Camden's Morse top area Boilermaker finisher
UTICA — Sam Morse of Camden finished 21st in the 2022 Boilermaker road race, a year after finishing second by 13 seconds in a field without elite racers.
"I'm really happy," said Morse, age 38, who clocked in at 46:59 in this year's 15K. It was a personal record for him in the race. "I didn't expect to run the last 5K that well. Nice surprise."
He said his plan this year was to "run a good time, not worry about the people in front of me." He said he liked being "back to normal," with the race in July, unlike 2020's virtual race or the 2021 race that was moved to October. "The big crowds, the elite runners."
Morse also liked the conditions. "Cooler than I was expecting," he said of a race day with temperatures moving from the 50s to 60s and then to the 70s as the race went on.
Jordon Hoffman of Rome was close to a personal record on the day. He finished in 50:59, good for 55th. It was short of his personal best of 50:38, but he said, "It wasn't in the cards today." The 30-year-old said he's run about 16 Boilermaker 15Ks so far.
The main challenge this year for Hoffman was a calf cramp around the five-mile mark, about halfway through the race. He said it was compounded by only finding ice stations but none with water until about mile seven.
Hoffman was 10th in 51:06 last year in a race without the elite field. This year, "I felt like there was more pressure," with a lot more runners to push past.
Regardless of his finish, Hoffman loves the race. "It's like a holiday for me." And this year, "It was great. At the beginning it was 50 degrees."
Rome Free Academy cross country and track and field coach Nick Jeror completed his 20th Boilermaker in a row this year. His time of 55:47 landed him in 130th place.
"I'm pretty happy with it," he said, considering he'd been training for marathons – 26.2 miles compared to the Boilermaker's 9.3 miles.
"It was great coming back. It's been a few years," he said of running the race in person again. He's run the last two virtually because of the pandemic, running his own route on his own time. The 2020 race was virtual for all participants and the 2021 race had traditional and virtual options.
"It's great to be back," said Roman Moriah Humiston after her sixth Boilermaker 15K. "It's unlike any race." Her time of 1:15.24 felt "pretty good," she said, and it was "a beautiful day." She added, "For me it's not about the time. It's about the community and the post-race party, enjoying it."
This year's race was Boilermaker number 26 for Aaron Carey of Barneveld. "It was a great day. It felt like it used to," he said. "Crowd was great."
He said he wanted to break the one-hour barrier. And he did, crossing the finish line at 59:33. "For the first official Boilermaker after COVID you couldn't ask for more."
Roman Runners President Matt Moore started the race running with his brother for the first 10 kilometers but then his brother took off ahead of him. He later joined with another friend for a running partner. In the end, his time for his fourth Boilermaker 15K was 1:07.56. "I didn't have any expectations," he said as he walked from the finish line to the post-race party, stopping often to chat with friends in the running community.
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