ShamRock 'N Roll Race Brings Out a Crowd
Whispering Pines celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a big way this year.
For the fourth year, the village welcomed the ShamRock ’N Roll Road Race to its beautiful community and about 1,000 individuals from the ages of 3 to 73 took them up on the hospitality.
Winding through Whispering Pines’ scenic lakes and residential community, this year’s event once again included a 1-mile fun run as well as 5K and 10K routes. 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 and staff .
As the kickoff to the Sandhills Race Series’ (SRS) spring season, this year’s ShamRock ’N Roll again featured USATF course certification and cutting-edge professional bib timing from Greensboro’s On the Mark Sports. In addition, Whispering Pines police provided a valuable service by closing roads and managing traffic control to ensure participants’ safety.
The race is a community event as village residents, coordinated by Sally and Paul Nealon, can be counted on to marshal the courses, provide water stations, manage parking and add a little leprechaun fun.
“Whispering Pines’ residents, maintenance, police, fire, council and all staff have always been incredibly accommodating, which is invaluable when directing a race,” says race director, Jill Saunders. Also, members of Union Pines’ Master Gunnery Sergeant Keith Dangerfield’s ROTC group arrived on race morning eager to help.
As a key sponsor, Food Lion of Whispering Pines had the privilege of announcing the start of each race. An amazingly fitting gesture was made by the store manager, Andrew Kegley, when he requested the honor go to Cooper Ellington, a former SFL student recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor.
“Watching Cooper’s dad, Reid, help him shoot the start gun was very special and I think I speak for many people when I say that Cooper and his parents made the day complete,” says Saunders. “Year after year our sponsors see the value of this race to our community, and I can’t convey enough how important they are to our success.
“Huge thanks go to these special businesses and individuals who help champion our cause: The Village of Whispering Pines; Food Lion of Whispering Pines; Tony’s Good Eggs; Fore Properties; The Sandhills Race Series; FirstHealth of the Carolinas; Dogwood Dental’s Dr. Christine Gatti, DDS; Golden Corral; Laura Lang, CPA; Saunders Orthodontics; Trophy World of Laurinburg; Rita’s Frozen Custard; Longworth Industries; AYG & Polarmax; NutriShop; Rockin’ Rollin’ Video Games; Gaddy Waste Services; Sandhills Paint Center; Sandhills Pediatrics; Shoe Carnival; Carolina Snapshots; and Whispering Woods Restaurant.
Race award winners include female 5K Overall: first place Abby Verchick of Pinehurst with a time of 20:49, second place Savannah Merritt of Sanford with a time of 21:06 and third place Skye Best of Whispering Pines with a time of 22:40. Overall male 5K: first place Sean Flanagan of Carthage with a time of 18:14, second place Matthew Calvelo of Sanford with a time of 18:25 and third place Todd Whitescaduer of Pinehurst with a time of 18:39.
Female 10K Overall: first place Kelly Tolentino of Pinehurst with a time of 39:56, second place Tegan Searle of Southern Pines with a time of 40:16 and Krystal Schwartz of Ft. Bragg with a time of 42:58. Male 10K Overall: first place Ira Gallagher of Southern Pines with a time of 40:34, second place Ethan White of Greensboro with a time of 40:57 and third place Duane Roberts of Southern Pines with a time of 42:27.
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 7, Disabled American Veterans 5K— May 19 and MANNA in Motion 5K/10K — June 2), summer SRS prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in July. The major sponsor of the SRS is the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness.
For more ShamRock N’ Roll information and official race results, visit shamrocknrollrace.com or contact race director, Jill Saunders, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the SRS and to register for upcoming races, visit sandhillsraceseries.com.
Information for this article was supplied by race organizers.
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