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Independence Day 5K provides new July 4 event for Cumming
running

This year, the Fourth of July will see more than the usual steam engine parade in downtown Cumming.

Those who are in Cumming for July 4 can participate in the Independence Day 5K, a new race that is open for registration to runners of all ages.

“I’ve been thinking about doing this race for about 10 years,” said Devin Forsyth, of the nonprofit Forsyth Area Striders Team. “The whole idea behind this race is to make it a big local event. It’s just an added way to celebrate the fourth.”

The race will begin at Otwell Middle School at 8 a.m. and end at the Cumming Playhouse and will offer the 5K option, a 1K Fun Run for older children and a Tot Trot for toddlers.

Awards will be given for best male and female runners overall by age group and for best male and female costumes. Masters awards will be given, as well.

“I think the race has huge potential as a family event,” Forsyth said. “I suspect this is going to be largely [attended] by families — the whole family can run a 5K together and then watch the parade and celebrate.”

Proceeds from the race will go toward completing the renovation of the Mary Alice Park running trails and providing a new soft surface for runners.

The Mary Alice Park renovation project was originally begun to provide Forsyth Central High School runners a place to hold an all-county cross country meet. The trails were cleaned by parents and students and put to use to hold the meet, which took place in September 2014.

“We’re trying to finish these trials at Mary Alice Park so that we can take the park to the level where it can host an all-county cross country meet for student runners every year,” Forsyth said. “We also want everyone that lives in Forsyth County or Cumming to be able to run on a softer, safer surface that isn’t concrete.”

The completion goal for a portion of the trails that is to be named the Rob Hasse Memorial Trail is May 2017.

Runners can register at Otwell Middle School on race day. The registration fee for the 5K is $30 per person. The 1K Fun Run costs $15 per person, and the Tot Trot is free for children.