The 28th edition of the largest and oldest road race in Beaufort County makes its anticipated return Thursday, as the Firecracker 5000 kicks off the unofficial start of the July 4 festivities on Hilton Head Island.
More than 1,350 participants have signed up for the race with another 300 to 400 expected to join before the 8:05 a.m. start time at Jarvis Creek Park, race organizer Mark Weisner said. Those numbers are slightly ahead of last year's total.
"We are rocking and rolling," he said. "We're ready to go. We've got a big crowd of people already signed up. We're excited about the Fourth."
This year's race will take runners through Jarvis Creek Park and along the Cross Island Parkway, Highway 278, Jarvis Park Road, Natures Way, Pembroke Drive, Hatton Place and Lafayette Place. Competition will begin in Jarvis Creek Park due to construction work at the Shelter Cove Mall, which has been the traditional launch point of the Firecracker 5000.
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Weisner encourages those who have not yet signed up to do so by Wednesday in order to guarantee themselves one of the remaining T-shirts. Registration, which is $35 for adults and $30 for children, will take place between 2 and 5 p.m. at Shelter Cove Mall.
Runners should arrive early Thursday to give themselves time to make it over to Jarvis Creek Park. Free parking will be provided by Hilton Head Island High School.
A July 4th celebration, which includes a children's fun run, live music, fresh fruit, refreshments, door prizes, and a craft beer garden, will follow the run.
Publix Hilton Head Firecracker 5000
What: The July 4 race is the largest and oldest road race in Beaufort County.
Where: This year's race will begin in Jarvis Creek Park. Free parking is available at Hilton Head Island High School.
When: All participants must be registered by 8 a.m. Thursday. The race gets underway at 8:05.
Cost: $35 for adults, $30 for children
Notes: Those who would like a shirt must register between 2 and 5 p.m. Wednesday at Shelter Cove Mall. ... Runners should arrive early to guarantee themselves parking at the high school and ample time to make their way over to Jarvis Creek Park.