Top 10 Runs This Fourth of July
When you think Fourth of July, odds are a day off from work, cold beers, fireworks and all foods colored red, white, and blue come to mind. The holiday known for celebrating the country’s independence is equally well known for its indulgences. But, it’s also host to a smattering of themed races across all 50 states. This year alone, there are more than 600 races over the holiday weekend. So, before you gorge on all things U.S.A., check out our round-up of patriotic races this Fourth of July. Get a few miles in early so you can indulge guilt-free all day long.
Where: Coronado, California
Runners of the Crown City race have the unique option of running a 12K. Yes, that’s 7.4 miles on July Fourth. It doesn’t get more patriotic than that. This picturesque route will you take along the island’s waterfront and conclude with the city’s festive parade. But, if 7.4 miles isn’t for you, runners can also sign up for a more traditional 5K or a half-mile kid’s race.
Where: Freeport, Maine
If you’re one of the lucky first 1,500 to register for the LL Bean 4th of July 10k and 1-Mile Family Fun Run/ Walk, you’ll receive a New Balance technical running tee. All runners will be given a medal and commemorative race T-shirt as well. With two race options, parents and older siblings can tackle the 10K at 7:25 a.m. and have plenty of time to take younger ones to the 1-mile fun run and walk at 9:10 a.m. All proceeds from the races will go the YMCA of Southern Maine Casco Bay Branch.
Where: Governers Island, New York
If you’re looking for unparalleled views of New York City, the Firecracker 5K & 10K is for you. Runners will be privy to views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The race starts off with a ferry ride and concludes with a festive post-race party.
Where: Sauvie Island, Oregon (about 20 minutes from Portland)
This Foot Traffic race is known for its super flat course and with such a diverse array of race options (from a 5K to a full marathon), there really is something for everyone. Touting itself as the “flattest and fastest half and full marathon on the West Coast” take advantage of such a course to work on a personal record for any distance. After the races, runners will be treated to the legendary strawberry shortcake whipped up by locals. The post-race celebration will also feature live music, veggie dogs and festive medals for all finishers.
Where: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Head to the beautifully green and lush island for one of the top 10 races in South Carolina, and the oldest and largest in Beaufort County. Runners and walkers are welcome at the family-friendly event. After the 5K, there will be length-specific runs for younger kids ages 1-8.
Where: Boulder, Colorado
Cases of beer replace trophies at this 4th of July race. Age group winners will receive a case of Avery Beer, and 2nd and 3rd place age group winners will get two six packs each. But the real motivation here is to win the entire race: overall male and female winners will score their weight in beer. Not to worry if you haven’t trained recently, all participants will be privy to a post-race breakfast and Avery beers.
Where: Pacific Palisades, California
2017 marks the 40th year of this quirky run. The route takes runners into residential neighborhoods that are competing in the town’s house-decorating contest: think tons of bunting and inflatable Uncle Sams. You’ll finish on Sunset Boulevard where a star studded Fourth of July parade takes place shortly after. Keep your eyes out for A-list locals like Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.
Where: Nashville, Tennessee
Get the best tour of Nashville running through the heart of the Music City. Be sure to bring your four-legged friend for the 1-Mile Pup Wag and Walk immediately following the 5k and 10K races. Plus, each pup will receive a finishers bandana. Get downtown early for the race and stay all day for the city’s free outdoor music and firework show.
Where: Reston, Virginia
This race features a “Battle of the Branches” competition to determine “which Military branch runs the Metro area.” Depending on which branch of the military has the most registered runners, Potomac River Running (the company who hosts the race) will make a donation on that branch’s behalf. And, if you need motivation to run your first 5K, all first timers will receive a special bib and commemorative “My first 5K medal.”
Where: Anywhere you love to run
Maybe your hometown doesn’t offer a patriotic race, or maybe the thought of waking up before the sun on your day off to battle crowds at starting lines just doesn’t appeal to you. If that’s the case you’re in luck, join Virtual Runs for their 4 miles for the Fourth of July. You can run or walk four miles, at your pace, anywhere you want. Your favorite trails, beaches, treadmills, and tracks are all fair game, just be sure to report your finishing time to Virtual Runs. Your registration fee will get you an official race bib and medal. Additionally, 15 percent of the fee will be donated to Homes For Our Troops, which is a charity organization that builds homes for injured veterans. Run at your own pace, time, and location and feel great about doing it.
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