St. Patrick’s Day Run

Typically St. Patrick’s Day involves drinking green beer, laughing at inebriated friends, heading to Irish pubs, eating corned beef and of course, wearing that bright color of green.

This year I completed a St. Patrick’s Day run to celebrate the festivities in a more healthy way. Although my Irish relatives would want me to spend the holiday in a more proper festive manner, I vowed to make a new tradition that didn’t involve ingesting big plates of mash.

Therefore, on St. Patrick’s Day I found myself in a sea of green runners all participating in a Luck O’ the Irish Run. From a fun 5K to a more serious 10K and half marathon, any level could cross a finish line.

My favorite part wasn’t finishing another race or burning some extra calories, but the thoughtful costumes. I ran next to a rainbow–two girls dressed up in a rainbow-colored body suit and put their arms together in a U-shape to mirror the half-circle of a full rainbow. In the center between them was a man running with a pot of gold.

I also ran past a Lucky Charms cereal box–full human size–a man dressed up as a full leprechaun in a suit (must be hot!) and people with green-colored hair, green compression socks and green tutus. Unfortunately, I didn’t make much of an effort in my appearance, wearing just typical running clothes.

I love races like this, races in which people just have fun. It doesn’t have to be about your pace or hitting a PR; it’s more about the festive atmosphere and the beer garden at the end.

Photo Courtesy East Valley Tribune

One of my favorite races takes place in Gilbert, Ariz. called the 12Ks of Christmas (a take on the 12 days of Christmas). At every kilometer mark, a choral group serenades the runners with holiday music. Everyone is given a Santa hat to wear as they run, as well as red socks. But many take it a step farther by dressing up as Christmas trees, elves, dressing up their dogs as mini-Santas to run alongside them and some come in teams of 12 dressed as each day of the 12 days of Christmas.

While it is a little too early to think about any kind of Christmas-related run, I do have sweet memories of races that involve costumes. I got to make another memory yesterday with the St. Patrick’s Day race.

I plan to come back next year dressed up in green…but what should I be?