BRISTOL - A sea of green is coming to Chippens Hill Middle School Saturday, as hundreds of runners and walkers aim to raise thousands of dollars for St. Vincent DePaul Mission during the 17th annual Shamrock Run and Walk.
According to Race Director Patrick Collins, the event sees anywhere between 900 to 1,100 participants each year and around 300 volunteers and spectators. It includes a five-mile run, a two-mile fitness walk and run and a kids’ fun run.
“If you would have told me 17 years ago when we were first planning this in a coffee shop that it would be going this long I wouldn’t have believed it,” said Collins. “Most community road races only last a couple years. But, we’ve put in a lot of work and we typically raise about $13,000 for St. Vincent DePaul every year. So far, it looks like we’re on-track to do that this year too.”
Collins said that the race originally started because he and other runners were looking to start a fun, community event for people to reflect on throughout the year. However, he said that when they were looking for a beneficiary, St. Vincent DePaul stood out.
“St. Vincent DePaul is very frugal with the money they raise and they do the best they can for the less fortunate in our community,” he said.
Collins explained that the course is relatively flat and that strollers are welcome in the two-mile run/walk.
The Kids Fun Run starts at 9:15 a.m. and will be held on school grounds. The two-mile run and walk will start at 9:30 a.m. in the school parking lot.
The five-mile run starts at 10:30 a.m. in the school parking lot.
Collins said that runners will be welcomed to wear green during the event and the first 3,000 runners to register for the 2 mile or 5 mile events also received an event shirt. There will also be a live band playing Irish music, bagpipes players and music playing on the course. UConn Mascot Jonathan the Husky Dog will be at the event and after the race, there will be a post-race party at the school. Those who registered will be able to eat hot-dogs, soup and more.
The organizers of the Shamrock Run are also partnering with Boy Scout Troop 6 to collect canned goods to distribute to the Salvation Army.
The event’s presenting sponsor is Bristol Hospital. Collins said that Bristol Hospital has supported the Shamrock Run since it began.
The 5-mile run and 2 mile run/walk are $28 to sign-up. There is a $5 registration fee for the Kids Fun Run.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m., at the school at 551 Peacedale St.
For more information, or to register, visit bristolct.net/roadraces/ShamrockRun.aspx. Registration will also be held the day of the event and at a pasta dinner Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the St. Gregory CCD center at 1043 Stafford Ave.
For more information, call Collins at 860-589-5482.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.