Freedom 5k and Kid’s Fun Run taking off in the morning
By JIM LINETTE
The Freedom 5K & Kids Fun Run on July 4 continues to grow in popularity as the 6th annual event approaches next week. It’s all part of the city’s Red White & Boom celebration that starts at 5 p.m. and ends after the fireworks show.
“We started with just a couple hundred runners, but we had almost 800 register last year,” said Annette Siner, event coordinator for the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce. “It has gone up over the years and we expect even more this year.”
Runners gather at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge for the start of the 5K (3.1 miles) run at 7:30 a.m. Runners start on Cape Coral Parkway near the Chamber of Commerce building, head over the bridge, make a U-turn and return to the start/finish line. The Kids Fun Run of about a mile starts when the 5K ends.
“There will be a short run for toddlers 5 and under after that,” said Siner.
Runners can take advantage of a continental breakfast before and after the race with plenty of water and refreshments – yes beer, too – readily available.
“We also have medics available in case anyone gets too hot,” said Siner.
Awards will be handed out under the Chamber tent to the overall male and female winners as well as the top three places in each age category. A few prizes have been provided to be given away as well.
“One nice thing we’re doing this year is all military and veteran runners receive a military commemorative challenge coin provided by Coral Ridge Cemetery,” said Siner.
Runners registering by July 3 pay a $30 (youth $25) entry fee and it goes up to $40 for everyone on race day, starting at 6 a.m. The entry fee is $20 for all military and veterans and $10 for kids (12-under) regardless of when registering.
To register visit www.freedom5kcc.com.
“Race packets can be picked up between 2 and 6 p.m. today at the presenting sponsor Priority Business Solutions, 4814 Vincennes St.,” said Siner.
Proceeds will benefit veterans through the non-profit organizations Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation (IAVF) and the Special Operations Communicators Association (SOCA).
The IAVF assists veterans of all ages to get GI benefits, housing, health care, jobs and small business opportunities. It also operates the display of many military and war artifacts at the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library in Cape Coral.
SOCA furthers the development of the common bond between all persons who honorably served or are serving with the Joint Communications Unit (JCU) of the U.S. Armed Forces. It encourages patriotism and honors the memory of deceased members and other veterans, and provides aid to members, veterans and their dependents in need.
“A number of JCU members from Fort Bragg come down to run in the Freedom 5K each year,” said Siner.
For more information visit: www.veterans-foundation.org and/or www.theSOCA.org