You gotta run to celebrate the “Fourth” with these folks!

July 6th, 2011

Filed under People, Sports

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Nearly 2000 "Soles" Participated
The Mt. Evans Freedom Run is serious business for some runners even if it’s only a 5k. A winning time of 15:50 is no laughing matter                           at roughly 7900 ft. of altitude. The 30th Annual race drew nearly a 1000 runners, walkers and strollers. And a few canines.


People all over the country have traditions and attend annual events for Independence Day. For myself and a lot of other Coloradoans, the Fourth of July just wouldn’t be the same without the Mt. Evans Hospice Freedom Run. Held for the past 30 years in our idyllic mountain community, this 5k run calls out to families, friends and serious runners alike.

Trust me this puppy can easily bring you to tears gasping for breath as every hill’s false summit just chuckles under your feet. The problem with the Freedom Run, especially for first timers, is the start is nestled innocently on a level spot atop a Hiwan neighborhood street. In the pre-race excitement as folks gather and chat with one another they forget about the hill they just walked up to get to the starting line.

Once the gun goes off, this swarm of  about 1000 exuberant runners of varying ages charges down that same hill, legs and arms flailing, to the first dog-leg right hand curve. It almost seems the entire pack is leading the pack! The race gradually descends once again toward an open meadow graced with several ponds. The short and mid distance sprinters  knife their way up front and you quickly see the soles of their shoes and their colorful running garb fade into the horizon. Then in order come the day-to-day runners, followed by the recreational joggers, the holiday warriors, the friendship teams, the family groups- which often times include mom or dad pushing a three wheeled stroller. Hey,you  got to get those kids acclimated sooner than later!

That group is trailed by the ” huff and puff” crowd, the dog-led runners, the race walkers and the casual walking participants. Surprisingly, most everyone has a smile on their face. Remember, it’s still early in this run.

After about mile one things begin to change. That free form gliding abruptly transforms into a “Stair Master” that “ain’t goin’ nowhere”! Each step forward just doesn’t seem to be as much fun as the step before it but you don’t give up- more fun ahead! This pattern,accented with swerves and curves, continues up and down. If it were not for the neighborhood folks cheering, playing live instruments,showering you with their garden hoses or offering up a cup of water or Gatorade, the last two hills would more than bury a soul. Eventually you crest and cruise down Hiwan Drive to Lewis Ridge Road that seems longer than it is supposed to be but it eventually carries you to the finish line and a jovial lot that loudly approve of your accomplishment.

If you happen to be looking for a new July 4th beginning or tradition put it on your calendar for next summer. I guarantee you will have fun and you’ll definitely remember you ran a 5k.


One Comment for “You gotta run to celebrate the “Fourth” with these folks!”

  1. Andrea Brito Amador Said —

    July 13th, 2011 at 11:30 am

    They come full throttle (well the first few) by my house every year (I’m on the downhill) and what fun it is to see them bright and early on the 4th. Its now a tradition as the kids and I cheer and give kudos.
    The Evergreen Chorale sang patriotic songs just up from my patio and what a pleasure while drinking my coffee and taking it all in (feeling a little guilty I didn’t rally this year).

    I know its a good run(ran it 3 years ago)! Promise myself to do it next year!

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