By Susan Hayes
Runners get antsy as winter draws to a close. The lack of daylight coupled with snow cover makes outdoor running treacherous at times and miles logged on the treadmill can be monotonous. An early spring 5 k race, perhaps with a Saint Patrick’s Day theme can break one out of their winter running funk, kick start the impending running season and be a healthy way to celebrate” the wearing of the green!” Maybe a new year’s resolution was made months ago and it’s time to actually follow through?
Don your green running tights and sign up for Willimantic’s Saint Patty’s Blarney Stone Dash 5K which is to take place on Saturday March 17. There is no pot of gold at the end of this race, but the first one hundred runners will procure a sweet t-shirt and all runners will be supporting the Willimantic Irish club scholarship fund, a worthy cause. Prizes will be awarded for the first place finisher in every age division. The race kicks off at 10a.m. at Windham Middle School, 123 Quarry Street in Willimantic. Registration information can be found on theSaint Patty’s Blarney Stone Dash 5k website.
If your family has runners and walkers, then Fairfield’s Saint Patrick’s Day Classic will appeal to your band of leprechauns. For the runner, the event features a four-mile road race, one-mile youth race and family fun run. For the loyal walker, a two-mile fitness walk will get the blood pumping. New England’s biggest four-mile road race takes place on March 18 with the kid’s run beginning the festivities at 10:15 am with the other events to follow. A number of awards will be given out with trophies for the one- mile youth race participants. Saint Patrick’s Day themed shirts will be handed out to all of the registrants. The celebration after this Jennings beach event is truly epic and features Irish stew, Pepe’s pizza and Irish music by DJ Joe Kelly. Dance an Irish jig if you are not too tuckered out and feel good about your participation because proceeds benefit the Fairfield YMCA, Christine Marandi memorial fund and the leukemia and lymphoma society. Register for The Saint Patrick’s Day Classic here.
A sentiment uttered by many folks as March commences is, “It’s finally spring!” The Manchester running company sponsors a March race with just that name, Finally Spring 5 K, scheduled for March 24 at 10am, with a start on FergusonStreet in Manchester. The race course is actually about 5.25k and can be challenging, as the first mile is primarily uphill. An open male and female award will be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place runners, age group awards and movie tickets to the 1st and 2nd place youth finishers. A classic post race breakfast of bagels, fruit, juice and water will be provided to all participants. A souls4souls shoe drive will be held during the event. Bring gently used or new running shoes to donate to charity and the Manchester running company will add twenty new pairs to the collection. Do not miss out on this unique race. Register here-Finally Spring 5 k for this event.
A number of others Saint Patrick’s Day and spring themedraces take place throughout the state of Connecticut in March and can be located by searching active.com. Not only can you search the web site for events, but you can register for the events on this site as well. Get moving, dust off your running shoes. It is time to breathe in a little fresh and get running! Perhaps you will have the luck of the Irish and win your age group!
Susan Hayes, a life- long Connecticut resident works at a local high school, but enjoys exploring the state on weekends looking for new adventures and delicious food! Her work can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org