About NATRA Blog

This page is meant for folks to post their thoughts on the Saturday group run. I (Neil) will post a blurb about who showed up and where it was held. From there, I hope that other runners will share their thoughts since we often have different experiences on the same run. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

5th Annual Four on the Fourth

( Randy Wilson explains the tradition at Flagstaff's historic Flag Pole)

(For timing, I used the RaceSplitter IPAD Ap to allow runners to register themselves.)

 At the Northland Hospice Race Four years ago, I noticed Randy Wilson passing out fliers for a free "four on the fourth run" on the Karen Cooper section of Urban Trail. He told me that in his former small town of Oakland, Maine (think On Golden Pond), every Fourth of July the running community would crown their fastest runner. The only catch was that generally slower age divisions get "head starts." This was modeled after the Dipsea Race, the oldest trail run in America (founded in 1905) that handicaps faster runners.  

(Eight minute head start group)
Years back, when the Northland Hospice Run for Life race switched their race off July 4th, it left a void in the schedule for the burgeoning Flagstaff running community.   Thus was born a new Flagstaff tradition.
As the race has been kept very low key and family oriented, it has generally drawn between 50 and 60 participants. While the event has been word of mouth, the competition has been fierce!  The closest race occurred two years ago when Olympian Janet Cherbon-Bawcom outkicked 10 year old Nicholas Hall!  Past winners have included John Bogen (2009), Sara Wagner (2010), Janet Cherbow-Bawcom (2011) and last year, under the watchful eye of spectator Janet CB (who showed up while doing her last prep work for the London Olympic games), Nicholas Hall got his much anticipated title.

This year's race included several regulars and many new faces, and for the 5th straight year, Randy Wilson crowned a new winner, Ultra Marathon extraordinaire, Ian Torrence.  See Randy Wilson's race day coverage in the Arizona Daily Sun for some great quotes from Ian!

(Ian Torrence captures the title by outckicking Katie Landry in background)
Most importantly, participants collected 85 pounds of cans for the Saint Mary's Food Bank that Randy designated the food to help with relief efforts in Yarnell. 

Thanks to the great volunteer efforts of Coach Michael Elder, Randy Wilson and his daughter Caroline who have been there all 5 years.  Caroline's scoring expertise has freed up Dad to only serve as the race's front man!   A special shout out to Jack Welch, who, staffing the halfway point, ensures that no Rosie Ruiz's will ever try to shame our little "low-key" run.

(Group shot with all participants, winners to left).