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4th of July 5Ks and fun runs offer patriotic workouts, help charities

4th of July 5Ks and fun runs offer patriotic workouts, help charities
This year's Watermelon 5K takes place July 4 in Winter Park. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda / Orlando Sentinel)

Before heading out to barbecue gatherings, fireworks extravaganzas or patriotic parades, do something healthy for the Fourth of July by participating in these races in Orlando — or locations within a two-hour drive of the city.

4 on the 4th Run/Walk
  • What: Tri & Run of West Orange hosts its annual four-mile race benefiting Matthew’s Hope. Participants are encouraged to bring items to help fill the food pantry. Runners will get photos, plus finisher certificates and medals.
  • When: The 5K is at 7 a.m. on July 4.
  • Where: Oakland Presbyterian Church, 218 E. Oakland Ave. in Oakland
  • Packet pickup: Packet pickup is 10 a.m.-7 p.m. July 1-3 at Tri & Run, 56 W. Plant St. in Winter Garden
  • Cost: Registration is $35 through June 22, $40 June 23-July 3 and $50 on race day. A special rate of $25 is available to ages 17 and under and ages 65 and over.
  • More information: 4onthe4thrunwalk.itsyourrace.com
AdventHealth Watermelon 5K
  • What: Join this morning celebration a morning celebration — complete with ice cold watermelon and American pride. The 5K benefits Track Shack Youth Foundation, which promotes health and fitness with an emphasis on youth programs. Runners receive a commemorative tank top.
  • When: The 5K is at 7:30 a.m. and the kids’ run is at 8:45 a.m. on July 4.
  • Where: 251 Park Ave. S. in Winter Park
  • Packet pickup: Advance bib and shirt pick up is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 29 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. July 1-3 at Track Shack, 1104 N. Mills Ave. in Orlando. Race day pickup starts at 6 a.m. at the race site. Runners are encouraged to bring a reusable bag for pickup.
  • Cost: Registration is $30 through June 22, $35 June 23-July 3 and $40 on race day. Military personnel and dependents receive a $10 discount as well as ages 17 and under and 65 and over (through July 3). The kids’ run is free.
  • More information: trackshack.com
The AdventHealth Watermelon 5K features a watermelon-eating contest.
The AdventHealth Watermelon 5K features a watermelon-eating contest. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda / Orlando Sentinel)
Avalon Park Firecracker 5K Run
  • What: Run, jog, walk, stroll or roll through Downtown Avalon Park during this festive family fun run. The first 300 runners will receive a finisher medal.
  • When: The 5K starts at 8 a.m. on July 4.
  • Where: Avalon Park Town Park, 3651 Avalon Park Blvd. E. in Orlando
  • Packet pickup: Advance pickup is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 2-3 at the SOHO Office, 3564 Avalon Park E. Blvd, #1 in Orlando.
  • Cost: Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for kids ages 7 and up through June 30. Day-of registration costs $30 for adults and $20 for kids. T-shirts cost an additional $10.
  • More information: avalonparkfoundation.org
Celebration 5K
  • What: Celebrate the Fourth of July with this 5K. Participants will receive a pair of finisher sunglasses and a T-shirt. Donations will benefit the Matanzas High School Cross Country team.
  • When: The 5K is at 7 a.m., with a kids’ fun run to follow, on July 4.
  • Where: Betty Steflik Park, 815 Moody Lane in Flagler Beach
  • Packet pickup: Pre-packet pickup is 4-6 p.m. July 3 at Betty Steflik Park. Day-of pickup starts at 5:30 a.m. at the race site.
  • Cost: Registration is $30 through July 1, $35 July 3-4, $15 for students ages 18 and under and free for the kids’ fun run.
  • More information: runsignup.com
Firecracker 5K
  • What: In addition to the 5K, there is also the Free Lil’ Firecracker Kids’ Run with Zippy the Gecko and a contest for the most patriotic costume. All finishers will receive a shirt, an American flag and a red, white and blue popsicle. Special awards will be given to the top three male and female heroes (military, firefighters and police). After the race, there will be a light breakfast, a photo booth with free downloads and beer (for ages 21 and up) to celebrate the 15th year. The event benefits Eastern Florida State College Collegiate Veterans Society.
  • When: The 5K is at 7 a.m. on July 4.
  • Where: Front Street Civic Center, 2205 Front St. in Melbourne
  • Packet pickup: Race packets can be picked up 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. June 30-July 3 at Running Zone, at 3696 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne. Race-day pickup starts at 5:30 a.m. at the race site.
  • Cost: Registration is $30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 12 and under through July 2. It costs $35 for adults and $20 for kids on race day.
  • More information: runningzone.com
Freedom 5K
  • What: Enjoy an early-morning race before the Sebastian 4th of July parade. Proceeds from the 5K benefit the programs offered at the Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County.
  • When: The 5K is at 7 a.m. on July 4.
  • Where: Riverview Park, 600 U.S. Highway 1 in Sebastian
  • Packet pickup: Packets can be picked up 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 3 at Runner’s Depot from 10-5 or starting at 6:30 a.m. July 4 at the event site.
  • Cost: Registration is $28 through July 2 and $30 on race day.
  • More information: runsignup.com
Iggy’s ‘Four on the Fourth Freedom Run’
  • What: In honor of Ocala police officer Greg “Iggy” Miller — who died in 2013 after battling cancer — this race winds through a quiet, tree-shaded residential neighborhood. Proceeds from this event support both Veterans Memorial Park and the “We Can” Weekend, which is a full-day community cancer support program for adults facing cancer, survivors and their families. It features three events: Freedom Four Miler, 1 Mile Walk for Iggy and Wheelchair Division.
  • When: The 5K is at 7:30 a.m. on July 4.
  • Where: Veterans Memorial Park, 2601 E. Fort King St. in Ocala
  • Packet pickup: On race day
  • Cost: Registration is $32.64 for all events through July 2. After that date, the price increases to $35 plus fees.
  • More information: runsignup.com
Red, White & Brew 5K
  • What: Get out your red, white and blue gear for this run/walk event featuring free pancakes. Participants can choose an awesome shirt, a headband or a beach towel as a souvenir, plus get a finisher’s medal and complimentary root beer or brews from Brass Tap. There will also be a Lil’ Firecracker Run with three different distance options (.05, .15 and .5 mile) for the kids. For those who can’t make it to the event, there are also virtual options for the 5K and kids’ fun run.
  • When: The 5K is at 7:04 a.m. and the Lil’ Firecracker Fun Run is at 8 a.m. on July 4.
  • Where: Fitniche Lakeland, 1523 Town Center Drive in Lakeland
  • Packet pickup: On race day
  • Cost: Registration is $49 for the 5K, $18.50 for the Lil’ Firecracker Fun Run, $44 for the virtual 5K and $23.50 for the virtual Lil’ Firecracker Fun Run.
  • More information: runsignup.com
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