Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Local event: Firecracker 5K to take place Saturday

by BIZ Magazine

Special to BIZ. Magazine

Sportspectrum is happy to announce the 37th Anniversary of the  Firecracker 5k Race for Research Run & Healthwalk. This coming July 3rd, our  Nation’s Birthday promises to be celebrated with a special passion and purpose by  Americans from coast to coast. The 37th running also brings a special milestone to  myself and this great run. The year was 1985, Springlake Point Apartments, and about  45 weekend warriors took the streets of Springlake to run the first Annual  Firecracker. Scott Smith was our first overall male with a time of 15:37 and Terry  Davis won the ladies crown in 19:00 flat. It has been a great ride and a lot of fun  sharing my July 4th with all my favorite friends.  

Sportspectrum has worked tirelessly to produce safe races through the pandemic, but  is excited to return Firecracker 5k to the family tradition it has always been. The  festivities will once again include live music, great food and drinks, and the  ceremonial starting.  

Our Title Sponsor is the Spine Institute of Louisiana Foundation. We are excited  about combining Race for Research with our Firecracker 5K and look forward to an  exciting long-term partnership. 80% of Americans experience back pain or spine  disease. It is one of the most debilitating health problems that we face. The Spine  Institute of Louisiana Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose  mission is to improve current spine treatments and develop new ones through  innovative research. Thousands of patients in the Ark-La-Tex have directly benefited  as a result of the research that is done through the Foundation. The Spine Institute of  Louisiana has received International recognition from the research performed at its  research Foundation. Donations directly benefit spine research at the Spine Institute  of Louisiana Foundation.  

This race is also being run in the memory of three great friends. Ran Kiper, Jim  Wilhite, & Robin Fell. They all had a passion for the great outdoors, from a Saturday  morning jog with “the group” to a competitive half-marathon down on the  Riverfront. They were all leaders, giving their time and resources to organizations and  individuals in need. They loved their families and friends, and were committed to  living life to its fullest —I miss you guys!! 

The 1996 Firecracker 5K was Ran Kiper’s last foot race. The following day he was  diagnosed with cancer and passed away that September. Men’s mug #101 is in  memory of Ran Kiper. 

“Firecracker strikes the perfect balance of competitive running and family fun. Every  year I fight to get a mug, and regardless, I have a great time with friends and family after  the race.” Andrew Gaspard, avid runner and Sportspectrum Manager.

“Sprinklers, Popsicles, Music, Front Yard Gatherings, American Flags, The Southfield  School Water Stop have all become staples to Shreveport’s largest road race. These  elements truly make this a race for all ages and fitness levels.” Matt Snyder Firecracker  participant. 

“We were happy to be able to safely produce races over the last year, and our looking  forward to making the 2021 Firecracker 5k a running community reunion.” Matt Brown,  Sportspectrum owner.

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