Independence Day celebrations across many communities include parades, fireworks celebrations, and barbeques. In Elmhurst, events include the annual running of the 4 on the 4th road race. This four-mile road race presented by the Elmhurst Running Club is a USATF- and CARA-certified event. It is also a CARA Runner’s Choice Circuit race.
The race starts and ends on the east side of the Elmhurst College campus. It makes its way through residential streets leading to York Road, heads north for a mile and then turns around as runners near North Avenue. Since it is an out-and back-course, runners pass each other either going out or coming back. So, there was plenty of waving and shouting out as runners who knew each other passed one another.
Race conditions were hot and humid at the start of the race. The race started promptly at 7:15 a.m. Luckily this only was a four-miler and not longer. The heat made for less than ideal conditions with plenty of runners taking walking breaks or standing off to the side catching their breath. Two water stations on this short course were welcomed with runners drinking and dousing cups of water on their faces and heads to cool off. I did see one runner crossing the finish line and requiring medical assistance from EMTs who were present with ambulance on hand.
The event is well coordinated and draws an elite group of runners from the Chicago area. I spoke with fellow runner Eric Hoyme who told me he was impressed with the organization of the event. He did say it was a hot day to race but having recently relocated here from North Carolina had accustomed him to running in the heat. He also said he was looking forward to running in the Chicago Marathon later this fall. I also chatted with Kate Lueders who finished in twelfth place among females. She said she was surprised by the number of fast runners in this race.
The awards ceremony took place at 8:35 a.m. Plaques were given to the top three male and female winners. Medals were awarded to the top three male and female runners in each age group. Last year’s male and female winners returned this year to repeat their victories. Phillip Reid of San Luis Obispo, California was the race winner finishing in 19:13. Alyssa Schneider of Bartlett won the women’s division clocking in at 22:05.
Overall, this race is a fun, festive and family-friendly event for a holiday morning. Anyone looking to run a personal record might have been challenged by the weather, but other than that the morning was enjoyed by just about everyone.