Instead of packing on more pounds with pitchers of beer, why not earn your drinks at a St. Patrick's Day run? Here are just a few reasons you should get out and participate in one of the many St. Patrick's Day runs across the country.
1. You can enjoy it with the whole family.
While it's great to get the beers flowing at your neighborhood Irish pub, that isn't a place or scene for your kids. A St. Patrick's Day run can accommodate all ages, and it's one of the many reasons Terry McGrath decided to found the Runnin' of the Green 7K in Denver.
"It's a healthy and more active alternative," McGrath says. "You can bring out the whole family, get everybody running, and then enjoy the block party after the event."
Now in its 24th year, the Runnin' of the Green 7K has become a fun tradition for some Coloradans. It has also become a test for other local runners.
"We can be 30 below or 70 (degrees)," McGrath says. "When you're doing a race in March, it's insane because there's no way to know. But our participants are a little like the directors. They're hearty, healthy and ready to do anything at any time."
Because the weather can be unpredictable, McGrath says many of the participants join within the days leading up to the event. But this longstanding event is something many look forward to.
"Right around March, spring is here; and people want to get out and run," McGrath says.
2. It's a great way to kick off your running season.
In Chicago, thousands of runners use the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K as their starting event for the season.
"It's the traditional rite of spring," says Carey Pinkowski, the event's executive race director. "A lot of people are looking to get out and see where they are. It's a great celebration of running."
Pinkowski, who is also race director for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, says it's also a great opportunity for runners who plan to do the marathon in the fall because they can check out the staging area. Both events use the same starting area in historic Grant Park and the same host hotel.