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Boilermaker 2014: Standing Tall for 20 Years

Boilermaker 2014 is now just over two weeks away, 17 days and counting. The actual race is of course one of the most exciting parts of the event but there are other sights to see throughout the day. One such site is “The Stilt Guy" who's been standing ten feet high along the course for the past 20 years.
Boilermaker 2014 is now just over two weeks away, 17 days and counting. The actual race is of course one of the most exciting parts of the event but there are other sights to see throughout the day. One such site is “The Stilt Guy" who's been standing ten feet high along the course for the past 20 years.

Chuck Lester is known as "The Stilt Guy." This will be his 20th Boilermaker on stilts, a fun way for him to spend race day that has now become tradition.

Of the thousands of people at the Boilermaker, one man always stands out and over the crowd. He’s hard to miss standing ten feet tall in his special Boilermaker pants.

"These are my ones that I wear for everything now, the red pants with the blue stars on the bottom,” says Lester.

Lester has stood on stilts for 19 Boilermakers, soon to be 20. He says he learned the balancing act through his line of work.

"In the dry wall industry that's one of the first things you do is learn how to walk on stilts and my first experience on stilts I took three steps and fell into a pile of scrap sheet rock,” says Lester.

Luckily he's never fallen at a boilermaker.

Over the past 20 years the stilt guy has given out countless high fives and had plenty of people run through his legs but he says one of his favorite parts of Boilermaker Sunday is recognition from runners.

"Some of the elite runners are so used to seeing me that they actually acknowledge me, I mean this is their business so most of them, they're pretty serious when they go by but there's a few of them that give me thumbs up,” said Lester.

He’s also a motivator along the course.

"I see this pained look on people's faces and then they see some goofy old man standing ten foot tall on stilts and it gives them a little pep if you will because they know they're close to the end,” said Lester.

But best of all he says is his view from the top.

"Just the mass of people when the main body of runners comes down and how far it extends from where I am to way up on the crest of the hill it's just a sea of humanity,” says Lester.

“The Stilt Guy” stands at the Elk Lodge on Champlain Avenue which is right around the seven and a half mile mark.

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