Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Time of Year: 4th of July
Distance options: 5k
Year(s) completed: 2013
This year was my first experience with the Ann Arbor Firecracker 5k, although I’ve known about it for awhile. I basically did it just because I needed to do a speed workout that day and decided in the morning to run a race instead of working out alone.
The atmosphere was pretty good, with lots of people down town for the 4th of July, and just hang out in decent (although very humid) weather. Lots of non runners just around as well. Patriotic music blaring beforehand. It was pretty fun.
In-race support consisted of a couple water stops which was more than sufficient. Also plenty of volunteers out at the turns so I didn’t see much chance of going the wrong way.
The course itself was basically a double loop through down town and part through campus (it cut across the University of Michigan Diag on the 2nd/final loop). It had a couple of longer, very gradual uphills, but also a couple longer, gradual downhills. Luckily it also ended down one of these gradual down hills, which was nice. Other than that, it was an asphalt and otherwise paved course throughout.
The post-race festivities consisted of some water and other light snacks, which were fine. Also, they did some sort of awards which I think were just medals of some sort. However, after waiting around 45 minutes after finishing, they still weren’t showing signs of starting, so I decided to leave. I didn’t need a medal, but it would have been nice if it moved along a little faster.