2013 St. Patrick’s Day Races in Washington

These races had us at “bacon and kegs.”

At the Four Courts Four Miler in Arlington, runners get a chance to race against Dave the Leprechaun and raise money for the Arlington Police Benevolent Fun. The race is sold out, but spectators are welcome. Photograph courtesy of Swim Bike Run Photograph.

St. Patrick’s Day is a little more than two weeks away, and there are lots of local races celebrating the special day with leprechaun costumes, beer, bacon—and races, of course. Sign up now—the popular Four Courts Four Miler race has already sold out.

St. Patrick’s Day 8K at Freedom Plaza
Sunday, March 10, at 9 AM
Put down your Guinness and lace up your green shoelaces for the largest St. Patrick’s Day-themed race in the DC area. The 8K is scheduled to start at 9 AM, and the Li’l Leprechaun Leap—a half-mile fun run for the kids—starts at 8:30. Racers are encouraged to dress festively, and friendly, leashed dogs are welcome. Teams are highly encouraged, and awards are given to the top three finishing teams. Registration is $35 for the 8K and $10 for the Leprechaun Leap.

14th Annual Shamrock Run 5K and One-Mile Fun Run in Manassas
Saturday, March 16, at 9 AM
Caffeine lovers, rejoice. Early morning race registration starts at 6:30 AM and provides racers, families, and friends with coffee, refreshments, and door prizes. All registrants also receive a T-shirt, a $10 gift certificate to the Running Store, and a goodie bag. At 8:30 AM racers warm up with Rocky Raccoon before heading the starting line at 9. Afterward, there’s a performance by the Boyle School of Irish Dance, awards, and more refreshments. The first 200 to register online receive a free Shamrock Run water bottle. Registration is $20 for the 5K and $15 for the one-mile fun run. 

Shamrock 5K Fun Run/Walk
Sunday, March 17, at 8 AM
Earn your corned beef and cabbage with a scenic run through East Potomac Park, finishing at Hains Point. The Shamrock 5K Fun Run features music before, during, and after the race, and all registrants get a T-shirt, a finisher’s medal, and a ton of post-race goodies. Registration starts at 7 AM. Kids 12 and up are encouraged to run, too. Registration is $35

Lucky Leprechaun Reston
Saturday, March 16, at 8:30 AM
Irish eyes might be smiling, but Irish stomachs will also be grumbling along this 5K course in Virginia—because after you hit the finish line you can hit the “bacon and kegs” Irish breakfast in the pavilion starting at 10. After that, take in some Irish folk dancing and refuel with Clyde’s Restaurant food and Guinness beer. Bring the whole family, as there’s also a free 100-yard kids run at 9:30 AM, a moon bounce, and face painting. All preregistered racers receive a Lucky Leprechaun 5K technical T-shirt. Registration is $35, or $40 the day of the race. 

Sold out, but spectators welcome:
Saturday, March 9 in Arlington
The Four Courts Four Miler, racers get a chance to compete against Dave the Leprechaun. Careful, though! He’s been known to pull pranks on those he passes. But it’s for a good cause: For every person Dave passes, $1 is donated to the Arlington Police Benevolent Fund. There’s also a post-race party hosted by Ireland’s Four Courts Pub, featuring Irish dancers, live music, and drinks. The race is sold out, but it’s equally fun to watch.