2016 marks the 39th anniversary of the Boilermaker Road Race, held in Utica, New York on the 2nd Sunday of July. This year that date is July 10, 2016.
‘The Boilermaker 15K 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 Radiator (ECR International). Earle convinced his father Bob Reed, President of Utica Radiator, and the company’s Treasurer Jim Benson, to underwrite a new local long distance road race, which Earle dubbed “The Boilermaker.” With additional assistance from the cofounder F.X. Matt II, president of F.X. Matt Brewing Company, the first Boilermaker was run on July 16, 1978. Earle Reed served as Race Director from 1978-2000, Bob Ingalls from 2001-2007, and Jim Stasaitis took the race over in 2008.
It wasn’t the first local road race, but it quickly became the most popular. The Boilermaker continues to strive to be the best 15K race in the United States, attracting athletes and fans from all over the world. The race began with 876 runners and a budget of $750. Now in its 38th year, the Boilermaker draws more than 18,000 competitors and sponsors at support levels of $5,000 and up.’
Allow me to introduce to you Linda Owens-Eisenhut, LMT, a licensed massage therapist who is passionate about sharing the benefit massage on many levels. 1995, Linda had just moved back to the area and realized that there were not many LMTs but felt strongly about bringing massage to the Boilermaker event. With just a few massage therapists, 1996 marks the first year for the Boilermaker Massage Tent. Each year the number of participants grew with the need for more LMTs to ‘work’ with the massage team. I say ‘work’ loosely because when you love what you do, it never seems a chore. The atmosphere in the massage tent is always energetic, fun and lively. The runners are so appreciative and will gladly wait in line for their short 5-8 minutes on our tables.
Linda recently told me “I have always been in love with this race and the community that comes together to support the Boilermaker as a whole. Whether you are running the 15K, 5K, volunteering or cheering the runners on, my favorite day of the year is the 2nd Sunday in July and i want to be a part of that. You see the best of Utica, NY even before the day of the event.”
In addition to managing the Massage Tent & Team, Linda started running the 15K in 2011 and every year since. When she finishes the race she comes straight to the Massage Tent and calls over the next person in line to get on her table! She is dedicated and crazy in love with this event. She pulls it all off with the help of her family, husband Cary and children William-16, Mia-12 and Garret-10, all of whom were born into volunteering every Boilermaker Sunday. Linda said, “they didn’t have an option, it’s what we do on that day.” Cary manages the tent overall, the kids do what ever they can to assist, like passing out waters and wiping down your massage table in between runners.
Over 6000 volunteers help to make the yearly event the success that it is. That is a giant coordinated effort. Why volunteer? Pride in your community. Be a part of something bigger than you. Work with people from all over the world. Recognition. So many reasons. For me, being a part of the Boilermaker Massage Team was important, I wanted my customer base to know that I give back to my community, as well as hands on sports massage experience and working with healthy, athletic individuals who come to recognize you year after year. What I discovered was the true appreciation of the runners, friendships and camaraderie with participants on a personal and professional level, how much fun it really is. The air is always charged with excitement, music, the Thunderbirds do a flyover and beer! The Boilermaker 15k Road Race was established in 1978, with F.X. Matt Brewing Co. as a founding sponsor. Since then, the bond has remained strong with the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. annually hosting the highly anticipated Post Race Party. Don’t miss distance running’s best and most popular post-race party. The Post Race Party sponsored by Price Chopper and hosted by The F.X. Matt Brewing Company is a fun, unique, festive celebration that gives runners, as well as their friends and family, a chance to revel in their accomplishments and enjoy the spirit of the community. With a live concert, world-famous Saranac beer and soft drinks, food, an awards ceremony, and more… this party sets the standard for post race celebrations in the U.S.! http://www.boilermaker.com/community/post-race-party.php
How can you help? By becoming a volunteer of course! The Massage Tent has a dedicated group of therapists that volunteer yearly but needs more LMTs. All you need to do is call Linda or message me so Linda can get you the needed credentials, bring your table and your smile. The line at the Massage Tent is long and many hands make light work as the saying goes. Become part of Boilermaker history! NYS Licensed Massage Therapists~we need you!
Linda Owens-Eisenhut, LMT ~ (315) 527-2247
April Cacciatori, LMT ~ (315) 725-1029