Entourage to shadow governor on annual Utica road race
It shouldn’t be hard to spot bib number 89 at Sunday’s Boilermaker Road Race.
It’ll be worn by Gov. David Paterson, who will be surrounded by an entourage of state troopers, security personnel and staff members while running the 15K.
The shorts-and-sneakers-clad team will be there to ensure his safety in the crowd of more than 11,000 people, and keep him company during the race.
But the legally blind governor doesn’t need anyone to show him the way, his office said.
“It’s not as though he needs someone guiding him every step,” said Morgan Hook, a Paterson spokesman. “I mean this is a guy who runs the point playing pick-up basketball.”
The governor’s office would not discuss specifics of the security team, such as how many people will be running and along the course. His starting position and expected finish time also were unknown.
“Security is always around. There will be folks running and folks around,” spokeswoman Dolores Caruso said at a news conference Wednesday at the Distance Running Hall of Fame. “It will be secure.”
Paterson is the only New York governor to enter the 15K race in its 31- year history, Caruso said. But he doesn’t want many special accommodations during the race, she said.
“He’s demanding less than some of the local runners,” Race Director Jim Stasaitis said.
Boilermaker Executive Director Tim Reed said there has been one instance of a legally blind runner completing the Boilermaker in the past. In that instance, the runner was aided by a partner throughout the race.
Paterson has been training, Reed said. He competed in a New York City Central Park race four weeks ago and has recently completed a 10-mile run in preparation for Sunday.
“He’s ready, he’s pumped and he can’t wait to get here,” Caruso said.
Caruso said Paterson will not take part in any other Boilermaker festivities during the weekend. It’s uncertain whether he will make an appearance at the post-race party.