It’s time – the LONG overdue race recap of the Liberty Run 4 Miler in Washington Park on July 4th! This was one of my favorite small, local races to date. Everything about the race was so well organized, carefully planned, and just plain fun. The race began at 8:30am at the southern edge of Wash Park in Denver, right along E. Louisiana Avenue. As per usual, the emcee was making announcements, commenting on the awesome patriotic ensembles, and pumping up the crowd. Packet pickup occurred race day, and was a very smooth process. The hubs and I picked up our bibs and awesome tech tees, dropped off the goodies at the car, and prepped for the race.
This race contributed towards the Make-a-Wish foundation, which is a charity I have always admired. Fulfilling incredible wishes for ailing children will always tug at my heart strings. Furthermore, all of the volunteers were absolutely incredible – decked out in red, white and blue attire, completely friendly and cheerful, and full of great energy for all of the runners, walkers, and kids participating that day. Before the start of the race, the emcee directed us through our pre-run warm-up: the Chicken Dance! It was pretty cute, I must admit. And finally it was time to run! The first wave included the more seasoned athletes, then runners, and finished with the competitive race walkers (it is an impressive sport, and to learn more, check out the T-Rex Runner’s recounting of her race walking experience!).
The first mile took a loop around a third of the park, and then back through the starting line to begin a loop around the perimeter of the entire park. It was a lovely morning, but incredibly humid for Denver (about 85% humidity when we started), so the weather warmed up quickly. There were two water stations on course, which we very welcome. Once the perimeter loop was complete, we ran back through the starting line and took the smaller loop through to the finish line.
Upon finishing, the emcee was great about cheering folks on and maintaining momentum. Volunteers were there with bags for us to grab the incredible loot that we could line up for. Once in line, there was free sunscreen, awesome beer glasses, packs of Tylenol Allergy/Sinus, and other great giveaways. Naked juice was handing out smoothies, and BornFit provided the great race day tech tees. My favorite RunColorado store had a booth promoting their running gear. It was all around a fantastically represented and coordinated race.
Following the Run/Walk portion was a Kid’s Firecracker Fun Run, which looked like a blast. The best part was seeing the costumes and creative ensembles. There was a legitimate Captain America (complete with head gear), and tons of red, white and blue all over the place. My favorite group of runners donned kid-sized animal innertubes, fun sunglasses, and tossed beach balls all throughout the race. They even had water squirt guns and cooled people off as they ran past. They were my new best friends for about 30 minutes. I decided to recycle my BolderBoulder outfit, but this time paired it with my Patriotic starry Sparkly Soul headband. I managed to attract a fantastic group of volunteers who would yell “SPARKLE SKIRT!! WOOO!!!” each time I made another loop around the course, which obviously made my day. The hubs donned a blue RunColorado shirt, although I couldn’t convince him to rewear our patriotic sunglasses.
I would love to run this race again next year. I do wish it had been even half an hour earlier given the heat and humidity of the day, but otherwise it was a superb race. So much fun, great energy and atmosphere, and the perfect way to start the holiday weekend! It made me feel less guilty about the giant burger I consumed later that day. What can I say? The hubs makes a mean burger – on a pretzel bun, to make matters awesomer.
Check out this amazing race day video! The hubs and I managed to repel the cameras that day, but it’s such a perfect way to showcase the race!
What has been your favorite small, local race? Don’t you just love the 4th of July (yeah, Americuh!)? How do you feel about races less than 6 miles?