Local races come and go but year after year there’s one thing you can be sure of – the Revolutionary Run.
About to be held for the 39th time, it’s become a Bucks County tradition and about as American as apple pie, hot dogs, fireworks and July 4 can get.
Well, that’s not to mention it starts and finishes at Washington Crossing Historic Park with flags flying everywhere.
What’s not to like? It offers both 10K and 5K distances, it’s run mostly along the Delaware River (flat, fast, scenic) and it’s a chance to catch up with friends.
Last year’s two races drew more than 1,100 participants, a true indicator of this event’s lasting power.
“The race has a convivial spirit of fun,’’ says Bucks County Roadrunners Club official Joe Boyce, “as if the community has gathered to celebrate summer, free to play in the sun and shade along the river where Washington crossed with his troops on a much different day, cold and icy, dire with our country’s liberty in the balance, a much-needed victory to boost what might have been an otherwise floundering cause.
“It’s easy to feel the swell of history in the race — the distance we’ve come as a nation and the distance we have yet to go.’’
The atmosphere in this race is like no other outside the giant events in Philadelphia.
“Then there’s the cheering crowds lining the road and the park, the runners coming and going to the out-and-back turnaround, and of course getting hosed down at the Grace family’s water stop.’’ Boyce says. “Nothing lifts your spirits more than getting a boost from friends and a brief shower in the heat and humidity.’’
BCRR Winter Series director John O’Brien knows all about what goes into putting on a great race and he gives this one high marks.
“Don’t forget about reconvening with your friends in the park to reflect on the torture of running in the heat and humidity while eating nice cool watermelon and feeling the satisfaction of having completed another Rev Run,’’ he says. “Then it’s off to the Grace family party to celebrate the 4th with the club.’’
Mike Gross has run a bunch of these, including a number of sub-40-minute performances, and says the whole feeling about the race is special.
“When I first moved to Bucks County this was THE race,’’ he says. “The quality of competition was high, the course was fast and the awards featuring the painted plates of Washington crossing the Delaware were spectacular. People would come from all over to run this race.
“Times have changed a bit and the race is now focused more on participation and the numbers have grown. No more fancy awards but there are more team divisions for local bragging rights. It is still a wonderful race and the BCRR tent at the finish is a highlight. Still the best way to start off your July 4th holiday.’’
Rick Mingione is fairly new to the area and duly impressed.
“I first ran this race two years ago after moving to Bucks County from the Chicago area,’’ says Mingione, one of the top senior runners in the Philadelphia area.
“Fourth of July is a huge ‘race day’ across the country and I have almost always sought out a race to start the day. Of all the events I have attended, I could not imagine one that captures the spirit of the Fourth like the Revolutionary Run at Washington Crossing. Great atmosphere, good company and lots of running club teams.’’
>Off next week
No column next week as we take a July 4 break. Everyone please have a safe and happy holiday.
Saturday, June 29
Run the Village 5K, 9:15 a.m., Lahaska. Contact www.runsignup.com
Thursday, July 4
39th annual Revolutionary Run 10K/5K, 8 a.m. Washington Crossing. Contact www.revrunpa.com