Runners return for 44th Greater Springfield Harriers Fourth of July Road Race

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Runners took their mark just outside the Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday for the big Fourth Road Race, for many this was their first road race since the pandemic started.

“Everybody is just happy to be here,” said Iwona Boruch, the Co-Race Director. “We see people, we see friends, and other runners coming together.”

The first few winners were minutes ahead of the rest. Including Sophia Wolmar, claiming 1st place in the women’s division.

A neuroscience and philosophy student at Amherst College, Sophia was just named captain of the cross country team.

“I just wanted to keep even splits,” she told 22News. “Today was more of a tempo effort. I was just trying to hit 5:30’s every time and that’s what I did.”

While it was not your typical Fourth of July weather, participants told 22News it was perfect running weather Sunday.

“This was the first year it wasn’t 90 degrees in awhile,” said Theodora Johnson.

This was the first road race since the pandemic started for Rich Wu, Joe Fois, and Theodora.

For them, and so many other runners, it’s not just about reaching the finish line, it’s also about the people you get to see during the warm-ups and cool-downs.

“Everyone relates to one another regardless of ability level,” said Joe.

That’s certainly the case for this friend group.

While Joe has been running for decades, Rich, whose more of a cyclist guy, started in April.

“This group is great. I mean I came from zero as far of running. But I’m getting there,” Rich told 22News.

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