As I arrived at starting line of the Boilermaker 15k Road Race, I was nervous. This was going to be the longest I had ever ran in my entire life, and I knew I wasn’t as prepared as I had wanted to be for the race. But, I still decided to give it a go.
When I was asked if I wanted to be a part of Indium Corporation’s Boilermaker team, of course, I had to say yes! Running the Utica Boilermaker had been on my bucket list and it seemed like, if there was going to be any opportunity to run the Utica Boilermaker, this was going to be it.
Unfortunately, my family was unable to attend the race to support me. This was the first time I was going to be racing alone and I was intimidated. Luckily, about 40,000 other people turned up along the route to cheer for me (and others). But still, they were strangers.
This wasn’t just going to be my longest race, but, with 14,500 registrants, it was the biggest race I had ever been a part of. As I got to the starting area, I began feeling overwhelmed with the amount of people who looked much more prepared to run a 15k then I did. As I patiently waited around for the race to begin, I saw a familiar face from Indium Corporation and I was able to go over and talk to them. We wound up continuing our conversation and walked into the starting corral together. In the corral, we met the other members of “Team Indium”. As we were waiting for the race to begin we all talked, laughed and encouraged each other. All the nerves I was feeling began to go away and in that moment I realized that I wasn’t alone, and I had a new family, here at Indium Corporation.
I was able to start the race off strong, and the minute I got to the “Mile 4” marker I had an ear-to-ear grin, because at that point, no matter what happened, this was the farthest I had ever ran in my life. Each additional step I made after that was now the farthest I had ever run and, for that, I was so proud of myself.
Running the Utica Boilermaker was one of the most enjoyable races that I have completed. The enthusiasm and encouragement that I felt from the huge crowd and other runners was unlike anything else I had ever experienced. Being able to step out of my comfort zone and push myself to do something I wasn’t quite sure I could even accomplish was such a rewarding experience. I am looking forward to next year’s race, and now I have a time to improve upon.
May the force be with you, Meaghan.