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Just like 2016, sort of…

Well we are in the final stages of filling the field for this year’s Boilermaker.
Last year we saw roughly half the field get filled with advanced runners (those that had run the race in 2015 within the time limit) folks who had deferred in 2015 but wanted to run in 2016.
When Open Registration commenced in 2016 registrations took off like a rocket- a couple thousand signed up in the first 15 minutes: it looked like it was going to be a short day- wrong Tim, it took a week to fill the field!
Fast forward to this year’s registration.
Some significant changes, cap gets raised by 500 for the 15k to 14,500 and we allow advanced runners to choose the race they want to run rather than the race they ran the previous year.
Then I wondered if this being an ‘anniversary year’ (our 40th running) would create any additional demand?
Numbers at the conclusion of advanced registration ended up coming in similar to last year.
Would we see the same initial registration tsunami followed by a drop off or would the surge continue predicating an early closeout of the race?
Pre-noon on Saturday I watched on our Google analytics page as several hundred folks were electronically ‘lined up’ for the noon opening of Open Registration.
Well, the long and the short of it was after getting around 4,000 registered in 45 minutes things got slow, very slow.
I’m assuming that in the next day or so the races will be sold out, while there’ a certain thrill selling the race out in three hours (we achieved that the last year we had first come- first served system) the resulting emails from disappointed runners was less than fun! The old system was sort of like riding a roller coaster and you’re not really sure the safety bar is fully engaged!
Now for something unlike 2016.
When we changed our building location we also made a commitment to make a positive impact in our new neighborhood.
Thus was born the Boilermaker Urban Initiative supporting health and wellness in Utica with particular attention to West Utica, our new home. Since the move we have established an urban garden cared for by local teenagers, created a public market that offers fresh fruit and vegetables to a community with few options and recently established a fitness program at an elementary school.
We have never asked our participants to support us in these (and planned) projects so we thought ‘why not’?
Well, we must be doing something right: to-date over 1,400 runners have donated nearly $21,000 to support ‘Run for U’ that funds our urban programming.
Boilermaker nation never ceases to amaze me in the most wonderful ways!

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