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The Run & Ride is set for the 4th

Participants will once again flood Red Cedar Drive at the beginning of running races on the Fourth of July, part of the Scripps Ranch Old Pros’ Run & Ride. (photo by John Gregory)

The Run & Ride is set for the 4th

The Scripps Ranch Old Pros have been giving back to the community for more than 35 years. Their signature annual fundraising event, the Fourth of July Run & Ride, will be celebrated once again on July 4.

With more than 4,000 participants expected with paid entry fees and a host of corporate sponsors, the Run & Ride is the signature event for the Old Pros, and the largest fundraiser. According to Steve Trifoglio, who is this year’s Old Pros Fourth of July czar, the event provides funding for more than $30,000 in annual scholarships and sponsorship of various sports leagues and teams.

Seasoned athletes and casual walkers and riders, alike, are welcome to participate in the Run & Ride event that best suits their skill level. According to the Old Pro’s website, a Two Mile Fun Run is an easy event designed for all members of the family. Similarly, the 12 Mile Bike Ride is designed as a family fun ride; the course circles Lake Miramar two times, ending in Hoyt Park.

A father and son set out on a tandem bicycle for the Fourth of July Run & Ride 12 Mile Bike Ride. (photo by John Gregory)

For those desiring a higher level of competition, the 10K Race is a USA Track & Field sanctioned course around Lake Miramar with a downhill finish. Seasoned cyclists can choose between a 28 Mile Bike Ride or a 50 Mile Bike Ride.

The running events begin on Red Cedar Drive directly in front of Miramar Ranch Elementary School. The start line for the cycling events is at the intersection of Scripps Ranch Boulevard and Hibert Street. All races conclude at Hoyt Park where a beer garden featuring craft brewed beer, food trucks, a live band and other activities await. Both the 10K Race and 50 Mile Bike Ride begin at 7 a.m. The final event, the 12 Mile Bike Ride, begins at 8:30 a.m. Residents can expect temporary road closures the morning of July 4 on portions of Hibert Street, Scripps Ranch Boulevard, Mira Mesa Boulevard, Scripps Lake Drive, Red Cedar Drive and Canyon Lake Drive.

Planning and managing such a multifaceted event requires a dedicated effort by a large team of individuals, so Fourth of July is all-hands-on-deck for the Old Pros. While a “czar” is appointed to oversee a committee and all aspects of planning and operations, all Old Pros members are expected to contribute to the signature event.

“I’m honored to be in this position because there are a lot of people on a complete volunteer basis that do a lot to make this event the success that it has been,” Trifoglio said. “You see how much people care. To put in this amount of time on top of day jobs and personal lives – I’m humbled and absolutely find it rewarding.”

Founded in 1982 by a group of men wanting to play softball on local Scripps Ranch fields, the more than 300-member organization holds regular meetings with guest speakers, social activities for members and their families, and fundraisers aimed at sponsoring youth sports teams and athletes in Scripps Ranch.

According to John Grant, 14-year Old Pros member and last year’s president, the group’s civic engagement has grown exponentially over the years and is now a primary focus of the group.

“If any youth sports program in Scripps Ranch asks us for money, we will give them a donation – from pee wee sports leagues to high school athletic teams,” Grant said. “We also give scholarships every year to Scripps Ranch students based on academic and athletic achievement, as well as community involvement.”

The Old Pros Fourth of July committee dedicates countless volunteer hours each year to ensure a successful event. (photo courtesy of Scripps Ranch Old Pros)

Old Pros member Dean Ridgway explained that he first joined the group in 2013 when he moved to Scripps Ranch and was seeking opportunities to get to know people and become involved in the community. After learning about the Old Pros from neighbors who were existing members, he attended his first meeting and was immediately sold.

“It gave me a chance to get to know people in a community that we were new to, and also give back to it at the same time,” he said. “What was nice about the meeting is that nobody was working an angle or busy pretending to be somebody they’re not. This was genuinely a group of guys who were buddies just having a good time.”

To become a member, prospects must live in Scripps Ranch and be recommended by two existing members. Annual dues are $120 and include 12 monthly meetings, which feature notable guest speakers. Famous sports personalities like Tony Gwinn and Drew Brees have been among those who have given talks at past Old Pros meetings.

Membership also includes access to a variety of group activities throughout the year, from ski trips to golf trips to San Diego Padres spring training and an annual “prom,” which serves as the group’s holiday party.

Additional details about the organization, as well as registration information for the Fourth of July Run & Ride, can be found online at srop.org.

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