It was a good day in Utica. This was one of the best races that I have ever experienced. Ten thousand runner from all over the world go to this small blue collar city for what must be this towns biggest annual event. The residents of Utica line the street, nearly shoulder to shoulder for over 9 miles. In some places the crowds are 3 deep. They cheer, they ring cow bells, they hand out water and ice pops. The sounds of live bands, DJs and bag pipes are staples at this event. Every neighborhood that the course passes through has a different theme celebrating its heritage.
The entire event is broadcast live on all the local television stations and several pages of print are dedicated to this event in the local paper for days. Word class runners, past and present, all come out for this race (Frank Shorter & Bill Rodgers crossed the finish line near me).
The race ends near the brewery where Saranac beer is made. Everyone, runners and spectators alike, are invited to a huge party (40k people) at the brewery with live music, fireworks, 2 fighter jets did a fly over and, most importantly, it's open bar for 3 hours.
I intend to run this one again!