The Grand Forks YMCA is hosting its annual July Fourth Firecracker 5K/10K Fun Run/Walk to get everyone some exercise in the morning air and light before the holiday’s main festivities begin later in the day.

The event begins at the Grand Forks Greenway across from town square. Participants can begin arriving at 6:30 a.m. The 5K and 10K start at 8 a.m., while the kiddie run starts at 8:15 a.m.

The 5K is a run or a walk, while the 10K is only a run due to the 90-minute time limit for the race. The kiddie run is available for young children and toddlers who may not be able to handle an entire 5K. The kiddie run is 100 yards long.

Top overall finishers in the men’s and women’s divisions will win $50 in cash and a winner's medal. Top finishers in the 5K and 10K age divisions receive winners' medals and $10 Scheels gift certificates.

Participants can register online through a link on the Grand Forks YMCA’s website until 6 p.m. today or from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. at the starting location on race day. Registration costs $35 for adults and $25 for children 12 and younger.

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Proceeds from the race go to the Partner of Youth Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance for families in the community to participate in the YMCA’s programs and services.

Each participant will receive a T-shirt, medal and race packet. The race packet contains a race bib and items from the event’s sponsors, including Altru Health System. Patti McEnroe, the membership and marketing director at the YMCA, urged participants who picked up the race packet before the race to remember to wear the bib to the event.

Children who participate in the kiddie run will receive a medal and a bag of prizes with Fourth of July toys.

All participants will have access to water and post-race refreshments.

McEnroe said there were initially some concerns the race would have to move from its traditional location because of construction on DeMers Avenue. The Sertoma Fourth of July Festival was moved from its normal location for that reason.

“We looked at moving the route to where Sertoma is but there was not enough room to hold the race,” McEnroe said. “We may have to move the race (next year) if the construction causes us to do that.”

McEnroe has attended the fun run for the past few years and says her favorite part is seeing upbeat families running or walking together.

“We like to encourage people to do something fun and healthy,” McEnroe said. “It gets everybody in the mood to celebrate.”

Map of the YMCA Firecracker 5K/10K Fun Run/Walk
Map of the YMCA Firecracker 5K/10K Fun Run/Walk