What better way to kick off your Fourth of July celebration than running a road race.
There are plenty to choose from throughout the state on Sunday, with options ranging as far south as Kennebunk, reaching as far north as Bangor, Stonington and Sebec.
However, your options aren’t limited to Sunday, and that’s where the event in Stonington comes in.
You can head to this quiet town along the ocean on Saturday for the Stonington Six race, which starts and finishes at the Island Community Center.
Registration gets under way at 6:30 a.m., with a non-competitive walk starting at 7:30 and the main event at 8.
The race is celebrating its 30th birthday.
Switching gears to Independence Day, the 30th annual Brewer-Bangor Walter Hunt Memorial 3K race is one highlight among the state’s runners, as 511 completed the 1.9-mile journey dubbed “Maine’s Fastest Road Race” in 2009.
Riley Masters of Bangor led that pack last summer, completing the fast course in 8 minutes, 16 seconds, and he’ll have a good shot to break the long-standing course record of 8:10 shared by Tim Wakeland and Gerry Clapper.
There will be a new incentive to the race this summer.
If the race’s male winner breaks the 8-minute mark and the female champ finishes under 9:20, race sponsor FinishLynx will donate $1,000 to the charity of the respective winner’s choice, while the Sub 5 Track Club will donate an extra $100 for every second the winner is under the aforementioned barriers.
The race will begin at 10:45 a.m. near Dunkin’ Donuts on upper Wilson Street in Brewer, and finish on the Kenduskeag Stream Footbridge in Pickering Square.
Registration tables, located inside the Brewer Auditorium, will open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 10:15, although runners are strongly encouraged to register prior to Sunday.
The fee is $10 per person or $30 for a family of four, and all members of the Sub 5 Track Club can run for free.
All proceeds from the event will benefit Sub 5 and Bangor’s Fourth of July Fireworks Display. Any questions, give Margaret Capehart a call at 947-7399.
If you’re looking for a longer race, or to do a little bit of shopping after running, head to Freeport for L.L. Bean’s annual 10K race.
This popular jaunt, which 880 people finished last year, is a good tuneup for the Beach to Beacon 10K later this summer, and for perhaps those looking to run a half or full marathon later in the year.
Ryan Woods of Boone, N.C., set a course record of 32:01 last year, while Sheri Piers of Falmouth ran a sizzling 35:12 to lead the women.
The race starts at 7:30 a.m. at the corner of Bow and Park Streets at Freeport’s Town Park, and a subsequent fun run will be held at the conclusion of the 10K.
Elsewhere around the state, the eighth annual Friends on the Fourth 5K run and walk will take place in Winthrop, with that race starting at 8 a.m. at Norcross Point.
If a relay is more your style, head to Mount Desert Island for the Around Mount Desert Island Relay, also celebrating its eighth birthday.
The relay kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at Mainely Meat Barbecue, located across Route 3 from Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf, and the fee is $120 per team, or $15 per individual.
If you want to sign up, you have until Friday at 11:59 p.m. The relay is an eight-leg event that circles the perimeter of Mount Desert Island.
To register, go online to www.runmdi.crowathletics.com.
In addition to the race, a charity pancake breakfast will be held at 6 a.m. at the Bar Harbor Town Ballfield, located at the YMCA.
Other racing options are as follows: The 16th annual Goose Rocks Beach Association 5K, slated for 9 a.m. in Kennebunkport; the 31st annual Bath Parks and Recreation Heritage Days Race, a 5K which will start at 8:30; and the Sebec Reading Room Fourth of July 5K, starting at 8 a.m. at the Bridge in downtown Sebec.
Or, if you’re going to be heading out of state, one option could be the first Harvard Pilgrim 10K in Foxborough, Mass., which finishes inside Gillette Stadium.