Local runners look forward to big race

"It’s my 14th year. It’s fun to do it with family, and it’s always the highlight of the year," he said. "My brother-in-law started it about 15 or 16 years ago and everybody kind of joined in over the years."

Peggy Igoe of Sylvan Beach began racing the 15K five years ago to see if she could live up to the race’s challenge.

"It’s fun. I wanted to try it and see if I could finish it," said Igoe, who finished 404th among female runners in 1:16:48. "Now I try to see if I can beat my time every year."

Rome native Ron Drake said the toughest part of the 15K course is going through the steep hills at Valley View Golf Course.

"It’s hard. I do my best and just try to follow everybody else," said the 42-year-old Drake, who ran for 1:23:53. "You’re going to get run over if you don’t. It’s unbelievable that this broke records again. I got my registration back in January because I knew it would sell out."

Josh Olney, 30, was the top finisher from Rome as he placed 61st overall and finished at 52:49, while 15-year-old Benjamin Schmidt was the youngest Roman in the race, finishing 381st at 1:02:35.

The 74-year-old Rome native Kermit Cadrette was third in the male 70-74 age division.

No matter where they all come from or whatever purpose they had in racing in the event, there was a sense from each that there was something more special about this edition of the Utica road race.

"I definitely felt it was more different," said Marcy native Joe Mashaw, who ran for the 15K for the 13th time this year.

"It seemed to be more proud everywhere you went even up in the hills. It’s always sweet when you’re running and everyone is cheering for you no matter who you are."