Independence Day 5K

24 June 2015

On July 4th, we will be celebrating the 31st anniversary of the first YMCA Independence Day 5K at the Mt. Trashmore Family Y. In 1984 the running boom was at its peak in our country as well as our local area. You could run a race almost every weekend, and as a runner myself, I usually did. As a young program director back then, my boss gave me the goal to put on a 5K race that year. Realizing there were not a whole lot of dates available, I contacted Charlie George of the Tidewater Striders, and he suggested we hold our race on the 4th of July. And the rest, as they say, is history.

As is turned out, it was the perfect date for this event, because this day presented an opportunity for us to lift up three very important values—fitness, family, and freedom. One of our goals involved making this an event for the whole family, so in 1986 we added the .2 mile Tot Trot for three to five year olds, and a one-mile race for six to twelve year olds. We have since dropped the mile race, but the Tot Trot continues to be a family favorite.  Most of all, the distinctiveness of celebrating Independence Day in a military area such as ours, provided us an opportunity to thank all of those who had served to defend and protect our freedom. 

On this day in 1984, President Reagan delivered this address to the nation that’s still appropriate for us today—“We can feel as Teddy Roosevelt did when he surveyed the world at the turn of the century. He said, ‘We Americans see across the dangers the great future that lies beyond, and we rejoice as a giant refreshed, as a strong man ready for the race. The great victories are yet to be won; the greatest deeds yet to be done. There are yet in store for our people and for the causes we uphold, grander triumphs than have ever yet been scored.’”

So we invite you to come out to join us on the fourth of July to celebrate our 31st anniversary of this run. Happy Independence Day! God bless you, our country, our Y and our community. 

Click here to register and learn more about this event.