Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



6 Firecracker Races to Run This 4th of July

Running a race to celebrate Independence Day has become just as much of a tradition as firing up the barbecue grill and watching fireworks. From hot dog-eating challenges to dashes for dogs, these quirky Fourth of July running events offer plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. Ready to break out the red, white and blue? Check out these six festive footraces.

The Colorado Firecracker Run

Where: Erie, Colorado
When: July 1, 2018
What makes it extra fun: “The Firecracker Run [4 mile, 4K and Kids Run] was created to be not only a run/walk for the entire family, but to be a celebration of Independence Day with a bit of intentional quirkiness,” says David Janowiec, president of The Recess Factory, the race’s organizer. At the start, everyone gets red, white and blue beads. But the fun really gets flowing at the finish line, where runners can take a dive down a 60-foot-long slip-n-slide to finish in spectacular fashion. There’s also a huge foam bubble pit to play in after the run. And don’t miss the chance to chow down on freshly-prepared crawfish. “We also host a pretty funny crawfish eating demonstration by kids,” Janoweic says. Included in registration is Pabst Blue Ribbon beer for the 21+ crowd.

Hotter ‘n Firecrackers 5K & Glow Run

Where: Frisco, Texas
When: July 3, 2018
What makes it extra fun:  Two words: Dachshund Dash. Brace yourself for a cuteness overload when adorable dachshunds paw their own starting line and sprint to win prizes. Entry fees help raise money for a local animal shelter, and after the dash, runners get their turn to light up the night. Rocking fluorescent attire, 5K runners hit the streets at 9 p.m. and stay pumped with DJ music throughout the run. Participants are encouraged to form teams and prizes are awarded to the largest and most-creative groups. The glow run is part of Frisco Freedom Fest, a July 4 celebration that culminates with a fireworks show on the night of the 4th.

Music City July 4th – 4 Mile Run/Walk

Where: Nashville, Tennessee
When: July 4, 2018
What makes it extra fun: This festive four-mile run weaves through downtown Nashville, giving runners a tour of Music City’s most famous landmarks. And no Independence Day race is complete without red, white and blue swag: runners get a patriotic race tank top and flashy finisher’s medal. Consider this running event a warmup for all of the 4th festivities later that day, including family activities at Music City Walk of Fame Park and a huge fireworks show with the Nashville Symphony providing the soundtrack.

Firecracker 5K and Mile Fun Run

Where: Downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan
When: July 4, 2018
What makes it extra fun: What’s more patriotic than a race that starts and finishes at the intersection of 4th and Liberty? One that also encourages runners to carry the American flag and compete against each other in an Old Glory division. But be prepared to take it seriously. Runners must carry the flag on a pole from start to finish and follow other rules to ensure they are respectfully displaying it. And if devouring hot dogs before a race is more your thing, there’s the frank-eating challenge. “If [you] are entering the Ray’s Red Hots Hot Dog Eating Contest, it may be a good idea to practice,” says Eva Solomon, CEO of Epic Races, the race’s organizer.

Competitors have to down four hot dogs and buns within 76 seconds and then 76 seconds later, start their 5K. Runners who can’t consume all hot dogs in that time face penalties, although, if your belly rebels along the course, tossing your cookies may be punishment enough. “To this date, no partially-digested hot dogs have been found along the course,” Solomon notes. Like the famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn, New York, winners of the challenge will get to sport wrestling-style championship belts. After the Firecracker 5K, participants can continue to celebrate at the Jaycees 4th of July Parade in downtown Ann Arbor.

Freedomthon 5K Run/Walk

Where: Beaverton, Oregon
When: July 4, 2018
What makes it extra fun: Ready, set… bowl! When you sign up for the run, you can also participate in the Freedomthon bowling tournament the night before. It’s held at a local bowling alley, where you also pick up your bib number. So why not stay and see if you can throw a strike? On the 4th, post-race festivities include a pancake breakfast and costume contest for runners to show off their patriotic ensembles.

Revolutionary Run

Where: Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania
When: July 4, 2018
What makes it extra fun: American history fans, this race is for you. The event, which offers a one-mile fun run, 5K and 10K, is held along the Delaware River at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania. During the Revolutionary War, it was where George Washington launched his bold plan to cross the icy Delaware with his troops and take Trenton, New Jersey. The successful move helped turn the war in Washington’s favor. After the race, stick around the park for 4th of July activities including tours of historic buildings and readings of the Declaration of Independence throughout the day.

How to Transition from Marathons to Ultras
Improve Your Competing With a Mental Game Coach