The Knoxville Police Department is holding its second Freedom 5K on the Fourth of July. The race begins at 8 a.m. at the police department, with registration opening at 7 a.m.
Prior to last summer, Lt. Aaron Fuller had been thinking about having the police department organize a 5K. The announcement of last year’s Fourth of July activities by THRIVE helped Fuller decide it was the right time to include a 5K race in the day’s schedule.
“This is a way for the police department to get involved and to have a positive event for people to come to,” says Fuller. “It’s a good way to kick off the city’s events.”
This year’s Freedom 5K is bringing some changes in comparison to last year. The KPD is establishing a scholarship fund for a Knoxville High School senior who is wanting to pursue a career in law enforcement. The proceeds from the 5K will be used to start the fund. Last year’s proceeds were donated to THRIVE.
The morning will begin at 7:45 a.m. with the raising of the flag by members of the VFW, American Legion and Boy Scouts at both the police and fire departments. Following the flag raising, members of the middle school band will play the national anthem. The race will then begin with a round of shots fired by the American Legion and VFW.
The route for this year’s Freedom 5K will follow the same route as last year.
“The route is challenging,” says Fuller. “There’s a lot of hills, but we think overall people enjoyed it last year.”
Fuller encourages community members who are not racing to find a spot along the route to cheer on runners. He says that those watching along the route are welcome to bring signs to help cheer on racers.
“We’re trying to get more people involved other than just runners,” said Fuller.
Awards will be given to the winners of each age division, as well as the overall male and female winners.
“We’re excited to do this again and have people come out and participate, and to see if we can make it better than we did last year,” Fuller says. “We’re expecting to have a big turnout the day of the race.
Following the 5K, Cathy Struecker from Cairn Yoga will be offering free yoga on the Methodist Church lawn beginning at 8:45 a.m. The fire department will also be hosting a pancake breakfast from 8-10 a.m.
Pre-registration is currently open online or in-person at the KPD. Kids ages 10 and under race for free this year and are asked to register the day of the race with a parent or guardian. The registration link is www.getmeregistered.com/kpdfreedom5k.