Photo: Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia, center battles with the pack of elite runners during the 46th running of the Boilermaker 15K Road Race presented by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Sunday, July 9, 2023. Yimer won the race for the second consecutive year, breaking his own men’s open division event record that he set last year. Other runners from left: Omar Ait Chitachen of Morocco, John Korir of Kenya, Isaac Kipkemboi of Kenya and Charles Langat of Kenya.
Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia successfully defended his men’s open division crown at the 46th running of the Boilermaker 15K Road Race presented by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, shattering the event record he set last year by 32 seconds.
Yimer won the event in 42 minutes and six seconds, besting Kenyans John Korir and Charles Langat who finished second and third respectively, in a race that saw the top four men beat the event record.
Runners took advantage of the cloudy conditions to get off to a fast start with an unusually large lead pack of about 16 runners staying together through the 2-mile mark. The lead pack dwindled to nine by the 5K mark, with Yimer, Langat and early leader Omar Ait Chitachen pushing the pace.
Yimer began to assert himself further on mile five, pushing the pace with a 4:08 split on the mostly downhill stretch. Tuliamuk fell off the pace by the seventh mile, leaving just Yimer, Langat and Korir to battle for the title. Yimer broke away from there, leading to a relatively comfortable win.
Reid Buchanan of San Diego, CA led American males with his seventh place finish, crossing the line in 43:44.
Kenyan Jesca Chelangat broke Edna Kiplagat’s 13-year old event record, taking home the women’s open division crown with a time of 47 minutes and 33 seconds. Chelangat bested Kiplagat’s record, which was set in 2010 by 24 seconds, beating fellow Kenyan Sarah Naibei by one minute and 13 seconds.
Kilpagat did not stay out of the Boilermaker record book for long, however, as her fourth overall finish in the Women’s Open Division was more than enough to break the women’s master’s division (over 40). Her time of 49:11 beat Edith Masai’s 2002 record by 1 minute and 29 seconds.
The American women’s contingent was led by Aliphine Tuliamuk of Arizona, who finished in fifth place overall with a time of 49:18. Racing at the Boilermaker as a professional for the first time, three-time 5K champion Jessie Cardin of Rochester Hills, MI, was the second best American female, finishing ninth overall with a time of 49:46.
Canadian Josh Cassidy took home the men’s open wheelchair division with a time of 33:10, beating Manuel Vergara of California who finished second with a time of 34:52.
2022 Women’s Wheelchair Open Division champion Jenna Fesemyer of Illinois defended her Boilermaker Crown, finishing in 40:32, 1 minute and six seconds in front of second-place finisher Yen Hoang of Champaign IL.
19-year-old D. Casey Malloy of New Hartford won the 5K Road Race presented by Utica National in 15:56, crossing the finish line 12 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Tyler Vega of Elkton, MD. Ashley Rathbun of Springfield, NJ won the women’s open division of the 5K, with a time of 20:23.
This year’s 15K race saw 6973 finishers with the 3125 crossing the finish line for the 5K, up from 5848 and 2469 respectively in 2022.
“Today was an absolutely amazing day for our race,” said Boilermaker race director Jim Stasaitis. “The weather turned out to be perfect for the runners and spectators alike. Seeing three records fall was something that is special and rare. We celebrate with each and every one of the record holders, including the everyday athletes who set personal bests today.”