Perhaps this weekend you saw a three guys riding bikes tracing along the streets the Boilermaker is run. No, they weren’t trying to set a new Boilermaker record in the bike category; they were certifying our course. We are mandated by the USA Track and Field (USATF) to recertify our course every fifteen years. This is the second time we’ve had USATF measure the course and is the fourth time it’s been done in the race’s 34 year history.
Why is certifying a course important? Well it’s critical if you are going to put on an event that attracts elite athletes, that precise measurement is the measurement of their success.
Next you may ask why again measure roads that are the same roads you’ve always run? Well, sometimes things change.
Over time minor changes can occur on roadways, for example curves might have become shallower or sharper. What if the roundabout was put at the intersection of the Parkway and Genesee Street? Now imagine you are not measuring the Boilermaker (9.3 miles) but measuring a marathon course, 26.2 miles, in a major city- very interesting.
We’ve seen some course changes over the years. In the beginning the start was at the corner of Culver and Dwyer, this became a problem as the race became more popular as you were ‘feeding’ the runners immediately into a more constrained roadway. Moving people father up Culver meant somewhere along the course the distance had to be made up. Prior, runners ran along the Parkway past Genesee Street towards the bridge. The new layout has runners turn left on Genesee, right on Shepherd, right on Sunset and left back on the ‘traditional course’. The Finish line moved a bit to the east many, many years ago when the permanent structure was erected in front of the brewery.
So when you ‘toe the line’ on July 8th feel confident that we are giving you a full 15k; enjoy.