Boilermaker Blog

Running Backwards


No, I’m not talking about literally running backwards: I don’t want you falling over. What we’re talking about is running the Boilermaker Race Course in reverse!
On Friday (August 7th) Joe Wilczynski, a perennial (meaning he has run all 38 Boilermakers) came into my office saying a group of runners would be running from the F.X. Matt Brewery (the traditional finish) to ECR International (the traditional start) the following day.
Some people would run the 5k some the 15k. Volunteers would both man water stops and others provide safety via bikes (God bless volunteers).
Perhaps the coolest thing about this was the entire event was concocted and transmitted via social media in a day.
My how technology has changed our sport.
A number of years we talked about trying a similar run to celebrate the halfway point of the Boilermaker: since that day falls in the middle on January with the potential of battling snow ice and cold it was quickly dismissed. If we had done it this year the high was 15 degrees, the low minus 2!
The good news: the weather for our reverse runners was absolutely perfect. Since the race was literally beginning next to our building we were able to offer our bathrooms (no porta johns necessary).
The bad news: in my opinion it feels like running the course backwards is harder-here’s why:
The golf course hill and the Burrstone Bridge feels like they are more than offset by now encountering a long hill up Champlin Ave., an uphill on the Parkway followed by a severe incline through the golf course. I’m sure there’s some scientist who would claim that the elevations are same, just backwards. I don’t know, it just fells tougher.
Also, there were also far fewer bands and cheering spectators along the course then on Boilermaker Sunday: like let’s try zero!
I stopped by the finish line (or is it the start line) and saw the runners signally and in packs ending their 9.3 mile journey.
While the Post Race Party was a bit tamer than that second Sunday in July with water, sports drinks and homemade baked goods there were plenty of smiles.
Hey, who knows, this could become a regular event.
And the truly inspiring moment, seeing the girl who completed the 15k with a prosthetic leg.
I don’t know who you are, but I clapped like crazy for you!

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