Firecracker 4 file

Runners pass miniature American flags on the Dow Firecracker 4 course in Lake Jackson during the 2018 event.

LAKE JACKSON — In its 45th year, organizers of the Dow Firecracker 4 have set a new course for the Independence Day event.

“The big thing it used to start at Bess Brannen and finish at Dunbar Park,” Firecracker 4 race director Mike Harvey said. “So there was a different start and finish point, which was kind of painful for the timers. So we basically wanted to get the start and finish at the same place. Plus, the old course was kind of complicated it had a lot of twists and turns, but now we’ve simplified it. That is the major change for the race.”

A new course also awaits the walkers.

“The walkers are going to do a loop around Oak Drive and back on That Way and back to the park,” Harvey said. “The 2-mile walk will be actually about 1.8 miles, which it is still a noncompetitive walk.”

About 300 participants are expected when the activities start at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Dunbar Park, 803 FM 2004. Some will come out dressed in patriotic red, white and blue attire to mark the holiday.

The free BASF Kids Run, which is for those 12 and younger, will precede the Firecracker 4 at 7:15 a.m.

Entry fee for both the Firecracker 4 run and walk is $35, and participants and volunteers each will receive a T-shirt.

Packet pickup will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today at Dunbar Park. Late registration and packet pickup on race day will be from 6 to 7 a.m.

Lauren Smith Stroud set the women’s record of 22 minutes, 32 seconds in 2011. Cesar Figueroa holds the men’s mark, finishing in 20:28 in 2009.

Joel Luna is sports editor for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0160 or at

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