Following the Boilermaker Brick Road

By Julia Rose

Published 07/10 2014 06:12PM

Updated 07/10 2014 06:16PM

The Boilermaker is much more than just a road race to the City of Utica and the entire Mohawk Valley. It is a center piece of the community, so much so there is a park dedicated to it.

Many people do not know that there is an exact replica of the Boilermaker course made of bricks in the center of Butler Park. It’s known as Boilermaker Square and anyone can buy a brick and have it inscribed but not many take advantage of the opportunity

In 1997 the Boilermaker Committee decided to give the inactive Butler Park a Boilermaker makeover.

"It’s a symbol of the boilermaker itself because it's a miniature replica of the race track as it winds through the city so you can walk this course and you'd be making the same turns as those who are running the 15K,” says Lou Matrulli, Boilermaker Square Coordinator.

People can buy bricks and have them inscribed but Matrulli says it's not all that popular. Last year only 27 bricks were sold.

"It’s just, it seems to be that it's not quite as obvious to them as we think it is,” said Matrulli.

About 1,700 bricks have been purchased lining Boilermaker Square to about the eight mile mark. The goal is to fill the entire course and once that happens, coordinators say they will begin filling the landmarks that are also scattered around the course.

"As an example we have M.V.C.C., we have Utica College, we have some of the hospitals, the Utica Zoo so there's also room for people to put their bricks around various landmarks in the city,” says Matrulli.

The bricks display all different kinds of messages, some Boilermaker related, others to honor loved ones.

"My mom and dad both have passed away in regards to what I have bricks there for, specifically for them, so it's important to me when I go down there to go back there and think about them,” says Boilermaker President Tim Reed.

Bricks are sold for $30.00 at the Expo, on race day and all year long online on the Boilermaker website.

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