Organizations Partner to Support Boilermaker Baghdad Shadow Run
May. 26, 2011
(May 26, 2011)-A collection of organizations banded together to aid a group of service men and women stage a 'shadow run' of the Boilermaker Road Race on July 10th.
"I was contacted by a Captain formerly stationed near the area talking about the desire of troops deployed in Iraq with local roots to run the race in spirit" said Tim Reed executive director of the Boilermaker. 'The rest is a story of the giving nature of our community."
The Boilermaker commissioned a Rochester-based company, Viewsport, to silkscreen five hundred tee shirts utilizing a patented process that reveals a hidden message when the shirt gets wet through water or perspiration. The message revealed is 'I Ran Iraq'.
Braden Paper and Packaging located in Clinton underwrote the cost to produce the shirts. Steve Sweet, Owner of Braden said "we look for unique ways to support the Boilermaker each year and when presented with the idea of supporting the race in Iraq and our troops we could not say yes fast enough. "
In addition, Seifert Graphics of Oriskany constructed at no cost a start/ finish line banner representing the various branches of the armed forces. Boilermaker 15k finisher's pins will also be provided for all participants.
The real challenge was to figure out how to send the race material literally half a world away and that's where Lt. Col. MaryJo Timpano, Director of Staff of the Air National Guard, based in Syracuse, stepped in. Prior to mission realignment the Air Guards' F-16s had performed a flyover at the Boilermaker Post Race Party to a crowd in excess of 35,000. Timpano had served as the liaison between the race and the military. "This is our community doing what they do best; supporting the military and our families. For a family member to be able to "run" with their loved one thousands of miles away has a big impact on morale. What a great gift".
When Reed reached out to Timpano she inquired to various companies who in the past have paid the expenses to send non-mission material to Iraq and Afghanistan.
O'Brien and Gere, an engineering and project delivery companyheadquartered in Syracuse immediately accepted the opportunity to support the effort. "We have many employees who run the race in Utica, and have several employees who have served in military deployments around the world. This was a great way for us to share in the spirit of the run and continue to support the men and women in our military", said Dot Hall, Senior Manager.
To commemorate this event, the Boilermaker will be selling a similar tee shirt with the hidden message revealing I Ran Utica rather than I Ran Iraq. These shirts will be available exclusively at the Boilermaker Expo July 8th and 9th.