July 4th is just around the corner and it is definitely a big holiday for traveling! If you will be traveling this Independence Day weekend (or would like to), here are some races in cities you should definitely check out.
July 4th Races to Run
There is a local Rochester race that I have run every July 4th for several years but will miss this year. It is one of the few races that I have had as an annual race. There is just something about our nation’s birthday that brings a lot more of a festive spirit to a gathering like a race. There are more families in attendance, attitudes are lighter, there is no shopping that people are trying to rest up for, the weather can be counted on as not freezing, and you know that you will more than likely not be eating yourself into a position that you cannot move from later (unless you are participating in the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest). If you have a July 4th race taking place near you, go out and run it! If you will be traveling and near any of the races on this list, I would definitely make running one of them a priority. True, the crowds will be bigger but the festive spirit will be running high and it should make for a great race!
Peachtree Road Race 10K
The race that has to be at the top of the list is the Peachtree Road Race 10K. For one, it is largest race in the US for 2013 with over 55,000 runners. This race takes place in Atlanta – so count on a very hot race! The forecast is currently calling for 90 degrees. If you live in the area or are in the South, you are more than likely used to the heat but just be ready for it. The Peachtree sees some very big names (and times) in the running community. Last year, 12 runners ran sub-29 minutes. It is always great to be able to run in the footsteps of the great runners in our hobby! Unfortunately, this year’s Peachtree is closed. It operates with a lottery system and the lottery is open for a week (or so) in the latter end of March. The cost is $35 for Atlanta Track Club members and $38 for non-members. Check out this site for more information about the registration process. If you are in the area, you can still help out by volunteering! There is a need for 3,400 volunteers and it can be a wonderful chance to help make the runners have a great day.
Music City July 4th
Another great event is located in Nashville, TN. Participants cannot speak highly enough about the race and that is not surprising since Nashville is known to put on quite a few quality running events.
For the Music City July 4th event, the race is just part of the day’s celebration. In fact, it is said that the Music City July 4th fireworks display is the best 4th of July display in the USA. The races offered are the 10K and 5K distances. The races start at 7:30 and each cost $35. I normally do not like early races, but since there are so many different events throughout the day, it may be nice to run the race and get it done and out of the way. Registration for the race can be found here.
White House Run
The company City Running Tours puts on runs, not races, all over the US throughout the year. One of their Washington DC runs take place at 9AM on the 4th of July with the starting line as the White House. The distance is a 10K. I have mentioned before that one of my favorite cities in the world to run is Washington DC. To be able to run in it with other runners on Independence Day while beginning at the White House would be one memorable running event!
I know, it is not a race, so some may be turned off by it, but it should be a fun run still! The bad part is that the registration cost is quite high – $45. That would be high for a 10K race, but for a 10K run, it seems really high. Still if you are in the area, you might as well start out your 4th of July in the nation’s capitol!
There are dozens of Firecracker races around the country. Most of them are 5Ks with some 5 milers and some 10Ks. These races are a great chance to interact with local runners while still enjoying some of the festivities. If you do not know about a Firecracker race in the area you will be in for the 4th of July, look up the race calendar for the city.
I do have to mention a notable Firecracker race, not just because it is a hometown race for me 🙂 but because it is one of the oldest races in Rochester and takes the runners through the city. This race is called the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5 Mile race. The only change is that this 5 mile race is actually 4 miles this year due to construction. 🙂
If you are in the Rochester, NY area for this July 4th, definitely check out the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5 miler (link here). If you would rather something longer, you can sign up for the Irondequoit 10K (also in Rochester). They offer a 2 mile race and a 10K race. The cool part is that the 2 mile race starts 15 minutes before the 10K race so you could run both races! The 10K routes through Durand Eastman Park, which is quite beautiful. It is also one of the cheaper 10Ks around with a family package as well. For more information, click here.
Harvard Pilgrim 10K
This race is actually not on July 4th, but it is still a great (sounding) race to try for July 4th weekend. It is on July 3rd but takes place in historic Boston. It is a 10K and 5K distance race. The finish has to be one of the best finishes for a race – the 50 yard line of Gillette Stadium – the home of the New England Patriots (and I am not a Patriots fan).
This sounds like a fantastic race with some great celebratory fireworks for the weekend. You can find out more information about it here.
Do you have a local favorite race for July 4th? Chime in here in the comments with the race or which race you plan on running!