Of course, if you’re in the lower Hudson Valley on July 4th, you’ll run the Putnam Valley Classic. But if you’re stuck of town with your in-laws, say in Saratoga Springs, we’ve found a race for you. Hey, the rest of this page might read like we copied and pasted a press release. You’ve been warned.
For the 5th annual year, Broadway in Saratoga Springs will kick off July 4 with runners lined across its historical street. The Firecracker4, a four-mile race through downtown Saratoga, will start a day full of festivities to celebrate Independence Day in the Spa City.
Beginning at the Saratoga Hilton and City Center, the course winds south on Broadway before taking participants through an enduring journey around the heart of downtown Saratoga. The race concludes behind the City Center at Grove Street with a giant United States flag hoisted at the finish line by the Saratoga Springs Fire Department.
An event that started with just 150 racers, the Firecracker4 had more than 1,500 competitors take over Saratoga last year. This year’s race will begin at 9 a.m., with race day registration starting at 7 a.m.
“From just over 150 runners in year one to over 1500 in year four, it has been a very satisfying project,” said Firecracker4 Co-Race Director, Peter Goutous. “The Firecracker is an established holiday race that attracts not only our local running base but returning Saratogians and visitors from far and wide.”
The Firecracker4 is made up over just over 100 volunteers who work on all aspects of the not-for-profit face. Each volunteer is rewarded with a Firecracker4 T-shirt for their efforts.
“Saratoga Springs has always been a great destination for locals and tourists,” Goutos said. “Our Firecracker4 volunteer team is proud to add another event to the list of reasons to visit Saratoga Springs.”
Beyond the race, the Firecracker4 is filled with festivities for both racing participants and spectators. Bands and other musicians are displayed throughout the course along with vendors of all types including food, entertainment and various other local entities.
An award ceremony will conclude the event at 10 a.m. Medals are awarded to top three finishers in five-year increments with a special category for military and fire, police and EMS participants.
“A run through Saratoga Springs is really is a great way to start celebrating the Fourth of July,” said Co-Race Director, Bob Vanderminden. “With all the festivities alongside the race there’s something in it for everyone.”
Registration is $20 before July 2 and $25 the day of the race. All runners receive a goodie bag and dry-fit T-shirt for participating. Registration can be done online at www.firecracker4.com through credit card or PayPal. Paper applications will also be available in participating locations.