Monday, March 7, 2011

It’s the (most) Luckiest Time of the Year

Yes, it’s true! The day you’ve been looking forward to for months is almost here! It’s that luckiest of days when folks let down their guard and don their most festive, St. Patrick’s Day-inspired running and walking apparel. It’s the (ahem) crisp morning in March when you wake up at the wee hours and tell yourself, your spouse, your kids, your friends, “Yes, we will run/walk a 5K today!”. It’s the 5K that rewards you with fresh, hot stew, homemade soda bread, and, for the grown-ups, a hearty beer, at the finish. For those of you who participated last year, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who didn’t, you probably feel a little emptiness inside, don’t cha? And for those who are just confused right now reading this, I’m talking about the Run for the Luck of It!5K Fun Run/Walk (RFTLOI for short). Duh!

Yes, it’s back, and possibly even better than ever (and, only in its second year no less!)! Like last year, our awesome sponsor, Sean Kelly’s, will be providing their delicious, steaming hot, house made stew and heavenly Irish soda bread for participants, post race. The Missoula Brewing Co. will once again generously donate a keg of their fantastic Highlander Beer so that each finisher, 21 years of age and older, may enjoy a frothy beverage (bring your ID if you want one!). Pepsi is again providing sports drinks and Culligan is providing water (so that all beverage bases are covered, and all thirst be quenched).

So, why is it better than ever, you might wonder? Well, I’ll tell you. For starters, this year, Montana Timing will be chip-timing our event. If you participated last year, then you probably figured out that the course is, perhaps, a wee bit longer than a 5K (darn Northside pedestrian bridge!). So, for those of you out to set a PR or just simply want to gauge where you’re at in the 5K distance, keep this in mind. However, for repeat RFTLOI-ers, you can compare how you did last year with your official chip-time this year!

The evening before the race, we are offering early bib with timing-chip pick up. The Runner’s Edge is kindly letting us utilize their upstairs space for bib pick up on Friday, March 11th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. If you’re not already registered, no worries; come on by anyway and get registered! Plus, you won’t have to worry about it on race day, which allows you to enjoy all the entertainment and festivities, get warmed up, and mingle with other participants. This is also a great time to convince that hemming and hawing friend or spouse of yours to get signed up! If you can’t make it over to the Runner’s Edge on Friday evening, you’ll be able to pick up your bib on race day morning from 7:00 am to 8:45 am, also at the Runner’s Edge. Race day registration will again be available, but, the earlier you sign up, the better. Because of the chip-timing this year, we must be very firm about our race day registration cut off time. No one will be allowed to register on race day after 8:30 am! NOTE: the 5K race starts at 9:00 am this year! The take home message: just register now!

Beanies (and prizes) abound! While last year’s old-school beanies were fun, this year we are giving away FLEECE beanies that fit very well. Since La Niña has sucker-punched Western Montana with an eternal winter, you’ll be glad to have your new beanie for the cold runs/walks to come. What’s more, many participants will get extra lucky, too: top finishers in eight age categories will receive a prize; all participants will be entered into the raffle and will be eligible to win door prizes generously donated by local businesses; and, those most-spirited of runners/walkers will receive a little something, too!

We are also offering a family registration option this year. Families of up to five (this includes up to two adults and three kids or one adult and four kids) can register for the low price of $50 by March 6th and $55 thereafter (RWM member prices). Individual registration is $18 for RWM members. If you are a family of five, you can save…big time!

Finally, we want our event to be a good, fun time for everyone, and we encourage families and kids to participate. So, for the lads and lassies not yet ready to run/walk a 5K, we are offering a FREE Kids Dash for kiddos 10 years old or younger. Our “Clover Kids” finishers will receive a retro beanie. The Clover Kids Dash will start at 8:30 am near the start of the 5K (on Pine St. in front of Sean Kelly’s) Parents/legal guardians can register their child from 7:00 am to 8:15 am at the Runner’s Edge.

So don’t live with that emptiness for a moment longer. The Run for the Luck of It! will cure the winter blues with its good times, unique and funky course, great food and drink, and festive display of St. Patrick’s Day spirit.
~Jen von Sehlen

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