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Wednesday, Jul 02 2014 03:29 PM

5k to kick off Tehachapi Fourth of July celebrations

Teeming with patriotism, hundreds of participants and spectators  are expected to converge on downtown Tehachapi to kick off their Independence Day festivities with a brisk morning walk or run.

Formerly known as the "Bun Run," the "Warrior Run," is celebrating its 15th year this 4th of July holiday.

Last year the event drew 204 walkers and runners, and according to Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District Recreation Supervisor and race coordinator LeAnn Williams, could produce an even bigger turnout this year.

Williams is encouraging runners, walkers and family members of all ages to participate in the run, which she said is also stroller-friendly.

"The only race we discourage strollers in is the "Run with the Wind" since it is mostly off-road trails," she said. "So, everyone come out and enjoy the fresh mountain air."

This year's race is sponsored by TFitness, Benz Sanitation, Albertsons and Krempien Health and Fitness, and covers a total distance of 3.1 miles, and has a total ascent of just over 57 feet and a maximum elevation of just over 4,000 feet.

The race starts at Central Park at 7:30 a.m. on July 4, and will be chip-timed by Elite Timing.

"Over the past year, we have strived to provide a top-notch race experience," Williams said. "Our runners will receive a professionally ran race, on a good course and some great swag."

This year, each race participant will receive a swag bag loaded with various goodies, including a technical camouflage race shirt, finisher’s die-cast medal and a ticket to the Warrior Booster Club pancake breakfast following the race.

Prizes will also be awarded to the top overall male and female, and top three finishers in each race category.

Williams said the net proceeds from all the district's races go to the Tehachapi Parks Foundation and youth programming.  She also said that the district has donated proceeds to Tehachapi Mountain Search and Rescue, The Warrior Booster club and Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County.  

"As a runner myself, I want TVRPD known as the best 5k race in the region," Williams said. "And I don’t think we will disappoint."

For those that want to participate in this year's run, online registration continues until midnight on Wednesday, July 2, and on race day beginning at 6:30 a.m. For more information visit tvrpd.org, or to view a map of the this year's race route go to mapmyrun.com/routes/view/431929406.

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