Military Matters

The Boilermaker of 2002 was like many. The weather was typical, 68 degrees at the start as over 11,500 runners toed the line to run 9.3 miles. Yet things were very different as ten months earlier America was brutally attacked and plunged into a war unlike any it had experienced in its 220 plus year history.
The finishers pin for ’02 was a Boilermaker logo superimposed over the American flag and was on of the more coveted pins we have created. Clearly the flyover was and is a special one as a reminder of those watching over us.
In this ten year span we have sponsored three ‘shadow runs’; two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Two years ago we memorialized these events by featuring them in our annual Boilermaker portrait as well as introducing some of the participants at the Post Race Party.
So here we are ten years later on the verge of the running of the 2011 Boilermaker. We are ‘back in Iraq’ with possibly 500 various service men and women battling the brutal temperatures of Baghdad to recreate a race they love. The flyover is, hopefully, back after a one year hiatus.
The new things; some serious military support at the Expo, from a rock climbing wall to a tricked out Hummer and throw in some Navy SEALS.
We will be introducing a Patriotic Mile positioned at a point where both 5 and 15k runners can experience it.
Finally, we get entertained by the U.S. Navy Rock Band at the Post Race Party. I have seen them perform; they will not disappoint!
Sometime September 11th seems so far away. Think about it, most of our participants in the Kid’s Run this year don’t remember a pre-9/11 world.
While this race is built around fun and camaraderie let’s think a moment about those that give us the opportunity to have the freedom to enjoy the moment.
On so many levels; these service men and women don’t run so we can.

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