This year's Fourth of July was a special one for Kenny and Christie Foster.
The married couple kicked off their Independence Day festivities doing what they love - running together. Both participated in the 2014 July 4th Fun Run on Friday morning, a 4-mile course that starts in Palmer Lake, traveling a stretch of the Santa Fe Trail before finishing less than a mile from their new house in Monument.
The Fosters made the move from Ft. Carson to Monument a little over a year ago. Most of that time, however, Christie has spent without Kenny, who recently returned home from a year-long deployment as an Army officer in May.
"We have a lot to celebrate this Fourth of July," Christie said with a smile. "We're still somewhat new to town in Monument here and he's been on deployment for the last year. We've got some friends coming over today and we'll get to do a little barbecuing and enjoy the day now."
Christie was the first female race participant to cross the finish line of the mostly downhill course, winning with her 23 minute, 18.5 second time.
Kenny clocked a 20:32.3 finish, coming in third overall and second in the 26-35 year-old age division behind local runner Adam Rich (20:02.2).
"I'm still trying my best to get acclimated to the altitude," Kenny said laughing. "We run together, predominately just up and down the Santa Fe Trail here since it's close. For the most part, it's about an everyday thing."
Monument is likely to remain a permanent home for the Fosters, who stated they enjoy the way the town has welcomed them. Kenny has one more year of active duty before joining the Army reserves.
"I bet he's glad to come in his own backyard and get in a good race," Rich said. "From talking to him, he's glad to be back and training with all the guys he was running with before. It's good, I think he'll come back quick and we're happy to see him home."
Rich continues winning
The summer of running keeps paying off for Colorado Springs racer Adam Rich. He fell four seconds shy of breaking the Palmer Lake course record (19:58) on Friday, but picked up his fifth-consecutive victory in the process.
Rich took first in both the 10K (32:02) and 5K (16:13) just 45 minutes later at the Strawberry Shortcut in Glenwood Springs on June 23.
He added those to the collection of his wins which also include Sailin' Shoes 10K (32:27) on June 14 and Garden of the Gods 5K (16:16) on June 8.
"I like to race on the Fourth, there's just not that much to race," Rich said. "They got rid of the Briargate race and also have that half-marathon but this seemed like a better way to go. It's been a good summer."