A wet, windy morning welcomed runners to the inaugural Bristol Independence Rhode Race Half Marathon on Sunday, June 28. The event is the newest part of the month-long celebration that is 4th of July in Bristol, Rhode Island. The hamlet on Narragansett Bay is home to the nation’s oldest 4th of July parade, which celebrated its 230th anniversary in 2015.
How serious is the town of Bristol about the parade? Bristol officials actually got Congress to pass legislation allowing a red, white, and blue stripe to act as the center road divider—in place of a double yellow line—year round. To wit, from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices:”
Section 353(b) STRIPES — Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a red, white, and blue center line in the Main Street of Bristol, Rhode Island, shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of Section 3B-1 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices of the Department of Transportation.
That’s how serious Bristol is about its 4th of July Parade.
A host of festivities mark the month-long build-up to the parade, including a free concert series in Independence Park, a Drum and Bugle Corps Competition including bands from around the U.S., tours of a visiting Navy ship, a carnival, fireworks, and now the half-marathon among them.
The Bristol Independence Rhode Race Half Marathon was also my first race since February’s Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I was one of 462 finishers at the inaugural event. It’s great to be back!
What’s a theme race without a running costume? You know I loves me some sparkle. So in honor of Independence Day, I busted out my running stars and stripes. Amazingly, I already owned all of these pieces in my running wardrobe. The only new addition was the giant red, white, and blue bow.
Here’s what I wore from bottom to top, with handy affiliate links in case you want scoop up any of them yourself (and help me keep this blog running in the process):