Barbeques and fireworks have long been synonymous with the Fourth of July. But Americans also love their running on this commemorative day. According to Running USA, a nonprofit organization that gathers data on racing trends statistics, Independence Day is second behind only Thanksgiving as the most popular holiday for road racing. Of the estimated 250,000 runners who will finish a race on Friday, close to a fifth of those alone will come from Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race 10K, annually the largest race in the U.S.
The Red, White & Blue Shoes 5K, a Greenville Track Club (GTC) sponsored event, has quickly become one of the Upstate premier summer races. Over 1,000 runners finished the 5K event last year which will again serve as the RRCA South Carolina State 5K Championship Race. The course’s mostly flat terrain around the campus of Furman University offers a great chance for runners to meet a personal or season best. The race begins in front of the historic Cherrydale mansion next to the Rugby pitch, shoots down the mall and around the lake with a festive finish inside Paladin Stadium.
View the course map here.
Past RWBS 5K Winners
2013 Men: Austin Steagall 15:03
Women: Michelle Ziegler 18:27
2012 Men: Josh Cashman 15:40
Women: Kristi Arledge 18:25
2011 Men: Chris Caldwell 15:50
Women: Whitney Bishoff 17:30
2010 Men: Jason Bryan 15:55
Women: Kristi Arledge 18:28
Following the race, there will be a kids steeplechase and musical chairs contest inside the stadium. Kids and adults are also invited to participate in a water balloon contest, a great chance to cool off from the run. While there will not be cash awards for the race, monetary prizes will be given in the Corporate Tug of War ($100 cash to the 4-person male and female teams, $200 to the 8-person co-ed teams). Many are familiar with Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, held annually in Coney Island, New York. The GTC’s own version of good ‘ol American food gorging has become the popular Mini Pie Eating Contest. Race participants over 14 years of age will be able to partke in a single elimination, no holds bar competition to see who can eat the most pies before the rest of their challengers. First place male and female receive $200 cash. Second place winners receive a $50 gift certificate. If this sounds like your cup of tea, remember to go lightly on the pre-race dinner the night before.
Packet pickup will be available July 3 from 3:00p.m.-7:30p.m. at Furman’s Timmons Arena and on July 4 from 6:00a.m.-7:45a.m. at Timmons Arena. Online registration can be accessed by clicking here.
Over in Pickens County, the annual Easley Firecracker Frolic 5K will be held at the city’s Old Market Square. This USATF certified race runs down Main Street and has had a history of recording fast times. The race begins at 7:30a.m.
View the course map here.
For event info and registration visit the race website.
Other Fourth of July races in South Carolina Friday include:
• Born in the USA 4 Miler (Columbia) 7:44a.m.
• Hilton Head Island Firecracker 5000 (Hilton Head) 8:05a.m.
• Independence Day 8K/5K (Myrtle Beach) 7:00a.m.
• July 4th Cross Country Run 5K (Johns Island, SC) 8a.m.