Kodiak’s July Fourth fun run is back, but it will look different than past versions.
For the first time in the race’s long history, changes have been made to the course and the day of the race, while a new event has been added.
This year’s 10-kilometer race will happen two days before the Fourth of July and will not start at the entrance of the Coast Guard base.
Instead, the race will be held 6 p.m. Friday, with the 10K starting and ending at the National Guard Armory on Powell Street.
A 5K race — new this year — will start at the same time at the Armory. Walkers begin at 5:30 p.m.
The Armory has become the ideal spot for City of Kodiak Parks and Recreation organized races, which is why the course for the Fourth of July run was changed.
“It has given us some consistency with all our races,” Parks and Recreation director Corey Gronn said. “Again, it plays to our logistical strengths. We have all of our facilities right there.”
The July Fourth 10K started in 1980. Former Parks and Rec director Ian Fulp told the Daily Mirror in 2012 that a Coast Guard captain was a runner and wanted to put on a run. The course was in honor of longtime Kodiak city pool manager Steve King, who would make the walk from the Coast Guard base to town every Fourth of July.
Joe Alward set the men’s course record with a time of 33 minutes, 02 seconds in 2002, while Kristi (Klinnert) Waythomas holds the women’s record with a time of 37:50:23 run in 1989.
New records will be established this year. The 10K course has runners taking Rezanof to Glow Skin Care. Then, the runners return to town via Mill Bay Road.
The 5K course is similar, with the turnaround point being Benny Benson Drive.
“I get that it is a pretty big change, but for us, administrating the race it made a lot of sense,” Gronn said.
Registration for the race begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Kodiak Community Swimming Pool.
Gronn said the race was moved from the holiday in hopes of drawing a bigger crowd. That is also the reason why a 5K was added.
“Our intention and goal is to capture as many folks as we can for that single event,” Gronn said.
The 2020 July Fourth 10K was canceled because of the pandemic. That led to the Kodiak High cross country team hosting a community 5K run.