Fourth of July road races have become increasingly popular over the years. In Bristol, RI, however, there’s another big event that happens on the 4th. It is, of course, the oldest Independence Day parade in the country. Therefore, the road race that coincides with the celebration is held annually the Saturday before the 4th. The weather for this year’s Independence Rhode Races Half Marathon will be pretty typical for early summer.
Runners can expect warm and humid conditions from the start of the race, and if the sun breaks through early in the day, it may be close to 80 degrees by 10 am. The early start time (6:30 a.m.) means that the faster runners will be done before breakfast time, but the mid and back of the pack runners will be on the course long enough for the temperature to get into at least the mid to upper 70s. Combining the temperature with high humidity and not much wind will make for some tough running – especially in the second half of the race. Runners will need to hydrate well on Friday and hit the water stops Saturday morning.
Showers and thunderstorms have been bothersome for this race in the past, but this year it looks like the shower/storm threat is slim, but not non-existent. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that a cluster of thunderstorms (MCS) develops over Ontario or the Great Lakes and dives southeast into Southern New England late Friday night into Saturday morning. It’s not the most likely scenario, and there’s a far better chance that the weather will be rain-free. The shower and storm threat increases around midday on Saturday – well after the race is completed.
The course is near the water, but the breeze may be so light that it does not offer any relief from the warm/muggy conditions. In a best-case scenario it will kick up to near 10 mph, but I think it will be closer to 5 mph which will not do much to cool you down. The course feature a couple of notable hills – one at 2 miles and one at 7.5 miles. For more on those hills and the rest of the course, check out the course preview.