What’s better than starting a holiday off with a 5-mile race? A FREE 5-mile race perhaps? Today I started the day off with heading to the Sacramento neighborhood of River Park with my wife and son to take part in the 37th annual 4th of July 5-miler, the oldest running event in Sacramento, hosted by Buffalo Chips Running Club (the Sacramento based running club which I run for).
Though the race is free it is still very organized and very well attended. With the race being a free race on a holiday, many of the areas top running clubs are in attendance as well as some of the best runners in the Sacramento area. No t-shirts, bibs, pre-registration (outside of the on spot waiver that is signed), timing tags, or prize money at this event, but for those racing the event there is the pride factor. Along with the well marked 5-mile course, the event offers all the amenities that other races offer. A starting area with an official clock, a well supported finish line, water station at the 2.5 mile mark, course marshals, and supporters along the course.
|the kids race ready to start|
Before the main event of the morning starts off, the race even offers a kids 10 and under race. After the singing of the National Anthem to start the race, the horn went off to get runners on their way for the race. The all pavement run through River Park offers some various twist and turns, but still has some straightaways to allow for runners to kick it into high gear if you are inclined to. Each mile is well marked with mile markers and safe as well as local police and course marshals hold off traffic along the course.
During the run, the people of the River Park community come out and cheer on runners some even offer their hoses to spray down runners during the toasty morning. I took advantage of one of the friendly folks spraying runners down with their water hose.
|the finish line area|
After crossing the finish line at Glenn Hall Park, local vendors offered some snacks and recovery food along with various drinks and plenty of water. This is one of the best events in town and a holiday tradition for many runners and families, since the course is walker and baby jogger friendly. If you happen to be in Sacramento next July 4th, I recommend putting this even on your calendar.
|a view around Glenn Hall Park|
For me I used this as a nice little shake out run and finished the run at a time of 36:59 (7:20/mi). It is a great way to get out and run with friends say hello to familiar faces and enjoy the running community and what it has to offer.
Did you run in a 4th of July race or get in a training run today? How did it go?