one of the best parts of living in cooper-young is being walking distance to the 4-miler and the festival in september. the cooper-young festival takes place on the third saturday of september every year, and on the friday night prior the neighborhood gathers for a giant block party disguised as a 4-mile race route. i’ve missed out on it in years past, but now that i live walking distance to the starting line i was not going to skip out again.
the “run” starts at 7pm under the cooper-young trestle and weaves its way through the streets of walker, young, oliver, nelson, and evelyn. because the route is the same every year, many people who live along the way have house parties to celebrate. some offer water to those participating while others have jell-o and fireball shots up for grabs. one of my favorites was the twinkie i received on nelson; i don’t think i’ve had a twinkie in 25 years, and it was delicious. and as we neared the finish, one house was handing out vodka-soaked mandarin slices on toothpicks — they gave us just the kick we needed to finish that last quarter-mile. some houses also had movies playing, so i enjoyed scenes from blue hawaii and rocky along the way as well.
i ran more than i walked, but i definitely walked a good bit of the route. it was 87 degrees and crazy humid when we began, and dehydration set in pretty fast. it was also much more enjoyable to say hi to people having parties and partake in the goodies that were being handed out, so i focused on the community and camaraderie rather than my time.
the 4-miler was definitely a huge highlight of my time living in the neighborhood, and i look forward to participating again and again.