Boilermaker Blog

Supporting the Troops


The e-mail came near the end of May. The gist of the message was an infantry group based out of Utica, currently deployed in western Afghanistan, has decided to conduct a Boilermaker ‘shadow run’ overseas. A shadow run is running 15k (9.3) miles the same day as we do. You will note that I didn’t say the same time because the runs that were conducted in Iraq (2008, 2009, & 2011) had to start before 8 a.m. because as soon as the sun rises there the temperature quickly hits 100 degrees in July. The Iraq runs were run pre-sunup.
But anyway, back to Afghanistan…
Traditionally when we get these requests we ship out gear to support their race such as running bibs, running shirts and start/ finish line banner. What became a bit of a challenge was how the heck we were going to get all this produced and how to get it overseas in time for their run? No problem; we have some truly great people in this community. I quickly called Jack Seifert at Seifert Graphics and by the end of the call was guaranteed the banner would be done on time and, by the way, for free. Next I spoke to Gar Grannell CEO of Mohawk Global Logistics, his message was simple; get me the gear by June 15th and I’ll get it to Kandahar before July 8th, again at no charge.
We will be selling a limited number of the same Boilermaker Afghanistan 2012 shirts at the Expo being held at Mohawk Valley Community College July 6th and 7th. . A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Central New York Veterans Outreach Center. By the way, the Executive Director of the Outreach Center is currently deployed with the 108th Infantry, the group we are sending the running gear to.
It appears that on race day 150 American, Italian and Afghan soldiers will be ‘toeing the line’ thousands of miles away. With an eight and half hour time difference between Afghanistan and Central New York as 1st Lieutenant Ruso (my military liaison over there) said: “We may not be as fast as the elites but we’ll finish hours ahead of them!”

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