On March 14, just before St. Patrick’s Day, Kirkland residents and others can participate in a race benefiting local nonprofits.
That day, Orca Running, in coordination with presenting sponsor Lake Washington Physical Therapy, is putting on its annual Shamrock Run. Starting at Marina Park, the family oriented and dog-friendly race begins at 9 a.m. and goes about three miles. Afterward, participants are encouraged to attend a post-race party at Wilde Rover, a nearby Irish pub.
“Even [being active] on a Saturday morning really early is important,” Orca Running co-owner Ashley Lee said. “I love the Irish aspect of it.”
The Shamrock Run has been hosted every year in Kirkland for about a decade. It’s one of many events put on by Orca Running in Western Washington.
Proceeds from the event, Lee said, are primarily going to local high school booster clubs on the Eastside, such as Redmond cross country and the Woodinville wrestling club. Five percent of registration revenues are also going to Hopelink.
“And a lot of parents and kids volunteer to raise money for their club,” Lee added.
Since Orca Running started organizing the Shamrock Run a few years after its inception, Lee said that the event tends to come together smoothly with a reliable team and support from the city.
“It works out really well,” she said of the planning process.
Lee said that for many participants, the Shamrock Run becomes a race to look forward to, especially for families, each year — something, she noted, that isn’t always common for events like it.
“I find with this race especially, a lot of people — large groups do it, like groups of friends and families — do it every year,” Lee said. “It’s sort of like their family’s annual tradition, whereas half-marathons, you don’t see that quite as much. People do it on their own. It’s just really local, and people love that it’s a Kirkland event, and that Kirkland’s such a great city.”
The next Orca Running-sanctioned running event in Kirkland after the Shamrock Run will be its Mother’s Day race, which is coming in May.
Editor’s note: Since this piece was published, the event has since been canceled in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.