Ready, set, race!

Racers get ready for the 2019 Optimist Run, which took place July 4 in Milton. This year’s race will be held virtually due to concerns with COVID-19. Registration for the race can be done at active.com.

The Milton Optimist Independence Day Run will take place this year, according to race director Kristin Koeffler.

With concerns of COVID-19, the race will be held virtually.

“I couldn’t stand the idea of not doing the race,” Koeffler said.

“I think the running community was really looking forward to getting outside and running again. It feels good and it’s spring, but we got to do it safely,” Koeffler added.

Runners can enter a one-mile or 5k-race. Registration is at active.com, where times also will be posted.

Participants have from June 4 to July 4 to run the race, which can be done from anywhere in the world.

The Fourth of July run serves as the Milton Optimist’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Milton Optimist voted to once again offer scholarships for graduating seniors this year.

Koeffler said they are relying on the funds created from the race to help replenish the fund for next year’s seniors.

“It’s more important than ever to try to make this year normal for them (seniors),” Koeffler said. “It’s something they can celebrate.”

Proceeds also help with Kids on Stage Theater program, community projects, sports team sponsorships, library summer reading program and Breakfast with Santa.

Koeffler is optimistic for the potential turn out of the race, since it can be completed from anywhere. She noted that former Milton residents in states like Colorado and Arizona will be able to participate in the race from their respective states.

“We’re really hopeful if people spread the word,” Koeffler said. “There are a lot of Miltonites that come back for the Fourth of July and start the day with this run. They could do it wherever they are.

“I would love it if they would carry the tradition and join the race.”

Registration for the race can be found at active.com by putting in 2020 Optimists Virtual Independence Day Run in the search bar. The race will still have age groups and awards will be given for first-place male and female overall finishers in each race.

Milton strong t-shirts can also be purchased with registration of the race.

“I think it’s time for the city of Milton to show its pride,” Koeffler said. “It’s going to be a good event.

“I couldn’t be prouder of being from Milton and the way people come together.”

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