MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — When runners set off on the 47th annual Monmouth-Independence Mini-Marathon, they take part in a unique event.
Sure, there are plenty of races to run throughout the year. But few, if any, offer the chance to run in front of thousands of cheering fans — without having to be a world-class athlete.
“I think it’s the fact that it’s a relatively short race,” organizer Terry Cable said. “With all the festivities around, it makes it real attractive. It leaves people plenty of time for other things. It helps people embrace exercise and recreation, and you can view the parade route from a unique perspective.”
The mini-marathon, held Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., follows the grand parade route beginning in Monmouth and ending in downtown Independence.
The 2.6-mile race is mostly downhill — making it appealing to runners of all fitness levels. There will be water stations and sprinklers throughout the race and fans lining the streets to show support.
“It’s just a perfect setting,” Cable said. “The crowds are already there. … They make it a truly unique and memorable run.”
Registration is available online at www.runsignup.com/Race/OR/Monmouth/4thofJulyMiniMarathon.
The cost is $15 (10 and older) and $5 (9 and younger) until Friday.
Day-of registration will be available from 8 to 10:30 a.m. for $20 and $10.
The race is a one-way course, and participants will have to make their own post-race travel arrangements.
Also, be prepared to handle the weather.
“Make sure you are hydrated,” Cable said. “We will also have plenty of hydration and refreshments.”
The mini-marathon has been a long-standing community tradition. Cable said he’s excited to see what 2017’s version brings.
“We have plenty of tradition with people running the race,” Cable said. “We have people who run and now their kids run with them. We have a lot of local people coming out and give great support.”
Cable said he expects 400 or more participants in this year’s event.