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St. Patrick’s Day 5k Saturday

(March 15, 2013) Before the 32nd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivities begin Saturday, kick start the morning by participating in the third annual St. Patty’s Day Boardwalk 5k run.

“This event just adds to the weekend festivities,” said run co-organizer Chris Klebe of OC Tri-Running Sports Inc. “We have people coming from all over. We have about six or seven states represented.”

The inaugural event in 2011 drew approximately 530 runners. Last year, close to 1,000 people participated, and Klebe anticipates about the same amount, if not more, runners for the 2013 race.

Klebe said approximately 750 athletes pre-registered online for the event. Pre-registration closed Tuesday.

Those interested in taking part in the race can sign up today, Friday, under the tent on Fourth Street near the Boardwalk and Shenanigan’s Irish Pub, an event sponsor, from 5:30-8 p.m.

The cost to participate is $38. Athletes will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit Diakonia, a West Ocean City residence that provides emergency and transitional housing, food services, counseling and assistance to its guests.

Last year, OC Tri-Running donated approximately $1,800 to the organization as well as food from the race after-party.

There is a slight change in the course this year because of Boardwalk construction. The 5k run is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on the concrete portion of the Boardwalk and Third Street, where bagpipers will play to kick off the event. Athletes will head toward the inlet, run around the pier then follow the edge of the inlet parking lot and make a right turn under the tram station and onto the Boardwalk.

Runners will head north along the boards, passing Shenanigan’s Irish Pub on Fourth Street and making a right at 16th Street, before heading south back to Third Street for the finish. The course is subject to change.

An after-race party and awards ceremony will take place at Shenanigan’s.

Medals will be presented to the first- and second-place overall male and female finishers. The top three male and female placers in each age group will also receive awards.

“People enjoy running events where they can have a good time after. It’s a fun, family atmosphere,” Klebe said.

For more information about the event, visit www.octrirunning.com.

Close to 1,000 runners participate in OC Tri-Running Sports’ second annual St. Patty’s Day Boardwalk 5k last year, which kicked off near Shenanigan’s Irish Pub on Fourth Street.

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