Galva Independence Day Is One Of My Favorite Races
In these long cold winter months when sometimes it is hard to get out and run I start thinking about good times running in the summer. I was just thinking about the Galva Independence day race. I don’t think I have missed that race in the last 20 years. It’s always in Wiley Park in Galva. Wiley Park is a small park in the middle of the city with a picnic shelter in the center. Huge beautiful old houses with neatly manicured lawns surround the park. There are big wide sidewalks for runners to finish on. Finish line equipment is set up on these ancient old spacious sidewalks, nothing-fancy just posts on the sides. The Galesburg road Runners Club clock will be there. For many years I would take the clock and set up for them but I am not equipment manager anymore. I still help set it up sometimes, it is one the older bigger clocks. The newer ones are much smaller.
Running the race is the real fun though. Except for the way it finishes I don’t think the course has changed much in 20 years. It starts on the street in front of the park and runs through the city and out into the country. There is a little hill just as you go out of the city. I notice this hill much more on the way back after I am tired.
Several years’ back there was a thunderstorm during the race I can still remember running out in the country and seeing the lighting coming down across the fields. They could not call the race off since it had already started. I don’t think the storm was very close anyway, but we sure did get wet. Most of the time is just hotter than blazes out in the country on the hot asphalt. They have plenty of water out there but I never stop for water. I don’t stop for water when I am running at home so why should I stop for water in a race?
I think it has had the same group of people running it also. The same guy has given out awards as long as I can remember. A local dentist, Wayne Skaloud is always the race director. After the race the Lions Club cooks all you can eat pancakes and sausage links. It’s great sitting under the picnic shelter eating and talking in the cool shade. I will be soaked with sweat and in the cool shade sometimes I even have a cup of coffee.