Run Red, White, and Blue

July 4, 2012

It is the 4th of July, America’s birthday. This is a day of flags waving, fireworks, barbeques, and one gluttonously American hot dog eating contest. Even Google has a doodle to celebrate. For us runners it means an array of celebratory races to chose from. The always familiar titles include events like, “Four on the Fourth,” “Firecracker Four Miler,” “Independence Day Run,” and “Freedom 5k.” There is never a dearth of options. If you are a beginning runner looking for a fun day to race on, this is definitely a great opportunity.

This year, however, I decided to take the 4th off from racing. Truthfully, I cannot remember the last time this day did not appear on my race calendar. But it seemed like a good year to enjoy a mid-week, alarm-free morning and run on my own. I thought it would be nice to head over to the Iwo Jima Memorial and honor those who have helped to protect Independence Day throughout our country’s history. A few miles in the heat were well worth the experience that always comes from a visit to the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. It always feels petty to complain about weather in the shadow of such great honor and sacrifice, so I tried to push hard the whole run. A big thank you to those who serve, and a happy 4th of July to all!

Here are two great songs to get you pumped up for Independence Day. Enjoy!

“Red, White, and Blue” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Miss America” (Troop Salute video) – Saving Abel

Did you do a July 4th race? Did you run on your own to celebrate the day? Or did you take it off altogether?



  1. How cool to be able to run by the Iwo Jima Memorial! I ran on my own today–the same loop I did on Memorial Day, which was kind of fun. I’ve never done a Fourth of July race–I may have to add one to my calendar for next summer, though!

    • It is a pretty inspiring and beautiful run, I must admit. You should definitely try out a race on the Fourth at some point. There is always lots of merriment and a plethora of patriotic running garb. Tons of fun!

  2. Running in the DC area must be the best; I remember when my grandson started at GW and told us his ran passed the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol (not necessarily in that order) it gave me the chill of excitement. Happy birthday to us.

  3. Glad you had a nice holiday! I run around Iwo Jima regularly and it feels really special/patriotic to be doing so! Much moreso than a July 4 race.

    • Thanks! And yes, it is definitely important to have some meaningful runs to keep the motivation high.

  4. The Saving Abel song is quite inspiring, as is your article. My small town has a memorial to every major war this country has fought in. Given your Iwo Jima run, I think this week I will run past those monuments and stop for a moment of respect. Thanks for reminding us that the 4th of July is not just about barbecues and fireworks.

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