ShamRock ’N’ Roll Attracts All Ages
The Irish and the Irish at heart celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early this year by participating in the third annual ShamRock N’ Roll road race.
Held on Saturday, March 5, in the village of Whispering Pines, the ShamRock N’ Roll attracted more than 900 individuals from ages 4 to 76, a 150 percent increase in attendance from last year’s event.
“We are thrilled with our turnout this year,” said race director Jill Saunders. “It was a joy to see individuals of all ages, many wearing festive green St. Patrick’s Day attire, running or walking our beautiful courses in Whispering Pines.”
Winding through Whispering Pines’ scenic lakes and residential community, this year’s event included a one-mile fun run, 5K and a new 10K route.
Coordinated to promote physical activity and encourage fitness for family fun, the race benefits the Sandhills Farm Life (SFL) Elementary School’s Healthy Lifestyles Initiative. The registration fee is waived for SFL students.
As the kickoff to the Sandhills Race Series (SRS) spring season, this year’s ShamRock N’ Roll included several new features, such as mile markers, USATF course certification and cutting-edge professional bib timing from On the Mark Sports.
In addition, the race continued its tradition of partnering with the Whispering Pines Police Department to assist with parking and traffic control.
“Closing a majority of roads for the race makes the village of Whispering Pines a model of excellence for course safety,” said Sallie Beth Johnson, co-chair of the SRS.
“It takes a village to make the ShamRock N’ Roll a successful event,” said Saunders. “We are grateful for the ongoing support of Whispering Pines police officers, fire department, civic leaders, residents, volunteers and sponsors. We congratulate everyone who came out to enjoy a morning of fitness to support our community cause.”
Volunteer committee members included Teri Blades, Tricia Booker, Scott Bullard, Domonic Campbell, Steve DeBolt, Kristin Fleschig, Carol Grey, Donna Munguia, Paul and Sally Nealon, Mary Beth Pierce, Randy Saunders and Bob Tice. Whispering Pines residents and Union Pines Honor Society members volunteered their time on race day.
Sponsors included the village of Whispering Pines, Sandhills Race Series, Tony’s Good Eggs, Golden Corral, FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Saunders Orthodontics, the Southern Pines Rotary, Sandhills Pediatrics, Fore Properties, Laura K. Lang, CPA, PA, Dr. Christine Gatti Dentistry, Pediatric Development Therapy of Fayetteville, Roberson's Unique Sanitation, Inc., servicing Whispering Pines, Gaddy Waste Management, Health Innovations Pharmacy, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Miss Nora McNeill, SFL principal, Clark Chevrolet, Gold’s Gym, Wendy’s, Pinehurst Resort, River Jack and Spring Water/ Nature’s Own.
Race award winners: overall 5K male, Peter Deucher, of Vass, with a time of 16:34; overall 5K female, Emily Potter, of Southern Pines, with a time of 17:47; overall 10K male, Jason White, of Fayetteville, with a time of 35:16; and overall 10K female, Kelly Tolentino, of Pinehurst, with a time of 39:06.
All winners set official course records with times that show the blazing fast, running talent in the Sandhills region.
Overall one mile fun run winners includedd Alex Forsythe and Emily Bowbliss.
As an SRS event, the ShamRock N’ Roll awards all 5K and 10K participants 100 SRS participation points. Overall and age group winners receive an additional 30-75 performance points.
If a race participant also registers for the remaining three spring series events (Run for the Ribbons 5K-April 9, Disabled American Veterans 5K-May 21, and MANNA in Motion 5K/10K-June 4), summer SRS training gear will be awarded at a ceremony in June.
Grand prize and age group total point winners will receive medals and an SRS prize pack.
The major sponsor of the SRS is the FirstHealth Centers for Health and Fitness. Sandhills Striders is a partner organization.
For more ShamRock N’ Roll information and official race results, visit shamrocknrollrace.com or contact race director Jill Saunders at shamrocknrollrace @yahoo.com.
For more information about the SRS and to register for upcoming races, visit sandhillsraceseries. com.
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