All is not lost when it comes to athletic events this summer.

While the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic has canceled most summer/fall events when it comes to road races, bike races and triathlons, there are still a couple happening locally if you want to be involved.

Three local events are proceeding as scheduled around the Fourth of July holiday.

• The first is the Freedom Run 5k, to be held Friday, July 3 during Cadillac's annual Freedom Festival. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion with proceeds helping the Cadillac High School National Honor Society.

Go to www.cadillacfreedomfestival.com for more information.

• The largest event in the area is likely the Greatest Fourth in the North Road Races. It involves a 10k, 5k and a 2k fun run on Saturday, July 4.

All races are on, co-director Sara Colecchio said even though the festival itself is canceled for 2020.

"We don't anticipate it being as large as it has normally been but that's OK this year," Colecchio said. "Myself, I am a little nervous. We don't want to overstep our bounds and I want to make sure we work with and follow all of the social distancing rules."

Colecchio said the race had around 100 entries as of Tuesday and that's something the Lake City Athletic Boosters said it needed by June 8 for the races to be a go.

While pre-registering brings in a number of entries, Colecchio said it's the morning of the event that organizers get swamped with participants.

"We usually double what we already had on the day of the race," she said. "If we have 200 on July 1, we will end up with 400 on that day.

"(Even without the festival), if people have a summer cottage around here, they take part in it or we have whole families that take part in it as a tradition. We have so many (Lake City) alumni, too, that come back to visit parents and grandparents that take part in the race."

Participants will all receive at least one medal this year and then the traditional division winners also will receive a second medal.

As far as social distancing, Colecchio said it's no problem to do staggered stats with the computer timing mats. That alleviates a big group of people all starting at once, she said.

Registration begins at 6 a.m. on July 4. The first event is the 2k fun run at 7:30 a.m. followed by the 10k at 7:45 a.m. and the 5k at 7:50 a.m.

For more information, go to lakecityschools.net and click on the Athletics tab. Runners can either print the form to race or can register online.

• Tentatively on, as well, is the Evart 4th of July 5k. Race organizers did not return inquiries to the Cadillac News so it's best to check ahead as the event gets closer.

The race begins at 8:30 a.m. on July 4 at Evart Elementary Schools.

For more information, go to https://evart5kwalkrun.wixsite.com/evart5k or call (231) 408-8689.

• If a bike is your preferred method of travel instead of your legs and a pair of running shoes, The Divide in Manton might be your thing on Sunday, July 26.

The Divide is a gravel road race that features distances of 19, 34 and 50 miles. There are five age divisions, along with tandem and fat bike age divisions.

Proceeds benefit the Manton Schools cross country program. For more information, go to http://hardracingevents.com/events/the-divide/

• The Evart Timber Beast Adventure Race has been canceled for 2020 and is now set for Aug. 14, 2021.

• The Great American Crossroads Celebration 5k will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15 and benefits the Reed City Area Public Schools cross country program.

The Kids Dash begins at 8:30 a.m. with the 5k beginning at 9 a.m. This year's race will start and end at the Reed City Depot at 200 N. Chestnut St. The race will incorporate the White Pine Trail, Pere Marquette Trail and Linear Park Trail.

Go to https://www.gaccreedcity.org for more information.

• There's been a step taken in returning a Cadillac tradition to Labor Day weekend. The Cadillac Festival of Races, which included the longest-running 10k in Michigan, was canceled in 2019 due to declining participation.

The event has been picked back up by the Cadillac Area YMCA but will be a virtual event in 2020 due to COVID-19.

YMCA membership and marketing director Paul King said the plan had been to bring back the actual races this year but COVID complicated getting things together and getting sponsorships.

"At the very least, there will be a virtual 5k and 10k for this year," King said. "We're doing that with hopes that next year, we can bring back the outdoor races.

"Watch our website this year for more details."

• The Bear Claw Epic Mountain Bike Race is set for Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Cadillac Pathway behind the Wexford-Missaukee CTC.

Elite racers do four laps of the course while Expert and Sport riders do three. Intermediate riders do two laps and Beginners do one. Each lap is seven miles with roughly 600 feet of climbing per lap.

Registration opened on Jan. 1 and continues to Sept. 23. For more information, go to bearclawepic.com

Cadillac News

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