More than 5,000 walkers and runners are gearing up to participate in the 13th annual Shamrock Shuffle, which will be held on Saturday, March 9 in West Chester Twp. CONTRIBUTED/CASEY BURNS

What to know about the Shamrock Shuffle, which will draw 5,000 runners to West Chester this weekend

Everything is turning green in West Chester as more than 5,000 walkers and runners gear up to participate in the 13th annual Shamrock Shuffle, which will be held on Saturday. The 5K and 10K races start at 9 a.m., and the Block Party will kick off at 9:30 a.m. and continue until noon.

“My dad, Duane Satzger, was a participant the first year, and I think there were 200 to 250 runners. Over the past 13 years, it’s amazing how it’s grown to 5,000 participants,’ said Erin Clemons, president and CEO, Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty.

She said her family participates every year.

Many of the attendees will come dressed in costumes with Leprechaun hats, green beads and tutus. The one-day event will include the UCBMA 5K and the Liberty Center 10K. There will also be plenty of festivities at the Square on race day. To register, and for more information, go to www.theshamrockshuffle.com.

Children (ages 3-10) can participate in their own race, the Bicycle Recycle Fund Leprechaun Lap, which is a kids dash with fun prizes. There will be other fun surprises, including super heroes and princesses at the finish line. Four bikes will be given away to winners of the children’s race.

Kids also can look forward to having some pancakes after the race. New this year, there will be IHOP specials with Shamrock pancakes at the Block Party.

Shamrock Shuffle will begin early with same-day registration and packet pickup at MidPointe Library (9363 Centre Point Drive, in the Community Room) at 7:30 a.m. Runners can also pick up their pre-registered packets on the Thursday or Friday prior to the race at Midpointe Library. All 5K and 10K runners will start at 9 a.m. and any 5K walkers or those with strollers or dogs will start at 9:05 a.m. The Block Party fun will begin at 9:30 a.m. with food vendors, beer, sponsor booths, and the Bicycle Recycle Fund Leprechaun Lap will start at 10 a.m. The popular Total Wealth Planning Beer Obstacle Course will run throughout the Block Party. The event will wrap up around noon.

This year, the race results will be instantaneous with the RaceJoy App, where participants can track progress throughout the race and receive the results in a text message as they cross the finish line. There will also be a kiosk at the finish line for those who don’t bring their phone or Smartwatch. An awards celebration will follow the race at 10:15 a.m.

Also, new this year, the first 2,000 finishers will receive Shamrock Finisher Medals, sponsored by podiatrist Dr. Kristin Titko.

Sponsors, food vendors and the support of the community make this a fun day for runners, families, and nonprofits. Proceeds support the Community Foundation’s Community Grants Fund, as well as the many different nonprofit organizations that register a team through the Shuffle Gives Back program. Last year, the Shamrock Shuffle raised more than $110,000 and granted $30,000 back to participating charity teams. About 30 to 50 charity teams participate each year.

“We are self-sustaining at this point, and we are happy to announce that a hundred percent of the proceeds from our events go back out to the community,” Clemons said.

The event draws participants from West Chester, Liberty Township, Mason, Monroe, Franklin, Dayton, Cincinnati and beyond. In 2019, the event falls on the same weekend as the Cincinnati Heart Mini Marathon & Walk, which will be held on Sunday, March 10. Cincinnati’s Heart Mini benefits the local chapters of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.

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