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Press Release

43rd Boilermaker Transitions to Virtual Event

June 16, 2020 (Utica, NY) The 2020 Boilermaker, originally scheduled for July 12th and then postponed until September 13th, has transitioned to a virtual event due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19. Both the 15K presented by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and the Utica National 5K will be held as virtual events to keep the Boilermaker spirit alive during these challenging times.


As was the case with the postponement decision, this very difficult decision was made in concert with the race’s medical support team, the NYS Department of Health and most importantly, with the safety and well-being of runners, volunteers, staff and community at large, in mind.


“Endurance runners do not quit early in the race, they perservere until they know when it’s no longer prudent to go on. Since our postponement, we have been working with and following the incredible work being done throughout the road race industry, in conjunction with CDC guidelines, to determine how or if events could be held safely. In our case, virtually every ingredient that makes the Boilermaker so special, from our size to our global participation and community involvement, works against us in the face of COVID-19. Ultimately, after exhausting our efforts to ‘finish the race’ so to speak, we could not adequately protect our runners or our community. As we have stated from day one, if we could not put on a safe event, we would not proceed,” said Boilermaker President, Mark Donovan. “That being said, we are thrilled to be able to present the first ever virtual Boilermaker, which will serve as an exciting and unique experience for our participants. If you’re already registered for the Boilermaker, you will have a full array of options to choose from. If you have not registered, we welcome you to learn about the virtual event and join us. In the meantime, we continue to urge everyone to stay safe, stay positive, stay at home when you can and long may you run.”


What is a Virtual Boilermaker?

  • Participants will run their 15K or 5K at a time and place of their choosing between September 1st and September 13th. They will then report their time back to the Boilermaker no later than noon EST on September 13th via their RunSignUp account.
  • Participants can run a course of their choosing including a treadmill or track. The Boilermaker encourages runners to choose a course that is safe and allows them to exercise social distancing guidelines in place for their region, state or country.
  • Participants will have shipped to them a historic commemorative pint glass, race bib, finishers medal (15K only) and finishers pin (5K only).
  • While not required, participants are encouraged to use the RaceJoy mobile app to document their run and report their time to RunSignUp. More information on this to follow.
  • Over the next few months, the Boilermaker will be sharing numerous opportunities that will make participation in this virtual event an incredibly unique and memorable Boilermaker experience.
  • The following programs will be a part of the Virtual 2020 Boilermaker:
    • Charity Bib program which has raised over $600,000 for the nonprofit partners since its inception
    • Wheelchair division sponsored by Sitrin Healthcare & NBT Bank
    • Corporate Cup Challenge sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
    • High School Challenge sponsored by Ball Aerospce
    • Bob Ingall’s Police & Fire Departments Competition
    • Traditional age group awards

Below is a summary of the the important information needed by current Boilermaker registrants or those who wish to register for the 2020 Virtual Boilermaker.


All currently and previously registered participants were sent e-mail communications this morning detailing the situation. They were provided with several choices on how they would like to proceed, how to make those choices, and a timeframe for them to make their decision.


Current participants will have until June 30th at noon to select from one of these options through their RunSignUp profile:

  • Participate in this unique virtual Boilermaker experience
  • Receive a refund for your registration minus a small processing fee
  • One-time complimentary rollover of registration 2021 at no additional cost
  • Donate registration fee to the Boilermaker to help the organization through this unprecedented challenge

Prospective New Participants:

  • Registration is now open. Simply visit boilermaker.com for more information and to register.
  • Pricing is as follows and will remain in place until each race caps out:
  • 15K presented by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield - $60
  • 5K presented by Utica National - $50

Expo and Other Boilermaker Weekend Events:

  • Due to safety concerns related to COVID-19, the Boilermaker will not be able to host it’s traditional Expo at MVCC.
  • The Utica National Kids Run will not be conducted in a traditional manner. Work is being done to transition to a potential virtual event as well. Updates will come at a later date.

For more information, visit boilermaker.com.


The 2020 Virtual Boilermaker Road Race will take place between September 1st and September 13th, 2020.