CEDAR RAPIDS — As of last night, the Fifth Season Races had registered 1,790 runners for the annual Fourth of July event downtown.
The Fifth Season Races traditionally attract elite runners to full families looking to join the red, white and blue festivities.
Race director Colin Flynn said this year’s registration count is the largest in the event’s 29-year history.
“We’ve got a lot of out-of-state runners who show up,” Flynn said. “Last year, we had people from 31 states and a lot of those people are visiting relatives. A lot of times it will be family who are bringing in family from out of state.”
This year’s Health Solutions 8K, the premier event for elite athletes and competitive runners, will have 1,000 competing for male and female title and a $599 cash prize.
A variety of components go into the elevated number of professional athletes, Flynn said. The USATF has sanctioned the approximately five-mile race, allowing USATF members to compete for an individual title within the organization.
“More than anything, it brings in more people from outside the community,” Flynn said. “Last year we had a guy from Holland show up, so you’ll see some of those every year.”
For those not competing for cash prizes or medals, the 5K and youth races are available to families and friends who are out sporting their festive spirits. Expect the streets of downtown Cedar Rapids to be flooded with patriotic colors and people from early morning throughout the afternoon.
Runners Dallas Robertson, Dave Beastrom, Dean Wieditz and Tim Squires will be partaking in the race for the 29th consecutive year. They have been running since year one of the Fifth Season Races, and Beastrom said it’s seen quite a few changes through the years.
“It’s really become a family event,” Beastrom said. “And that’s why I’m still doing it.”