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Fun Run is on!

Posted: July 4, 2013 - 12:08am
The "100 yards dash" during the 4th of July 1908, in Douglas. Note the front runner is in shorts with an "F" insignia on his shirt. Early fire department sports teams had F insignias, however, it is not known if this is a department runner. If you have any information on this photo or any other early sports in the area or other historical tidbits please call the Juneau Empire Sports Editor. This photo is courtesy of the Alaska State Historical Collections (ASL-PCA-226, William Howard Case).   Case (William Howard),Alaska State Historical Collections,ASL-PCA-226
Case (William Howard),Alaska State Historical Collections,ASL-PCA-226
The "100 yards dash" during the 4th of July 1908, in Douglas. Note the front runner is in shorts with an "F" insignia on his shirt. Early fire department sports teams had F insignias, however, it is not known if this is a department runner. If you have any information on this photo or any other early sports in the area or other historical tidbits please call the Juneau Empire Sports Editor. This photo is courtesy of the Alaska State Historical Collections (ASL-PCA-226, William Howard Case).

In Petersburg, a Fourth of July tradition involves tossing herring. This was also done on the 17th of May (Norwegian Independence Day), when the local Norwegians weren’t chasing Swedes to toss them into the harbor instead (and you wonder why I like to run so much!).

There is a reason traditions are around.

They are fun.

Juneau’s annual Fourth of July Fun Run is called a “fun run” for that reason.

It is fun.

Independence Day is the one holiday that pretty much covers everybody in our country.

You do not have to be African, Asian, Irish, Mexican, Norwegian, Samoan, Swedish, Tlingit, or from las Islas Filipinas (Filipino), or any island, atoll, reef, or bay of any designation.

You do not even have to be from America. You just have to like celebrations.

For the Fun Run you only have to be in Juneau.

You do not have to be sinewy, muscular, have a Nike shoe contract, a subscription to Runners World or a taste for flavored water.

You do not have to be married (happily or otherwise), single (happily or otherwise), a teacher, legislator, student, millwright, blacksmith, knight, chef, dog walker, etc.

Actually, if you came dressed as any of the aforementioned careers that would be even more fun.

You do not have to speak English, Icelandic, gibberish, in tongues, Na’vi-ish (Avatar), Klingon (Star Trek), Huttese (Star Wars), Elvish Sindarin (The Lord of the Rings) or Elvis Presley.

You only have to like to have fun. If you can run in knight’s armor while speaking Elvish, more power to you.

Thus, the Douglas 2-Mile Fun Run is a go!

The longtime race will be run after all thanks to word-of-mouth and citizens with tradition pulsing through their veins.

No running clock, no numbered jerseys, no entry fee... only fun.

Come walk, run, skip or jump your way from the roundabout side of the bridge to the Douglas Fire Hall.

A mass start is hoped to be done at 1:30 p.m.

Please wait until that time to ensure all get a chance to gather. All ages welcome.

Also be mindful this is NOT a sanctioned Southeast Road Runners, City & Borough of Juneau or Empire Cup Series race.

Which means I will not be standing at the finish to give Juneau Empire caps, mugs, pens or free airline tickets to the las Islas Filipinas or any destination between here and there.

This is just a gathering of like-minded, Fourth of July Fun Run traditionalist race folks.

This also means there will be no race officials so road traffic will be normal.

Please stay on sidewalks or bike paths or to the shoulder of the road and be mindful of vehicles.

See you today at 1:30 p.m.

Or maybe not. Elves talking with Klingons frighten me.

Get your competitive juices flowing with the Fun Run before you watch the field events at Savikko Park while dodging Frisbee-chasing dogs and wild firemen with water issues.

Independence Day Athletics:

1:30 p.m., Douglas Fun Run, start at roundabout at bridge and proceed with caution to Douglas Fire Hall.

3 p.m., field sports at Savikko Park #2 in Douglas include 10-60 yard dashes, 3-legged races and sack races. All ages.

3:30 p.m., Super Dog Frisbee Contest at Savikko Park Field #3, $10 registration, all dogs must wear a current CBJ dog license, owners can wear one if they feel the need.

4 p.m., Make And Break Hose Race at Douglas Fire Hall and Old-Time Fireman’s Hose Race (spectators may get excess water spray from competition).

6-9 p.m., Soapbox Challenge Races at St. Ann’s Street, ages 5-10 compete, all ages can cheer.

Note: Klas Stolpe is a Swede who has never won a herring tossing contest.

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