Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Firecracker 5k Race for Research Run & Healthwalk celebrates 38th anniversary

by BIZ Magazine

Sportspectrum is happy to announce the 38th Anniversary of the Firecracker 5k Race for Research Run & Healthwalk this Monday, July 4.

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 the 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 July 4th with family and friends.

“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,” said Andrew Gaspard, avid runner and Sportspectrum Manager.

The festivities will  include live music, great food and drinks, and the ceremonial starting. 

“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,” said Matt Snyder Firecracker participant.

Title Sponsor is the Spine Institute of Louisiana Foundation. Eighty percent of Americans experience back pain or spine disease. 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.

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.

This year will be interesting from a competitive aspect with LSU standout Will Dart trying to beat Ben Chesar’s record time of 14:38 set in 2014. Will won the 2020 Firecracker 5k with a time of 15:25. 

“I’m excited to watch Will fight to break the course record that has stood unbeaten since 2014,” said Matt Brown, Sportspectrum owner.

For more information contact Matt Brown, Sportspectrum at (318)798-1241 or [email protected].

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