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July 4 race at Big Creek Greenway benefits nonprofit
Totally-Running WEB

If you go

* What: We the Runners road race hosted by Totally Running and Walking
* When: Monday, July 4, races start between 7:45 and 9:45 a.m. depending on length
* Where: Fowler Park, 4110 Carolene Way; route on Big Creek Greenway
* Cost: $15-65, depending on race length
* Registration: runsignup.com/races through July 3; at Totally Running and Walking, 405 Peachtree Parkway; on-site starting 6:30 a.m. race day

The Peachtree Road Race may be the headliner for July 4, but local runners can celebrate Independence Day by participating in a course closer to home.

The fourth annual We the Runners race at Fowler Park in Cumming, created by south Forsyth’s Totally Running and Walking storeowner Kim Hall, is an opportunity for runners to participate in an event that benefits a good cause that is close to home and is open to participants of all ability levels.

“I want my July 4 We the Runners race to become an annual July 4th tradition for runners and walkers in the Forsyth County and metro Atlanta area,” Hall said. “We The Runners is such a fun, laid back way to celebrate independence. We encourage all runners/walkers to come out and give it a try.”

The race caters to all running levels and offers a half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids’ Sparkler Trot option. Walkers are also welcome, but strollers, dogs, bikes and skates are prohibited due to high runner volume.

All of the July 4 events begin and end at the track at Fowler Park at 4110 Carolene Way in Cumming.

This year, proceeds from the race will benefit Kids Boost Inc., a non-profit dedicated to assisting children in using their passions for others.

The organization gives children start-up funds, one-on-one coaching and resources that enable them to use their talents to raise money for a charity of their choice.

Businesses and individuals are able to sponsor the race and support Kids Boost Inc. by giving at gold, silver and bronze sponsorship levels.

“I want to be able to help raise the much-needed funds for Kids Boost. I am excited about the organization and the goal to teach kids to pay it forward,” Hall said. “The race course is on the Big Creek Greenway, a concrete and boardwalk path that winds through the woods along Big Creek,” Hall said. “The objective is for families and individuals to run/walk and stay close to home rather than fighting the crowds and MARTA train station of the Peachtree Road Race.”

Hall hopes to boost local fitness, self-esteem and self-confidence and to create an atmosphere that is comfortable for all fitness levels through the race and her business.

After finding herself in the process of developing her own active lifestyle, Hall took over Totally Running and Walking in 2012 and began organizing community events, including the race, to inspire others to live healthier lives.

“I had triplets and suffered post-partum depression and thought getting into exercise and a healthy lifestyle would help energize and improve my outlook on life,” Hall said. “I started slow with a ‘couch to 5K’ app on my iPhone. I noticed a renewed sense of self. My body started looking better and my mind was clearer.”

Hall’s store is a unique local business for Forsyth County, offering a custom two-step shoe fitting process that she said is not offered at any other running and walking shoe retailer in the area. The store also features a trained staff that focuses on preventing injury through correct footwear.

Through the store, Hall is able to coordinate several local races that unify the running community and also support a number of non-profits and charities in the area.

“I want Totally Running and Walking to be the ‘go-to’ store for people of all ages, sizes and shapes,” Hall said. “I want my store to help the Forsyth community build better self-esteem and confidence by making walking and running a big part of their active lifestyle.”

The half marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. on July 4 and costs $65 per person. Costing $40 per person, the 10K starts at 7:45 a.m. The 5K starts at 8 a.m. and costs $30 per person, and the Sparkler Trot is for runners who are 10 years old or under and starts at 9:45 a.m. It costs $15 per person.

The race is open for online registration at runsignup.com/races through July 3. Registration is also offered at Totally Running and Walking through July 3 and on race day at 6:30 a.m.

For more information on We the Runners or Totally Running and Walking, visit totallyrunning.com or the Totally Running and Walking store at 405 Peachtree Parkway in Cumming.