This year I kicked off my 4th of July with the Salem Stars and Stripes 5K which I must say I was pretty nervous for. It was my first race since early spring and I’d taken about 8 weeks off from running previously so I wasn’t sure how I would do. I started off strong (too strong I determined after the first mile looking at my Garmin) and quickly realized that all to familiar feeling us runners get; I drank too much coffee… Needless to say I had to scale it way back after that first mile and at this point decided I would just enjoy the run. The course was familiar as there is only so much you can do for a 5K starting at Riverfront Park, looping through Wallace Marine Park and back to the starting line.
One of the great things about this run is that you also receive a free entry to the Cherryfest NW (formerly the Bite and Brew of Salem) where the fireworks show is held every year. This year they also threw in a pair of 4th of July socks and a free beer or cider of your choice. Not just a Bud Light either, you’re choice of fresh brewed craft beer from the PNW! After the race I went and mingled with some running buddies and watched the show as we talked about setting up some runs from our Strava group and growing envious of how flexible some of the limbo participants were for the after party. As a runner I feel like flexibility is a thing of the past no matter how much yoga and stretching I do so it gave me a goal to work towards! If you live in the Salem area or nearby and plan to watch the fireworks or visit Cherryfest NW I highly recommend putting this one on your calendar for next year.
2019 Race results can be found here.