- Ginny McCabe Contributing Writer
The township is dying the fountain green again this year in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, as more than 5,000 walkers and runners gear up to participate in the 11th annual Shamrock Shuffle, which will be held on Saturday, March 18, in West Chester Twp.
The first Shamrock Shuffle started in 2007 with just under 250 participants.
“Every year, we have seen tremendous growth,” said Erin Clemons, president and CEO, Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty. “Now, we’ve held at about 5,000 registered participants for the past five years, and we’re working on growing the event, and that’s why we’ve added some new, fun things to our festivities.”
Participants come out in costumes with green beads, tutu’s and Leprechaun hats. The one-day event will include Chip-timed Total Wealth Planning 5K and UCBMA 10K, an IKEA Leprechaun Lap, a Mojo Running Beer Obstacle Course, an untimed Family 5K, a breakfast and a block party.
There are many runner-friendly upgrades this year, such as signage at the start/finish line. Race routes are posted at www.theshamrockshuffle.com. (The start/finish line is located on West Chester Road.)
“We added a beer obstacle course this year to the block party festivities, so that will be something fun and goofy to participate in. Once participants finish their timed or untimed 5K or 10K, then they can head over to the beer obstacle course for more fun,” said Clemons.
The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty works with partners, including Union Centre Boulevard Merchant Association and West Chester Twp., along with sponsors, vendors and participants to generate funds to support their Community Grant Fund. The race also gives back to community nonprofits through the Shuffle Gives Back program.
Last year, more than $30,000 in grants were awarded to over 40 charity teams through the Shuffle Gives Back program. The race also benefits the Community Grant Fund and ongoing operations at the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty. In all, about $100,000 was raised in 2016.
Charity teams, such as Reach Out Lakota participate every year. More than 40 charity teams from Southwest Ohio have already signed up for this year’s event.
“Our whole goal is working to encourage philanthropy, and we try to provide opportunities, such as the Shamrock Shuffle, where the community can come out and raise impactful dollars for these wonderful causes,” said Clemons.
About 200 volunteers support the event. There are also nearly 50 sponsors, who give of their time and energy. The presenting sponsor this year is Park National Bank.
Packet pick-up will be held at the MidPointe Library in West Chester, 9363 Centre Pointe Drive, in the Community Room, from 4-8 p.m. March 16 and 10 a.m-7 p.m. March 17. Packet pick-up and same-day registration will begin at 7 a.m. on the morning of the race.
On race day, ample free parking is available around Union Centre. Shuttles will run to The Square from Uno Pizzeria & Grille (9246 Schulze Drive) starting at 7:15 a.m. and returning after the race. Due to road closures, allow extra time for traffic.
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How to go
What: Shamrock Shuffle
When: Saturday, March 18
Where: The Square @ Union Centre, West Chester Twp.
Cost: Complete pricing and information for each event is available online. $15-$40 pre-registration through Sunday, March 12. Price increases on Monday, March 13. Register online through March 14. (No registration on March 15.) Register at packet pick-up beginning on Thursday, March 16, through Saturday, Mar. 18.
More info: www.theshamrockshuffle.com
Event day schedule (March 18)
7 a.m.: Registration and check-in at the Midpointe Library (for those who need to register or who have not picked up their race packet)
8:45 a.m.: Chip-timed Total Wealth Planning 5K and UCBMA 10K
9 a.m.: Breakfast for racers begins
9 a.m.: IKEA Leprechaun Lap & Children’s Activities hosted by Paige’s Princess Foundation
9:30 a.m.: Mojo Running Beer Obstacle Course
10 a.m.: Family 5K (untimed, children 12 and under are free.)
10:30 a.m.: Results and awards
The block party (with live music) continues until noon.View full experience