Freedom Run to kick off CarmelFest activities



By Christine Fernando

While some might use the Fourth of July as an excuse to sleep in on a Tuesday morning, nearly 1,000 people will gather at Carmel High School at 8 a.m. to run 4 1/2 miles as part of the annual Freedom Run.

The event will include 4.5- and 1.5-mile races that will snake past CHS, through part of the Monon Trail and onto the CarmelFest parade route.

“It’s a pretty fast, flat course,” organizer Don Carr said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Pre-registration for both runs costs $23 while race day registration is $28. A portion of proceeds will go toward CarmelFest organizers to help continue the festival’s annual traditions.

However, the kids fun run for children under the age of 10 is free, and all finishers will receive a popsicle.

Carr said the fun run is one of the most popular children’s runs in the Indianapolis area.

“People love it,” he said. “And it’s great to see all the kids and parents come out and have a good time. It’s fun for the whole family.”

Carr said the best part of every race is watching people cross the finish line with smiles.

He said it’s not uncommon to see runners finish wearing red, white and blue tutus, American flags draped over their shoulders or wearing Statue of Liberty outfits. The costumes are the perfect way for runners to show their patriotism or to try to win the event’s costume contest, Carr said.

Each year, Carr begins working with his company, Tuxedo Brothers, along with radio station HANK FM; CarmelFest; CHS and the City of Carmel in early spring to make the event a success.

But he said the event would be impossible without the volunteers who man the two water stations and help set up the morning of the event. He said he encourages people to fill out the volunteer form online to help out or at least to earn free refreshments and a T-shirt.

“It’d be a lot harder to bring this all together without our volunteers, so we’re very thankful for them,” he said.

But most of all, Carr said he encourages people to celebrate their patriotism and holiday spirit by coming out to run.

“It’s a fun, healthy thing to do to kick off a holiday, spend time with friends and family and celebrate America’s birthday,” he said. “And I think it’s a lot of fun.”

Register online at or volunteer at