UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — This year the Boilermaker, with the help of Wolfspeed, will provide a select number of first-time runners from the immigrant and underprivileged local communities a complimentary entry into any of this year’s Boilermaker events.

“One of the great things about running is all you need is a pair of sneakers on the surface that’s a true statement however in reality in order to participate in road race events like the Boilermaker you need some level of disposable income sadly for many people in our local community this can be a significant barrier of entry into the world of road racing,” said Mark Donovan, Boilermaker president.

The program will help community members who are facing financial barriers or who may not have access to proper running shoes ensuring everyone has a chance to cross the finish line.

“Thanks to support from our friends at the Sneaker Store here in New Hartford the access program will also be making a select number of sneakers available to these folks. In addition, we will also be offering training programs and connections to the host of running clubs,” said Donovan.

Race officials are working with local agencies across the mohawk valley such as the center to identify potential applicants.

“You want diversity you want representation of your entire community and the boilermaker is the perfect opportunity in marriage of what this city is and an opportunity for newcomers to join and be a part of something big,” said Shelly Callahan, Executive Director of The Center.

Applications will be open through May 31st at local agencies and at boilermaker.com.