Kirkland’s second-ever 5-kilometer Shamrock Run on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend will likely be even larger than its successful first year, with close to 2,000 runners expected, say organizers.
Ben Wobker, the owner of Kirkland’s Lake Washington Physical Therapy, who helped found the run last year, said Friday that some 1,300 runners had registered for the March 16 event, with an average of about 60 signing up a day. Last year, some 1,600 runners registered.
“We should eclipse that easily,” he said. “We’re capped by the city at 2,000. My fear is that there will be some unhappy people” if the cap is reached and some can’t participate.
Twenty-five local businesses are sponsoring the run this year, and it will feature more booths in the start/finish area than last year. Wobker said many downtown restaurants will open earlier this year, to accommodate post-run celebrants.
The first of five waves beginning and ending at Marina Park -- competitive, fun, dog and runner, stroller and runner and walker -- will start at 9 a.m. March 16, the day before St. Patrick’s Day.
Last year the run was on a Sunday, the same as the much larger St. Paddy’s Day Dash in Seattle. This year the Shamrock is on Saturday and the Dash on a Sunday -- and some runners are planning on doing both.
“Everyday Athlete (the running store in Juanita) is organizing a group and calling them the Double Clovers. It’s really fun,” said Wobker.
The start/finish is at the same lace, but the course is slightly different this year and a bit longer. Last year’s route was just under five full kilometers. This year’s will be a full, USA Track & Field-certified 5k.
Wobker said there’s quite a bit of buzz about town this year. “It’s fun when I’m out hearing people talk about the run, saying things like ‘Oh I have to sign up,” or seeing last year’s shirts around.
Like last year, the first 1,500 registered get a long-sleeved synthetic running shirt, or “technical shirt,” while those signing up later will get a cotton shirt.
To sign up or find out more, see the run website here or its Facebook page here.
By the way, organizers still desperately need non-running volunteers. You can sign up for that at www.VolunteerKirkland.com.