28th ANNUAL SMOKEY BEAR FUN RUN, JULY 4, 2008

3 Miles Uphill, 3 Miles Downhill

The Smokey Bear Fun Run is by far the friendliest run ever! I learned that last year, and couldn't wait for the 4th of July this year. My second Smokey Bear Fun Run was even more fun than my first. I started a couple minutes after the starting gun, so I passed all the other runners headed for the finish as I approached the 3 mile turn-around, and shared supportive cheers of "good job" and "looking good" with all of them. Without a doubt, I have never given and received so much support during a run, which is a reflection of the fantastic attitude of the people of Capitan, New Mexico and the surrounding area.

The run is so well organized, thanks to the race director, Mr. George Tippin, who provided a few of the pictures below, and makes sure the runners have plenty of information. Thank you Mr. Tippin!

A challenging 10k, followed by a wonderful parade. Smokey Bear's hometown sure knows how to celebrate independence!


The Fun Run attracts runners of all ages.


The run starts at an elevation of 6350 feet, and runners experience a 60-foot elevation gain in the first mile.

A beautiful morning for an uphill climb. Although the road appears flat in places, the elevation increases by another 230 feet between mile 1 and mile 3.

The run provides a beautiful view of the Capitan Mountains where Smokey Bear was rescued in 1950, after the "Gap Fire" destroyed 17,000 acres of Forest.

After the mile 3 turn around . . .

it's all downhill!

Wonderful Fun Run Volunteers provided water and encouragement at 2 miles/4 miles.

An hour and 19 minutes after the starting gun, I made it to the finish, where runners awaited results . . .

and ribbons.

More Fun Run Volunteers offered ice cold water and oranges at the finish.

Race Director, George Tippin, awards a runner.

Following the run, we joined the parade-viewing crowd, setting up our chairs in front of the Smokey Bear Museum on Smokey Bear Boulevard, then enjoying breakfast while awaiting the 10 a.m. parade start.

The Capitan Police begin the parade.


Carol, a member of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Posse. The Posse dates back to the time of the area's famous outlaw, Billy the Kid. The Posse's role has evolved from a mounted law enforcement reserve unit to an all volunteer community service organization.

These Animal Shelter doggies were looking for new owners.



What would a parade be without The Shriners?

I wondered how this horse could see through those bangs.


Every creature sported red, white, and blue!




A Sheriff's Officer riding a white horse. Make a wish.



Aleah Topper, Miss Lincoln County

It's Smokey Bear!

The parade included many beautiful cars.



The Lincoln County Republican Party


The Hawaiin float took me back!

Equal time for the Democratic Party of Lincoln County

A local 4-H group (I wish I could remember which one), did a GREAT job putting together this float. One of the best!


Otero County Electric had a cute float.

This poor little girl was tired of the sirens.



Several members of the Smokey Bear Hotshot Crew, Lincoln National Forest, ran the 10k in their long pants and boots. Amazing! They are an awesome group of fire fighters.

The Lincoln County EMS marked the end of the parade, and the end of a beautiful July 4th morning in Smokey Bear's hometown. Looking forward to July 4, 2009!

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