Utica Boilermaker race goes virtual, the in-person race will not be held in 2020

Coronavirus

UTICA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The 2020 Utica Boilermaker race is the latest race to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be no race involving thousands of runners for 9.3 miles through the streets of Utica in September. Organizers announced Tuesday that the 15K race and the 5K race will be a virtual this year.

The race was originally scheduled for July 12, it is traditionally held on the Sunday after the 4th of July.

Organizers postponed the race until September 13 in hopes the delay would provide time to get COVID-19 under control enough to allow large gatherings like the Boilermaker.

But Tuesday organizers said though New York has made progress in combating COVID-19 and is reopening, there is no way organizers could protect the health and safety of the more than 19,000 runners who participate in the race as well as the thousands of volunteers and thousands of spectators.

One of the hallmarks of the Boilermaker is the post-race party held in the parking lot of the Saranac Brewery, which draws as many as 30,000 people.

Many local and nationally know races have been cancelled, delayed, or turned into a virtual race because of COVID-19, among them the Syracuse Mountain Goat, Paige’s Butterfly Run, and perhaps the best-known race, the Boston Marathon.

A virtual race allows participants to run within a given race window the required distance on their own and usually requires runners to submit time and distance information from a smartwatch or running app.

Here is a link to the Boilermaker website which has details on options for runners including refunds, rolling your registration over until next year or participating in the virtual race.

The Boilermaker is more than a running event, it is a community summer celebration drawing runners around the nation as well as other countries, but it also brings in spectators from around the area who take part in a 9.3 mile-long party.


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