Every year on Independence Day, Americans across the country don their brightest red, white and blue, throw their favorite meat on the grill and celebrate beneath the nearest fireworks show. While the holiday is steeped in traditions, we think one more activity should be added to the agenda: a Fourth of July race.
These 17 races feature fireworks of their own—some literally—as they commemorate this great nation and the active people who live here.
Carry the Flag 5K
June 29, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Each race participant receives a mini U.S. flag to carry during this run to honor current and former servicemen and women. While toting the Stars and Stripes during the inaugural race is optional, runners are encouraged to show their support for the troops however they please.
Stars and Stripes 5K
June 29, 2019 in Mission, Texas
If there's any reason to run this race, it's for the beautiful medal in the shape of the United States. Touted as the most patriotic 5K in the Rio Grande Valley, this event takes place at the Pepsi Sports Park Complex and is part of the Sole Racing Summer Series.
Firecracker 5K and 2-Mile Walk
June 30, 2019 in Highland Park, Ill.
The course for this 5K—perfect for both seasoned runners and newbies—features views of lush Midwest trees and the shores of Lake Michigan. Prefer a leisurely two-mile walk with your family? Choose the Family Walk registration that includes up to four people for a discounted price.
Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50
July 3, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts
If you're a die-hard New England Patriot fan, then you can't miss this 5K and 10K race. Hosted at Gillette Stadium, runners will be able to run through the stadium for the Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50. Nothing is more patriotic—at least for runners. This race also includes a Fireworks show for celebration.
4 on the Fourth
July 4, 2019 in Bidgton, Maine
Surrounded by many bodies of water and encompassed with a cool summer breeze, Bridgton, Maine, is the place to be to celebrate Independence Day. In its 42nd year, this two-day event includes a 4-mile run, a Kids Fun Run/Walk and finishes with a Fourth of July Parade in downtown Bridgton. Not to mention a fireworks show that really closes out the holiday with a bang!
AJC Peachtree Road Race
July 4, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia
As the largest 10K in the country, the Peachtree Road Race is one to put on your bucket list. You'll be running with more than 60,000 other Americans (as well as some international participants) so you're not likely to get lonely along the course.
Each year, a design contest determines the artwork on the race T-shirt, so you'll walk away with an extra special souvenir from the race day.
MORE: Why Atlanta Is the New Running Hotspot
Breckenridge Independence Day 10K Trail Run
July 4, 2019 in Breckenridge, Colorado
This trail run in Colorado's high country is an Independence Day tradition in Breckenridge and offers some of the best views in the Rocky Mountains. After crossing the finish line, be sure to catch your breath at the Main Street Parade and additional Fourth of July festivities.
This race is capped at 400 people and usually sells out in June, so be sure to register early.
Independence Day 5K/10K Champoeg State Park
July 4, 2019 in NE St. Paul, Oregon
This race with 5K and 10K options takes place entirely inside Champoeg State Park on paved bike trails along the Willamette River. Complete with burgers (or garden burgers, for vegetarians), beer and music at the finish, you'll want to hang out long after you're done running.
Freedom Run at the Ranch
July 4, 2019 in Ladera Ranch, California
Don your red, white and blue for the Freedom Run, a looped 5K or 10K race in sunny Southern California followed by a delicious pancake breakfast. All proceeds from the race benefit Laura House, a local nonprofit organization that provides residential shelter services, counseling, legal services and a 24-hour crisis hotline to families affected by abuse.
Myrtle Beach's Independence Day 8K/5K
July 4, 2019 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
This event offers something for everyone with 8K, 5K or 1-mile distance options. The looped courses wind around the Grand Park Recreation Complex, where runners will see plenty of palm trees and red, white and blue.
Run San Ramon
July 4, 2019 in San Ramon, California
Enjoy a healthy start to your Fourth of July at this looped 5K or 10K run in San Ramon. The registration cost for both races is the same, so why not log 6.2 miles to honor America? All participants will receive a commemorative short sleeve race shirt and goodies from race sponsors.
Hilton Head Firecracker Run
July 4, 2019 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
The Hilton Head Firecracker Run and Family Fun Walk is the largest and oldest road race in Beaufort County and one of the top 10 races in the state of South Carolina. Join more than 1,700 runners and walkers from across the U.S. on a beautiful journey at Shelter Cover on Hilton Head Island to celebrate our nation's birthday.
The SHARK Run
July 4, 2019 in Perdido Key Beach, Florida
Stick to the road or take on the beach. The SHARK Run offers participants the option of competing on a four-mile road course, a one-mile beach-only run, or the original SHARK Adventure Run: two miles on road surface, followed by a finishing 2.5-mile leg on the beach. For the latter, runners will wear flag football belts and evade "sharks" looking to steal their flags as they make their way to the finish. Runners who complete the course with flags intact are eligible or awards!
Independence Day 5K/10K
July 4, 2019 in Cumming, Georgia
An early morning run that includes historic Steam Engine tractors? Spend this Fourth of July in Cummings, Georgia, where runners are a part of a parade dedicated to showcasing old historic vehicles. While getting in a good run, participants can be a part of the fun in this Independence Day race. Not to mention the course is brand new this year, so be ready for a new routes with Steam Engines to follow.
Five on the 4th
July 4, 2019 in Dallas, Texas
Right in the heart of Dallas, this Independence Day celebration includes a 5-mile run, a 5-mile family bike ride, a 2-mile walk and even races just for kids. Located in Klyde Warren Park, the day includes more than just running—from music, vendors, face painting for the kids and fun for the whole family. The race also support the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, which helps more than 200,000 men, women and children in the area. So if you are looking for something to start your holiday, this race day has all the makings to create a fun-filled Fourth of July.
Red, White & Boom
July 4, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
A day that includes a 5K, half marathon, relay and even a virtual race option, the Red, White & Boom race will make this Fourth of July one to remember. Organized by the non-profit Twin Cities in Motion, running is just the beginning, with a riverfront festival with fireworks and plenty of food and vendors to check out after you cross the finish line. And it only gets better because all runners will also receive a one-of-a-kind patriotic medal—yes, even the virtual participants! So whether you can be there at Boom Island Park Minneapolis or are running in your own hometown, this jam-packed race day will be one for the books.
Clearwater 4th of July Apple Pie Run
July 4, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida
Pie on the Fourth of July? What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with this classic all-American dessert? Run or walk the 5K and receive an apple pie finisher's medal, tech tee, a fee food sampler and free beer for everyone over the age of 21. Spend your morning on the beautiful Ream Wilson Trail in Clearwater before settling in for the spectacular fireworks show later that day. There isn't a better way to spend the holiday.
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