're going uphill both ways. If you can kind of do that particular aspect in regards to it you're clearly served well as far as training for the Boilermaker."