Success of the July 4th Revolutionary Run has a lot to do with United States heritage

Runners come from far and wide to compete in the Revolutionary Run on July 4.

      If you want to know why races like the July 4th Revolutionary Run in Washington Crossing appeal to so many Americans on the most patriotic of holidays, who better to put it in perspective than someone from “across the pond?”

      RevRun committee member Matthew McElroy, who originally hails from the British Isles, says the race, now in its 42nd year, seems to bring everyone together for this one special day.

      “My real feeling on this is I love bringing people together,” McElroy said. “Everyone in this comes together — the state, the park, the police, the fire crews, the ambulance services, the community. It’s the one time of year where everyone in this area comes together for one goal and that’s it.”

      More than a thousand runners take part each year on the holiday and a lot of it might have to do with the heritage of this area. This is where General George Washington once crossed the Delaware River and went on to win the Battle of Trenton, perhaps turning the Revolutionary War in the Americans’ favor.

      “That’s why we made sure that the end of the race finishes in the historic park,” McElroy said. “That’s why we’re working closely with the Washington Crossing Historic Park.

      “We’ve been doing this 42 years now. We’ve listened to what the runners are saying. Listened to what works and what doesn’t. The fact that River Road is closed (starting at 6:30 a.m.) completely and it’s a nice, flat surface with plenty of shade. We’ve got a lot of water stations. There’s a good camaraderie that’s around and even the residents will come out and put their hoses on.”

      McElroy said some 14 states will be represented in the race, a testament to the competition’s drawing power.

      “I think that’s an exciting thing,” he said. “Because 2026 (the 250th anniversary of United States independence) is just around the corner. So this is a very important historic area. I think it’s really great that we can showcase what we have here. It shows how welcoming we are.”

      It helps to have informed athletes in key positions on the organizing committee and a big reason why the Revolutionary Run is not only probably Bucks County’s oldest road race but also it’s biggest.

      “The Upper Makefield Businessmen’s Association has been running this for about the last 15 years,” said McElroy, a past UMBA president who competed in rugby and fencing back in his days in Great Britain.

      “The chairperson of the RevRun (Kevin Brooks) this year is an active runner. He does the Philadelphia Marathon and those sorts of things.”

      The newly certified courses for the 10K and 5K are particularly attractive for the serious racers who want an accurate distance for their efforts. Both have been measured to United States Track and Field standards.

      “I think it was important that we got the certification,” McElroy said. “I think it makes a big, big difference.”

      New this year are medals for all finishers in both races. Also, anyone who registers by 11:59 p.m. on July 3 receives a free commemorative T-shirt.

      The main parking lot is situated directly across River Road from the Washington Crossing United States Post Office. There is a dedicated path to the starting line about two blocks away in order to provide safe passage for everyone, including those with disabilities, etc.

      “It’s all one safe pathway back into the park,” McElroy said. “Straight to the start line. It makes it pleasant and safe for families. That was the goal for all of us (on the race committee) to make it  a really nice, easy, pleasant, historic, community type of event.”

      Things get underway with the start of the one-mile fun run at 8 a.m., the 5K at 8:15 a.m. and the 10K at 8:45 a.m.

      All funds from the Revolutionary Run go to:

      >The Upper Makefield Township Emergency Services Fund.

      >The Upper Makefield Businessmen’s Association Scholarship Fund.

      >The UMBA Sunshine Fund.

      >Washington Crossing Historic Park.

      >The Upper Makefield Volunteer Fire Department.

      Race officials would like to thank Newtown Ambulance, Washington Crossing Historic Park, the Upper Makefield Volunteer Fire Department, the Upper Makefield Police Department, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for their contributions and cooperation.

      For more information about the races and to register, visit The Facebook page is

      “We start early, finish up by 11 in the morning and people will have time to celebrate the holiday,” McElroy said. “It’s a great day for everybody. I think that’s what the appeal is.”


Holiday break: “On the Run” will be taking a two-week holiday break and returning on July 18. Have a safe July 4th!

      >Race calendar


      Diary Air 13.1 miles, 10K, 5K, 8:30 a.m., Doylestown. Contact www.scoogieevents,com

      >Thursday, July 4

      42nd annual Revolutionary Run 10K/5K/1-mile, 8 a.m., Washington Crossing. Contact

      OneNation Running 4 on the Fourth, 8:30 a.m., Churchville. Contact

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About Wayne Fish 2473 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.