Flat Five returns for 38th year as part of Rock Hall’s 4th

Charlie Wheatley carries the American flag the entire distance of the 4.7-mile Flat Five footrace in Rock Hall last July 4. The race in 2019 will mark its 38th anniversary as part of the town’s Independence Day celebration.

ROCK HALL — The Flat Five, a nearly 5-mile footrace that is held in conjunction with the Independence Day celebration here, will be held Thursday, July 4.

The Town of Rock Hall and Java Rock coffee shop are sponsoring the race, now in its 38th year.

The race finishes where it starts — near the municipal building on South Main Street. The race will start at 8 a.m.

Race director Dennis Herrmann is insisting that registration be done ahead of time. The cost is only $15 if you register beforehand. The cost increases to $30 on race day, when registration will not be accepted after 7:45 a.m.

To register, call Herrmann at 410-490-6951; email him at herrmann5836@atlanticbb.net; or download the registration form from www.rockhallmd.gov.

You can send a check (payable to Town of Rock Hall) to Dennis Herrmann, 5836 Haven Court, Rock Hall, MD 21661. Include your name, age and T-shirt size.

Those who register ahead of time also can bring their check to the race table at the municipal building on race day from 7 to 7:45 a.m. or to Herrmann’s home on July 3 between 6 and 7:15 p.m., when race numbers and commemorative T-shirts can be picked up.

The overall male winner and the overall female winner each will receive a Mayor’s Prize. The first three place-finishers, male and female, in various age groups also will receive prizes.

Participants are reminded that the race is nearly 5 miles and not a 5K.

“As the Rock Hall Flat Five approaches 40 years, it continues to provide an opportunity for runners from all over to compete and enjoy their time with friendly, like-minded folks in a cozy Chesapeake Bay town on our nation’s birthday. As I say each year at the starting line, ‘Thank God we live in a country where we can do things like this each year!’” Herrmann wrote in an email.

The race has become a favorite of the local Kent County running community, with many returning to compete each year.

“I also see many of the athletes I coached over the years returning to run the Flat 5 as a kind of ‘homecoming.’ Indeed, several of my former athletes have become multiple winners of the race,” Herrmann, who coached cross country and track at Kent County High School for about 40 years, said in his email.

“Keeping a modest entry fee, having a nice commemorative tee shirt, with the logo designed by one of my former runners, awarding appealing age group prizes in 8 categories, and giving worthwhile prizes to the overall men’s and women’s winners have always been hallmarks of our race.

“And the Flat 5 is not just for locals. Runners from California, Indiana, Florida, Ohio and many other states have found themselves in Rock Hall on July 4th in our race,” he said.

The six marinas in and around Rock Hall also bring many others who run the race.

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