Firecracker Run Celebrates 30th Year


There are a few things we can count on in the Quad Cities when the month of July comes around.  Scorching hot weather is one and the East Moline Firecracker Run is the other.

Race director and avid runner, Joe Moreno organizes the event and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the race. 

“The Firecracker Run has always been a race that has been on the cutting edge of things and this year is no different.” said Moreno.  “We were the first race in the QC area to have music on the course and also the first race to use timing chips on shoes.”  The new addition for this year is that the 10k participants can either run solo or on a 2 person relay team. 


For Joe Moreno, the road to being a runner was a very bumpy one.  “I was kind of a troubled kid when I was young, and a couple of guys from the Youth Service Bureau invited me to run in a race,” said Moreno. “From then on, I started volunteering at races and then with help from John Perez of Adolph’s restaurant, directed my first Firecracker Run.”  Since then, Moreno has helped direct over 10 different races, the biggest being the Quad City Marathon.

 As running was a piece of the puzzle that helped mold Moreno into a successful adult, he took notice of some Arrowhead Ranch runners at a race a few months ago and invited them to participate in this year’s race.  “When I was a troubled youth, I took the easy road,” said Moreno.  “And the easy road, many times, is the wrong road.”  So this year, if you are going to participate in the run or simply watch as a spectator, take a minute and think of all of the hard work that was put into the race and appreciate all the training that the runners put into this race in hopes that it stays around for 30 more years. 

“Running a race is like life,” explained Moreno.  “There are up hills and down hills and times you can coast, but you always want to finish it with dignity.”


For more information on the event, please visit

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