The Firecracker 5K...raining cats and dogs but still such a fun and festive (and competitive) race!

July 4:  the best American holiday!  It embodies everything I envisioned about America and its people before I moved here from The Netherlands. What's made it even better the past few years is photographing =PR= Races' Firecracker 5K and Fun Run in Reston, Va. Imagine thousands of runners, dressed in the colors of the flag or sporting a similarly cheerful patriotic outfit with little or big hats, glued-on mustaches, gigantic colorful glasses, tutu's, necklaces, etc.  Imagine beautiful American songs over the loudspeakers and later live charging up the athletes.  Imagine face-painting, food and lots of activities for the crowd that came out to cheer on the runners.  Imagine kids and adults alike waving little american flags on short sticks.  Imagine all the military groups good-naturedly participating in the "Battle of the Branches" competition.  And imagine beautiful blue skies and nice warm temperatures (well: a little hot and humid maybe!).

All that was true last Saturday except for the very last part!  It was raining and not just a nice little summer sprinkle.  It was pouring rain or in the words of the British:  it was raining cats and dogs!  But it didn't damper the atmosphere nor spoil the fun.  Indeed, like always it was yet another fun and festive morning. 

My job is to photograph the runners and take some candids.  When that's done I go home for the post-processing part:  download to a photo software program, apply rough edits and upload to Potomac River Running's flickr account (which takes hours).  When that's done I leave  the photos on my computer and go about my normal Saturday routine.  A few days later I go back to the photos and look at them one more time before deleting them forever.  But that's never easy.  I always get attached to them and I compromise by keeping just a few.  I just want to show you the photos I kept from this last race.  I don't have a specific explanation about this selection but I think they resemble the spirit and the gist of a typical July 4th Firecracker 5k!