Community prepared for 40th annual Arbutus Firecracker 10K race

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Runners start the 39th annual Arbutus Firecracker 10K on July 4, 2022.

The cool start to summer might have kids shivering at early swim team practices, but for Arbutus Firecracker 10K race director Martin Goode, that would be the ideal scenario for runners competing in the 40th annual race.

“If we get a cool day like we’ve had, we could probably walk up about 150, which would get us around 500 [runners],” Goode said. “We are on pace for maybe 425 to 450.”


The race will begin at 8 a.m on July 4 at Arbutus Middle School.

Last year’s race had 324 runners, and it was won by Langston Gash of Parkville in a time of 32 minutes, 24 seconds. The 25-year old, who outlasted Zach Kaminski (33:01), won’t compete this year because he is “out on sabbatical from running for a couple months,” Goode said.

Langston Gash of Parkville won the 2022 Arbutus Firecracker 10K last year in 32:24.

The women’s race winner was Julia Roman-Duval of Columbia, who won in 35:51, 40 seconds ahead of Emily De La Bruyere.

It was Roman-Duval’s fifth trip to the winner’s circle. She won in 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2014 and captured the 35-39 female age group.

“I know [Roman-Duval] is running and I know she’s had a couple marathons, but I’m not sure if she’s coming,” Goode said.

One thing Goode knows for certain is the amount of water that will be available throughout the 6.2-mile course.

“The thing that draws the people that I hear the most comments about are how community friendly this race is,” Goode said. “July the 4th, we have flags, which is good, but that doesn’t do anything about the heat, but then we have so many neighbors that have sprinklers, hoses and little water tables. The thing that we boast about is we’ve got seven water stops, and for a 10K you usually get maybe two.”

While the water donations from the neighbors and volunteers are a pleasant relief, Goode has encountered some other water-related obstacles in his first five years as director.

“One of the five was virtual, so I didn’t have to worry about a water main break, so that leaves four and I’ve had two water main breaks, so that is not a good percentage,” he said. “I might not even sleep the day before the race, I’ll just ride around the community and wish no water main breaks.”

The water main break in 2018 happened less than two hours before the race and Goode had to alter the course.

Julia Roman-Duval won the female race last year in 35:51 and was the 13th overall finisher at the 39th annual Arbutus Firecracker 10K.

The main sponsors for this year’s race are Feet First, Ambrose Funeral Home and Blind Industries of Maryland.

The race was started in 1983 by George Kendrick and has been run on the same course every year except for 2020, when it was held virtually because of COVID.

Overall winners will receive $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third. Age group winners (five-year groups) will receive $50, $40 and $30.

Cost to enter online through June 30 is $35, and cost to enter on race day is $40. Packet pickup is Saturday, July 1, from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

Grilled hot dogs, snow balls and other goodies will be available on site.