If you happen to be strolling through the sleepy Utah County town of Spanish Fork in September and turn a corner to find dozens of runners pounding the pavement and packing iron, don’t worry—it’s not an invasion, it’s Utah’s first ever “Run 4 Guns” 5k, where participants are encouraged to run while openly carrying the firearm of their choice.
Macgregor Whiting, a 26-year-old Utah County resident, is one of the organizers of the event and sees it as an opportunity to raise awareness of the fact that gun owners are responsible, normal citizens, while also raising funds for a good cause.
“We thought it would be a positive reflection on people who support Second Amendment rights, and that it could make a difference for those affected by tragedy,” Whiting says. He says the hope is to donate proceeds from the event to a charity to help those impacted by gun violence in Utah. He says he and his partners are still searching for the right way to donate the money because they don’t want proceeds to go to an “anti-gun” organization.
The race, set for September 21, starting at the Spanish Fork fairgrounds, has a half mile and 3.1 mile option, and is already accepting runners and has received approval from the city. Whiting says the race has very strict safety guidelines. If the firearm’s trigger is not covered by a holster, the firearm cannot have ammunition in the chamber or attached magazine. Unholstered firearms will be checked in and the action zip-tied, without exception. But participants, as long as they have a legal firearm, can run with it, including shotguns and rifles, though the actions on those firearms will be zip tied, as well.
Lycra and Lugers may be an odd pairing, but whatever the attire and arsenal chosen by participants, Whiting hopes the event will send the right message.
“It should be a very entertaining event, and it’s also a very powerful way to represent gun owners and people who believe in the right to keep and bear arms as normal citizens, getting out, exercising their rights and showing what they believe in,” Whiting says.
For more information, visit the organizer’s site Run4Guns.com.
*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net