When Earle Reed created the Boilermaker to celebrate Utica Boilers, the race wasn't what it is today. The post-race party was in a different location, the community involvement wasn't as great and there was no Expo. Thirty-five years later and the Expo is slowly becoming as popular as the actually race. Tim Reed Executive Director of the Boilermaker says, "Well you know this is really our big gift to the community, you know one of the things we tell people is you don't have to be a runner to enjoy it. So if you want to come down and get some Chobani yogurt or see Leon Etienne or Robert Channing for magic or the induction ceremony there's a lot of stuff here so you don't just have to be a runner to enjoy. So hopefully not only are we the best race in the community we're also the best community event."
Vendors ranging from athletic gear to health care to food all get the opportunity to reach out to people across the country. Jean O'Toole from the Beef Council says, "We really love being part of it, we brought the health into the health and fitness expo by bringing the beef up your health area. We're excited to be here to influence people that beef is good for you, its fuel for the finish."
Friday kicks off the festivities and the traditions for veterans resume where they left off from last year. But no matter rookie or pro the expo is an experience all in its own. Maine resident and first time Boilermaker participant Ron Burnham says, "This is just top notch stuff right here, it's just incredible the amount of people and all the informative information we get. I got free taping; you know I didn't know I could get free taping so yeah it's great, really good." Richfield Springs resident and 11 year Boilermaker runner Bill Kosina says, "I like the fact that various components are in different buildings so you have the opportunity to take care of increment weather because two years ago was just horrific with the downpours so you can move everything throughout the buildings and I think overall it's a great move."