(Independent?) Four on the Fourth

4th on the boxMike and I think we have run the York Four on the Fourth about 20 times. It’s tradition!  Listening to “The Star Spangled Banner” sung by a local vocalist at the start of the race never fails to give me chills. The course along the beach, lined with enthusiastic spectators, is beautiful and festive.  And it just wouldn’t be the 4th of July without our post-race breakfast at The Goldenrod.

But a couple of years ago, for some reason, we hadn’t signed up for the race when the Fourth approached. We knew we still wanted to run 4 miles on the Fourth and we definitely needed to eat breakfast at The Goldenrod, so we decided to do our own independent 4 on the Fourth. We drove to York, parking in an area away from the race, and ran four beautiful miles along the coast and past Nubble Light.  It was a wicked (the Maine term for “really”) hot day so we ended our run with a plunge into the Atlantic.  After a quick change we happily continued our decades old tradition of breakfast at The Goldenrod after our 4 mile run.

york 4

We will be continuing our new 4 on Fourth tradition tomorrow.  This gave us an idea, though.  Anyone could do “4 on the Fourth”!  It doesn’t have to involve a formal race or even running at all. We certainly support running in a traditional “4 on the Fourth” event. But if you don’t do that, we encourage you to consider doing your own “4 on the Fourth”.

We’ve been brainstorming some possible “4 on the Fourth” ideas.  What about….


  • lighting 4 sparklers?
  • doing 4 cannonballs off the dock?
  • walking 4 blocks?


  • playing 4 different sports (our family’s other  favorite Fourth of July activity)-croquet, badminton, ping-pong, horseshoes, anyone?


  • reading 4 chapters in your book?
  • running 4 (tenths) of a mile?
  • swimming 4 laps in the pool?

A few other more indulgent ideas spring to mind but we’ll leave it at this!

We wish you a safe and festive 4th of July!

Will you be doing 4 on the Fourth?

If you decide to do a “4 on the Fourth” we’d love to hear about it. 

Leave a message in the comments.

You can share your adventures at #independent4onthe4th on Instagram and tag us at @runningfifty.

Have fun!

Happy 4 on the Fourth!

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