Skip to main content

Photos: Runners Celebrate Independence with Freedom to Run Four Miles Race

Jul 05, 2017 05:12AM, Published by Doug Erlien , Categories: Sports, Community


Gallery: Free to Run Four Miles [33 Images] Click any image to expand.



The Charities Challenge organization and Road Runners Club of America held the 9th Annual Free to Run 4 Miles race on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. 

“We have so much to be thankful for, on this other Thanksgiving day, our day of Independence. Lots to be thankful for,” Organizer Gary Westlund said. 

More than 30 participants of all ages and running experience ran four laps around Arbor Lake finishing at 
Claddagh Irish Pub with a complimentary Irish breakfast and beer.

Brad Onstad crossed the finish line for the first time ever after committing to run the race with his wife Lori as an early birthday present.

“It’s super cool,” Lori said. “I’m very proud of him. It was really a treat to do something I’ve done for a long time with him.”

For Brad, the training leading up to race day readied him for his first race.

“I’ve lost weight over the last year, 80 pounds now so I started running in January and worked my way up,” Brad said. “It was exciting.”

Eleanor Taylor is no race rookie. The 76-year-old continues to be active and despite a 
 scheduled knee replacement surgery at the end of July, wouldn’t have been anywhere else on the 4th of July.

“I haven’t been able to do any other runs and I wanted to do this today even though I walked it,” Taylor said. “If I sit down, I’ll never get up. You gotta keep everything going.”

Father and son duo Bill and Nate Miller have made running a big part of their relationship as well.

“It’s wonderful, we’re celebrating freedom,” Bill said. “This is our second Maple Grove race together this year. We did the one at the high school too.”

“I try to keep up and not let him beat me,” said son Nate. “We succeeded this time, we tied.”




For more Charities Challenge races and information, visit their website.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to the Maple Grove Voice free newsletter to catch every headline



Maple Grove Fourth of July


  • SONGS OF THE BEATLES SUNDAY

    09/24/2017
    09:30AM — 10:30AM

    Jesus gave us the template for how to live peacefully within community amidst our flawed humanity...


  • OMNI Brewing Co. BEER RUN!

    09/24/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    Join us at OMNI Brewing at 11AM on Sunday, Sept. 24th for a 5k-sh fun run, job, or walk. Everyon...


  • Fire Building at Eastman Nature Center

    09/24/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Discover the science behind fire making and test your new skills. From 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24 ...


PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS