Independence Day went like a fast-moving bottle rocket, without the bottle or the rocket for me. The day started with the annual Butte-to-Butte 10k road race that takes people from the south end of town to the north, running between the boundaries of the two buttes: Spencer and Skinner. This year, rather than run, I volunteered as a “course marshal,” where I stand with a stop sign to block a cross street and prevent cars from crossing the route. I enjoyed seeing many people I knew and cheering them on. Then last evening, I had the chance to attend the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field with seats on the finish line. It was a fun solo evening, but talking with the knowledgeable track fans nearby was just super. I always enjoy this part of sports – listening to and talking with people who know their sport. Plus, bodies in space. It truly is amazing what some of them can do.

The graphic in the lower left corner somewhat shows the route of the 10k race between the buttes.

I forgot to note that Jonah and I helped out at the adjacent town’s Fourth of July event in Springfield (yes, *the* Springfield that the Simpsons are based on, sans a nuclear power plant). Jonah worked the booth demonstrating robots, and I worked the volunteer booth—a lot of color, patriotism, and an Abba cover band to boot as well. The downside was that it was hot – something like 97 degrees. This event, called “The Light of Liberty,” is a fund-raiser to help provide a way for lower-income residents to pay their electric bills throughout the year. The other volunteers that I worked with all came to help with a great spirit, and we had fun throughout the day.

Finish line vibes.

Sydney McLaughlin Levrone casually appears to finish up running a 400-meter preliminary heat. Her body does appear to just float above the ground, gaining speed on everyone else. She is a world record holder in the 400-meter hurdles and ran a 49.79 400-meter race yesterday. 49 seconds. That is incredibly fast to make one lap around a track.

The fellow in the middle is Woody Kincaid, sprinting past the field to win the 10,000-meter race. He ran this race in an “easy” 28:23.01. He hung out for 23 laps of the track in the middle of the pack and then turned on the jets with half a lap to go to win the race. It was a beautiful race to finish out the evening.

The iconic tower at Hayward Field is lit up by the setting sun and some internal lights. The law school sits in judgment behind the whole deal.