CRANFORD - The Cranford Jaycees' Annual July 4th Firecracker Four-Miler and Fun Run continued for its 41st year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race adapted to social distancing guidelines and for the first time went virtual with more than 500 participants signing up to participate.

“We know how important the Firecracker is to our town’s Fourth of July tradition, and so we really tried to find a way to keep the event going this year while keeping everyone safe.” said Dave Farrell, who co-led the event for the Jaycees with Roger Imhof.

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Runners had the choice of running the traditional one or four-mile distances, or do an open course run at the location of their choice and then submit their times for scoring. The top male finisher in the four-miler was Liam Christman with a time of 21:47, while the top female finisher in the four-miler was Abby Granrath with a time of 27:00. The top male and female one mile fun run finishers were Sam Dempsey, age 7, with a time of 7:36, and Melody Jennings, age 11, with a time of 7:52. Full results are available online at

New award categories were added this year, including:

  • Greatest Distance (open run male and female participant who ran the furthest): Yusif Mufti, who ran more than 31 miles, and Valerie Chupela, who ran 13.1 miles.
  • Most Socially Distant (runner who competed the furthest distance from Cranford): Brian Farrell, who ran the four-miler in Australia.
  • Oldest Firecracker Shirt: John Bergacs, who competed in a shirt from the 1989 race.
  • Most Spirited Awards: Rosynsky family of Garwood for their patriotic attire, and to Gina Schinestuhl, who ran the four-miler while carrying an American flag.

Proceeds from the event helped support the Cranford Jaycees scholarship fund and community efforts. In June, the Jaycees awarded a total of $25,000 in scholarships to the followint graduating seniors from Cranford:

Paige Brogan, Grace Caldwell, Chloe Carracino, Autumn Clarke, Thomas Cutro, Ariel Daryani, Jack Gard, Mikaylee Grohol, Ian Hanna, Andrew Iacovano, Benjamin Jones, Marina Nunziato, Pilar Paradiso, Shannon Roman, Daniel Serna, Erin Trojan, Grace Ushay, and Alex Whitmore.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Andrew Feldman for passing along the information, and providing a photo gallery.