SARATOGA SPRINGS — With the continued realities of social distancing stemming from the worldwide coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), officials at Saratoga Springs’ Firecreacker4 Road Race today announced that the 14th edition’s in-person events on Saturday, July 4 has been cancelled and a Virtual 4-Mile option offered to those interested.
The Firecracker4 is offering three options to the participants who have already registered:
1) Switch to the Virtual 4-Mile 2) Donate their race entry fee to the event’s charity partners (and receive a commemorative 2020 race t-shirt), or 3) defer to the 2021 event at no additional charge.
“Over the last 14 years this event has become an Independence Day tradition in the Capital Region and one of the largest 4th of July road races in the US. We understand how much this event means not only to the runners, but also the city of Saratoga Springs and the charities we help support,” said Event Director Patrick Lynskey. “However, our number one priority is always the health and well-being of our community, including runners, volunteers, sponsors, police, fire and city staff. Even though New York state is starting to open up, it is clear that there are just too many unknows to gather thousands of people in close quarters on July 4th.”
Lynskey added: “due to the popularity of the Firecracker4 and generosity of our participants we have been able to donate more than $300,000 to local charities over the years and we hope this year will be no different. As a result, we will offer a Virtual Firecracker4 4-Mile run for those who would like to participate. Our Virtual 4-Mile run is a great way for runners to continue their Independence Day running or walking tradition and accomplish a personal goal, while supporting the event’s local charities — The Veterans Business Council Scholarship Program, Pitney Meadows Community Farm Trails Project, The Streaks Running Club Inc, Racing City Running Club and The Children’s Museum at Saratoga.”
Those interested in signing up for the Virtual 4-Mile run can do so online through Sunday, June 7 at midnight. Registration is $30 and there will be no further price increases. All Virtual 4-Mile participants will receive a 14th annual virtual Firecracker4 soft tech t-shirt, a bib and finisher’s certificate that can be printed out at home, and a commemorative finishers’ medal. These items will be mailed to participants by July 4.
Virtual 4-Mile participants will be asked to complete a four-mile run by themselves following CDC and New York state-mandated social distancing guidelines between Sunday, June 28 at 6 a.m. through Saturday, July 11 at 11 p.m.
“You can run your four miles anywhere. If you have a four-mile route in your neighborhood, you can run on that course and it will count,” said Lynskey, adding that all participants will receive an email with detailed instructions a few days before the start date. “We will provide links on our website to several local certified four-mile courses that can be used to complete the virtual run, as well as some suggestions for other areas such as the Zim Smith Trail or Corning Preserve that will work. Once participants complete their four-mile run, they will be asked to submit their times via the link provided to them along with a photo of their watch/GPS/RaceJoy results. All times must be submitted by Saturday, July 11 at 11 p.m. Results will then be compiled and posted online at firecracker4.com.
“The focus of our virtual runs isn't about winning,” added Lynskey. “It’s about staying active, celebrating our strengths and supporting our local community. So, while we will not be gathering en-masse this July 4th at the City Center for that big start down Broadway and post-race party, we can all run or walk four miles wherever we are and help others in the process and that is something to feel good about.”
All participants in the Virtual 4-Mile will be entered to win various giveaways from area merchants and sponsors. Prizes include gift certificates, swag from Michelob Ultra, 30min sessions in the Normatech Recovery Room and foot massage gift certificates courtesy of Fleet Feet Sports, Power Surge protein butters from Power House Athletics and an array of other products or services.
“We will be creating packages full of great stuff that runners want, need and will love and will be doing weekly drawings starting in early June. We are enthusiastic about making the best of it and hope people will join us.”