A group of dedicated runners got out of bed early on Saturday for the Run for Independence 8k in Leesburg. Sponsored by Potomac River Running, the holiday race benefited ARC of Loudoun, a group that works with children and adults with disabilities.
Clear skies and low humidity offered perfect racing conditions for the over three hundred runners who ran 5 miles through Leesburg, starting and finishing at ARC's scenic Paxton campus.
The winner of the race was Richard Andrews, from Washington D.C., clocking in with an impressive time of 28:02. The top female finisher was Leesburg resident Sarah Bard, who finished in just over a half an hour, with a time of 31:02.
The scenic race course was not without its share of challenges, making the winning times that much more impressive. Racer Luke Heidelberger said,
"The course wasn't terribly hilly, but designing it so that we had the climb on Dry Hollow Road approaching King Street right after the 4 mile mark seemed to me, in the moment, both cruel and unusual. I crested the top of the hill before it, and it looked like the longest climb in the world. But, when I got to the base of the hill, it didn't seem that bad. It played with my head a bit."
After they got through the race itself, there was plenty of time to relax and refuel. In addition to the standard post-race fare of bottled water and bananas, racers and spectators enjoyed a complimentary post-race breakfast of eggs, bacon, potatoes and fruit, provided by one of Leesburg's newer restaurants, Eggspectation.
Many families were in attendance, so there were kids activities as well: face painting was available both during and after the race, and there was even a short kids' fun run after the race was over. Children of all ages participated, and each child who participated in the fun run was given a ribbon.
The Run for Independence isn't the only Independence Day event that Potomac River Running is sponsoring. It's not too late to participate in the Firecracker 5K being held in Reston Town Center on Monday, if you want to get out and run this holiday weekend.