When you live in the Capital Region and run the Boilermaker, you have two options: Stay over in the Utica area (and book well in advance--at least 6 months), or get up at an ungodly hour and head west for the 8am start. In both 2011 and 2012 I chose to stay the night nearby.
In a two sentence race review/recap, I can tell you that I love the Boilermaker 15k, the people of Utica are gracious with their colanders of ice, icicles, orange slices, and garden hose showers, and my only criticism/suggestion is that they do a pace-related wave start. Because Super Elite followed by Everyone Else does not make for a comfortable first few miles.
ANYWAY, we had dinner at Symeon's, recommended by a friend who goes to Utica for work often. It wasn't super crazy, despite the thousands of people in town for the run. They also have a lot of tables. The souvlaki was so flavorful and piping hot, and those pieces of well-seasoned meat contrasted beautifully with my antipasto plate (basically Greek salad with dolmades--grape leaves--on top). My only criticism is that the bread to wrap the souvlaki in wasn't warm, which made it unappetizing. I ignored it. My mom (who ran the BM15k in 1:34!) really enjoyed her salmon with grilled vegetables and rice pilaf. Light and healthy, getting ready to run.
We were pretty full, but baklava ice cream sounded very interesting. We heard it was especially made just for them by Roc Star Ice Cream. We decided to get one to share, and our waitress put it in three mini dishes (unnecessary but SO SWEET), and it was delicious. Baklava or ice cream, WHY CHOOSE when you can have baklava IN your ice cream? Really.
3 mini sundaes for the price of one. Thank you!