Well, it is official. A longtime goal for me will be underway this coming July as many of us will be headed to the Boilermaker.

The Boilermaker is a challenging race, one that I grew up hearing about in passing conversation while at my relative's homes in Utica. I knew it was some type of mythological event that my grandmother worked a water station for, before I even knew what a water station was. It was a hard, hilly course. It was a long, 15-kilometer race. It was in mid-friggin'-July.

That's a bit of a hill

That's a bit of a hill

For the past few years, people have poked and prodded me to go for it, telling me it is worth it for the beer and party afterward. When Ellie and I sat down to plan out our race dates, we decided this was the year. At least I decided it was, and she will have to suffer the consequences. So, too, will Mike and Susan, to whom I talked up the race . . . and (with any luck) my Dad will also be joining us, though he still requires some quick convincing before the race fills up. We will also be joined by the Sneeringer Family, which makes me really excited because aside from a couple of 5-K events, this will be the first longer, travel race we get to do as a group. Rolling with that many people is an absolute blast, because although running is a very individual undertaking, being a part of a group to talk to and celebrate with makes the experience complete.

The cool thing about signing up this far ahead of time is that we have plenty of time to train for this race. Twenty-six weeks means plenty of time to train slowly and carefully, hopefully avoiding overdoing it and injury. It will also give us plenty of time during the spring and early summer, which will be a nice reason to rush out the door, come good weather. I think it will work out really well.

This time, I really do intend on getting race shirts for everyone who wants one. I promise!