There are a few days throughout the year when there are plenty of races to choose from. July 4th is one of those days, and it is a great opportunity to experience a run in a smaller town or in an area that you don’t usually visit.
The small town of Vale in Malheur County (about 15 miles from where I-84 crosses into Idaho) has many activities during the week surrounding Independence day. On the morning of July 4th, the local high school cross country coaches and athletes organize a 1M/5k/10k fun run as a means to raise funds for their team and to bring the community together.
The races start all at the same time at 8:30am in front of the city pool. There is no chip timing but a big clock to check your time as you cross the finish line. The 1-mile walk/run is a short loop through town, the 5k circles the town and includes a short out and back to the south, and the 10k is a double loop of the 10k. The only water station along the course will be at the start/finish, but if it’s already hot at race time, sprinklers will also be added. After the race you can join the festivities in the park by the city pool to enjoy breakfast, classic cars, and other vendors. Awards and prizes are given to the top three finishers in each race, and all participants qualify for raffle prizes.
In Stanfield, Oregon, a small town just a few mile east of Hermiston, the two cities’ cross country teams are raising funds for their high school teams with the Fourth of July 5k and 1-mile run starting at Bard Park at 8am. Check-in for the race starts at 7am, and the cost to pre-register is just $10 (day of race registration is $15).