3 Irish Races to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Spring is right around the corner, and March for many Minnesotans means St. Patrick’s day! While there are lots of ways to celebrate, we think you should do it by running in one of several Irish themed races in the Twin Cities this month.
Some members of my family and I are running the Get Lucky 7k. I checked multiple times to make sure I had the right Irish race before signing up. It will be a great tune up for a half marathon later this spring. Here’s the rundown of three ways you can run with the Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
100% Irish for a Day, TC 5K and 10 Mile – March 9
The first of the Irish races is organized by Twin Cities in Motion and Marathon Sports. There is a 5k and 10 mile. Both begin near the Lake Harriet band shell. The 5k course is one lap around Lake Harriet, while the 10 mile adds an additional lap around Lake Calhoun.
According to TCM Executive Director Virginia Brophy Achman,
The 10 Mile and 5K race distances make it a good fit for lots of folks. If you are training for a spring half marathon or marathon, we are a great fitness check at the TC 10 mile. If you need a jump start to your spring running, the TC 5K is a perfect way to have some fun and start your 2013 wellness plan.
There’s also something pretty great about that first “spring” run around the chain of lakes… assuming there’s no blizzard.
In addition to the green and white long-sleeve technical race shirts, there are several St. Patrick’s Day prizes. There’s a Finnegans finish line beer garden, TCM Irish-themed photo stop, and bottle opener swag. There’s also a post-race party at the Cooper Irish Pub (a popular post race hang out). Get on the ball and register today!
Get Lucky, 7k and Half Marathon – March 16
Team Ortho created the unique 7k distance (4.35 miles) in 2010 to make their race a little more Irish. The 7k starts near the Guthrie, heads over the stone arch bridge, through NorthEast, and back along West River road. Bag Pipers and Irish Dancers are strategically placed along the course for motivation.
The half marathon course (or triple 7k) begins in St. Paul at the old Ford plant, and is an out and back. While there aren’t any bag pipers, there will be bands along the route, surely playing Whiskey in the Jar covers and River Dance remixes.
Perhaps because of the name, this race has been tremendously popular. From 3,000 runners in 2010, and 11,000 in 2012 (between both races), they expect even more in 2013. This might be one of the largest racing events in the twin cities.
21 and up runners can go to Kieran’s, The Local, the Liffey or Cooper Pub to get a free Finnegans beer after the race. According to Amy Leger of Team Ortho, the costumes really make this race rock.
It literally is a sea of green along the course of this race because there are so many festive runners out there! It is really fun to see.
Irish Run St. Paul, 5k and 8k – March 24
First held in 1973 with just 45 runners, this the oldest Twin Cities race, has gone by six different names. The name is what might make it the most Irish of them all. Chris Fuller, whose company The Sporting Life organizes the event, says,
Our name is a tongue in cheek shout-out to the history of Irish mayors and police chiefs in St Paul, including our current mayor Coleman.
The course has also changed several times. This year, the loop begins at the Ramsey Jr High School on Summit. It heads west to Wilder, east to Milton, north to Portland, east to Victoria, south to Summit, and west to Cambridge. Because significant portions are downhill, it always produces fast times.
Race attendance was highest in 1988 at about 5,000. At the time, there were no other Irish themed races. The past few years has been right around 1,200. “We have more of an old-time event feel than a ‘mega-event’ feel” Says Fuller.
This race allows runners to create five-person teams who compete for prize money. Fun fact – this was the first race in Minnesota to use chip timing. Like the other races, this one features an Irish shirt design, and a post party at the local Irish pubs. Register your Irish today!
More Irish Races
Which one Should you Run?
Make the time to do all of them! Check our new race calendar partner, RaceGuide356 to find more.
What’s your favorite Irish run?Featured image by Wayne Kryduba