Smiles at the Finish Line

Jim Douglas captures the patriotic spirit of a Fourth of July tradition in Excelsior.

This summer, local photographer Jim Douglas captured the spirit of Excelsior’s Firecracker Run, an annual Fourth of July tradition that’s been around for more than 40 years. Proceeds from the run, which include 1-mile, 5K and 10K options, support the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce’s beautiful fireworks display.

In this photo, Douglas’ eye was drawn to the flag-bearer, Minnetonka resident Dawn Boyle, 52. “While an explosion of red, white and blue flowed through Excelsior on the Fourth, one runner was conspicuous, carrying an American flag and a mission to help and heal,” says Douglas. “Dawn is a member of the Twin Cities Team RWB (red, white and blue), one of approximately 1,000 teams nationwide who provide support to veterans.” The organization creates connections to civilian life for returning veterans and encourages camaraderie among them. “Like many race participants, she competes several times a year, always carrying the flag,” says Douglas. Boyle has a personal connection to the organization, too—she’s the mom of U.S. Navy sailor.

Learn more about Douglas and see his work at his website here. And don’t miss Douglas’ photo essay this month, featuring the Minnesota Wakesurf Championship and more connections to military veterans.