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William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Interesting piece about the Boilermaker from Running Times:

"New records and new world stars are only one side of the annual Boilermaker story. More than any other race, it seems to me to encapsulate our sport's strange binary conjunction of the global and the local.

"Running, I mean, is a high-profile professional sport and a billion-dollar international industry, yet it is also an activity rooted deeply in separate local communities, and dependent on non-professional participation and hometown volunteerism. At one end of that spectrum, Desisa, Kiplagat, and first Americans Mo Trafeh (10th in 44:58) and Laurel Burdick (ninth in 52:36) were logging results that lifted them a rung or two up the global big-time ladder. At the other end, almost all of the 13,100 runners were local (4,500+ from Oneida County) or regional (12,500+ from New York State); the 5,000 volunteers were folk next door; and many of the estimated 30,000+ spectators only walked to the end of their street. I won't over-simplify the stats, but set those figures against the City of Utica's latest population count, 60,000. That's social impact. The packed house at that night's Moody Blues concert was trivial by comparison."

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