For many people, the Boilermaker Road Race is a tradition. Some families even run it together every year. But for some, that tradition came to an end as registration moved at an alarming rate, leaving people in the dust. Last year, it took almost 100 days before all 18,500 spots were filled. This year, all the bibs were sold four days. Our Cara Thomas says some aren't taking the news very well.
UTICA, N.Y. – At 12:01 Saturday morning, enthusiastic runners were chomping at the bit to register for the 2013 Boilermaker Road Race. People were expecting registration to last a few weeks, but instead, it took only a matter of days.
Boilermaker President Timothy Reed said, "This is the registration race, which is over. I thought it was going to be 9.3 miles, but it ended up the 100 yard dash."
In just 68 hours, 14,000 people closed out registration for the 15K. And it only took one more day before all 4,500 5K bibs were sold as well.
"I think everybody who got knocked out last year decided that I'm not going to let that happen to me again this year," said Reed.
Boilermaker workers say phone calls and emails haven't stopped since registration for the 15K closed at 8:10 p.m. Monday.
And the calls, emails and social media comments range from irate people that claim this year's registration wasn't fair to others pleading for an exception after missing registration for one reason or another.
"People who've dealt with illnesses who are, you know, really some of these are pretty heart wrenching," he said. "They aren't just, I screwed up, there's a whole other story behind it. And those are the tough ones to deal with."
But Reed's biggest fear is that people signed up on a whim, not really intending to run the race at all.
He said, "If you're not ready and you did it on a whim or whatever it is, I will tell you that for every one of those bibs, there's 10 people who are more than willing to run this race who want it. So just think about it."
Now with registration over and only six months before Utica is flooded with runners, Boilermaker workers are moving full speed ahead with making preparations for this year's race.
Registration may be over, but there are still a few ways to get the opportunity to participate. They'll be having a transfer system again this year, where people who choose not to run can sell their bibs.
The Boilermaker is also holding a charity bib program this year. 200 bibs have been set aside to entice runners to raise $500 in pledges for local charities.
There are also still spots available for this year's Boilermaker three mile walk.
For more information, go to www.boilermaker.com.