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Hagerstown teams up with agencies to present St. Patrick's Day "Run For Your Luck 5K"

February 07, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

The city of Hagerstown is teaming up with two local agencies to host the first 5K run through City Center on St. Patrick’s Day.

The St. Patrick’s Day “Run For Your Luck 5K,” which is planned annually, will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 17.

Karen Giffin, manager of Community Affairs for the city, has teamed up with Jaime Dick of the Washington County Recreation Department and Robin Roberson of the Community Free Clinic of Washington County in planning the event.

All three attended a Hagerstown City Council work session Tuesday night to provide an update to the five-member council.

Giffin said this was the second of two runs that the council approved in August 2011. However, the first event, which was to be held this past Halloween, was canceled due to a snowstorm.

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“Our joke is it’s going to snow on St. Patrick’s Day,” Giffin told the council. “But we don’t think so. We’re thinking positive.”

Originally planned by the city and county recreation department, Giffin learned that the Community Free Clinic also hosted a St. Patrick’s Day run, but in a different part of the city. It made sense to combine their efforts to benefit the clinic, she said.

“This is consistent with what we’ve been doing in working with nonprofits to bring events to City Center,” Giffin said.

Giffin expects the 3.1-mile run to draw between 600 and 1,000 participants, who can also walk the course. The registration fee is $25 prior to the event and $30 on race day. A brief awards ceremony will take place afterward at the Maryland Theater.

Giffin said they will also have entertainment in the form of traditional Irish music, a leprechaun and an Elvis impersonator dressed up in his St. Patrick’s Day best.

“We have some fun things in store,” she said.

Food will not be provided as part of the participation fee, but Giffin said they were working with downtown restaurant owners to offer discounts.

The course, which will consist of two laps for runners and one for walkers, starts at Public Square and takes off down South Potomac Street before turning right onto West Baltimore Street up the hill and left onto South Prospect Street.

From there, it takes a sharp right on Walnut Lane, another right onto West Antietam Street and left onto Summit Avenue before turning down the home stretch on West Washington Street back to the square.

South Potomac Street from Washington to Baltimore streets and Summit Avenue will be closed during the race, and several other streets will be cut down to one lane, Dick said.

Roberson said the group is currently accepting sponsorships of $100 or more to help pay for the event. All net proceeds will go to the clinic.

“If this goes well, and we have a large event, we’re looking to make this an annual event with Community Free Clinic here in City Center,” Giffin said.

Participants can register online at www.raceit.com or by visiting the county recreation department at 11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown. More information about sponsoring the event can also be found at the recreation department.

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