[scrollGallery id=204] On Saturday, over 1,600 leprechauns invaded downtown Kirkland to participate in the first annual Kirkland Shamrock Run. The 5k and family fun run was, of course, in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, and attracted participants from far and wide, many of whom were pleased to find an Eastside alternative to crossing the toll bridge for Seattle's well-known race on the same day. The new toll bridge, Kirkland's lakeside setting and its dog-friendly attitude all helped boost attendance at this first year event.
The Kirkland Shamrock Run (KSR), benefitting the Kirkland Downtown Association, was the brainchild of a few hard-working, dedicated locals wanting to bring a new event to Kirkland during the offseason. Michelle Sailor (Kudos Kirkland, Market Neighborhood Association, KDA board member) and Ben Wobker (Lake Washington Physical Therapy) together developed a team of volunteers and built the KSR from the ground up. Many long hours were needed from the dedicated KSR team to bring this event to town including crucial roles of soliciting sponsors, logistics and attracting host of volunteers.
Ben Pittman (Wilde Rover), Lance Carter (Everyday Athlete) and Porter Bratton (BTO Multisports) were also key to the development and operation of the event. Volunteers from across Kirkland gathered at The Grape Choice on the Saturday morning to load up on donuts before fanning out into downtown, the Norkirk and Market neighborhoods to assist KPD and staff along the race course which started and ended in Marina Park.
Following the race, the Eastside Firefighters Pipes and Drums lead celebrants into the Wilde Rover for post-race music and merriment. The Rover once again established itself as the place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on the Eastside.
In our role as one of the many sponsors of the Kirkland Shamrock Run, we observed first hand the hard work and dedication given by so many volunteers to make this event come to life. We want to say thank you to all who helped make the first annual Kirkland Shamrock Run a raging success and we look forward to an even bigger and better Kirkland Shamrock Run next year.
Above are some photos we snapped of runners and volunteers at the event. If you have any photos you would like to share, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org