Record number of people participate in July 4 fun run
More than a hundred runners participate in annual Firecracker event, raising $1,500 for GRA cross country program
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling Recreation Authority (GRA) conducted its annual Firecracker 1-Mile Fun Run – an event that gives young runners, including GRA’s Mighty Milers, the opportunity to race in front of Fourth of July parade spectators – on Thursday, July 4, raising more than $1,000 for the GRA cross country program.
Participants started in front of Huntington Bank on Michigan Avenue, ran or walked to the halfway point near the Grayling Elementary School, and then returned to the starting area to complete the looped course.
People were setting up to watch Grayling’s Fourth of July parade during the fun run, so the participants had a crowd to cheer them on. The race started at 10:45 a.m. and the parade was scheduled to start at 11 a.m.
Event organizers said 125 people – a new record for the event – participated this year, including more than 40 Mighty Milers.
The Firecracker Fun Run started several years ago as the final race for GRA’s youth cross country club, the “Grayling Mighty Milers,” open to kids in grades K-5. In 2012, GRA opened the race to the public and turned it into a fundraiser for GRA’s cross country program. Grayling High School accepted cross country back into its line-up of varsity sports a few years ago, but GRA is still overseeing middle school cross country.
This year, like in years past, the Firecracker event featured a large number of young runners, including many Mighty Milers.
“Really big Mighty Miler turnout,” said Justin Andre, Director of Operations for GRA. “This event has always been the showcase for them. We always do it right before the parade so they can have the crowd.”
GRA does not record times for the Firecracker Fun Run, so a list of results is not available.
Event organizers said the 2019 Firecracker 1-Mile Fun Run raised approximately $1,500.