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Buffalo runners take on the Boilermaker 15K - PHOTOS

blog by Kathryn Przybyla  • 

I’m not much of a runner, but when a few members of the Gordon’s Running Club in Buffalo asked me to tag along for the trip to Utica, I couldn’t say no.

Founded in 2010, the running club was started when a group of people who frequented Gordon’s Bar on Delaware Avenue wanted to start running on a regular basis. The group wanted a laid-back outlet where they could put in a good workout and reward themselves with a few cold ones and good company afterwards.

Described as a “social running and drinking club” the Gordon’s crew meets at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the bar, and then divides up into smaller groups based on route distances. Runners can attempt anything from a two mile to an eight mile course that will bring you back to Gordon’s Bar. The club is free to join and new members are welcome every week.

Gordon’s Running Club had eight runners represented, some of which who drove a huge RV down to Utica for the race—that is some serious dedication. For more information on Gordon’s Running Club and how to join, check out their Facebook group or you can email them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Since I was playing “cheerleader” for most of the weekend, I really enjoyed my first trip out to Utica, for what locals described as one of their biggest events of the year. The Boilermaker 15K is a pretty impressive race that takes place on the second Sunday in July. According to the website,

The Boilermaker Road Race was established in 1978 by Earle C. Reed. Reed was looking for a way to give back to the community that had supported his family’s business, Utica Boilers (now ECR International). The 15K road race began with just over 800 runners and a budget of $750.

Today, the Boilermaker 15K road race hosts over 17,000 runners per year. Boilermaker Weekend offers events for participants of every age and skill level. It has grown to include fitness and special events, such as a 5K Race, a 3 Mile Walk, a Kids’ Run, an Invitational Mile, Youth Olympics, a Health and Fitness Expo, and more.


This year, runners from all 50 states were represented in the race, along with many international runners as well. Finishing the 15K race (9.3 miles) at 43:01 was the Boilermaker overall winner, Tilahun Regassa from Ethiopia. He went home with $6,000 for his fast feet and being 32 seconds ahead of Kenya’s Peter Kirui who won the Peachtree 10K Road Race in Atlanta last week.

On the women’s side, also hailing from Ethiopia was Mamitu Daska who won her division of the race in 49:26.


The race finished at the Matt Brewing Company where runners and attendees were treated to free food, refreshments and Saranac beer. The Blueberry Blonde Ale was a favorite among most runners finishing the impressive race. One of the most impressive post-race parties that I have ever attended, Senator Chuck Schumer kicked off the party with a great toast to all the runners, spectators and event organizers.

Nik and the Nice Guys entertained the crowd following the race, playing a perfect set list of up-beat music. They ended the show with an incredible encore performance of Little Richard’s version of “Shout” with a Buffalo Bills twist. Needless to say, the Buffalo crew from Gordon’s Running Club thoroughly enjoyed that tune and danced the afternoon away.


Syracuse.com who also covered the event, put together this short video of the start, middle and end of the race. Check it out below.

TAGGED: gordon's, gordon's running club, race, running, saranac, syracuse, utica

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