Ruthie McHugh, fitness coordinator at Brunswick County Parks & Recreation, developed a program three years ago to help people prepare to complete a 5K. Its popularity has evolved to Lucky Leprechaun, a 5K fundraiser with more than 200 community members and avid runners participating, many in St. Patrick’s Day garb. Their children and pets, also in green attire, are invited to run or walk with them.
“It’s fun. We make it a festive event,” McHugh said and explained that proceeds benefit community members who cannot afford the classes and activities the department offers.
A sponsor of Lucky Leprechaun, The Winds Resort and Beach Club in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., where many Parks & Recreation classes meet, is the starting point. Kathy McLaurin, general manager, said several employees are running, and The Winds supports the race because it benefits the community and brings people together.
Carrie Van Winkle, an avid runner, won first place female in the 2013 Lucky Leprechaun with a time of 20:30.
“It’s fun,” she said of the race. “I’m hooked on running.” She was the 17th woman to cross the finish line in the 2014 Myrtle Beach Marathon with a time of 3:33:40, beating her best time of 3:55, and qualified for the Boston Marathon.
Kathy Burnham of Ocean Isle Beach said she will always run a 5K on Ocean Isle Beach and has recruited four others to participate this year.
“I think it is great when you go to these races. There are such positive people [running] for a good cause and for some good exercise,” she said.
Rich Dobkin, owner of Fibber McGees Irish Pub in Sunset Beach, N.C., said he and about six of his employee’s are running again this year, and he’s proud to sponsor the event.
“It’s for a good cause, and it’s a way to show support and give back to the community,” he said.
KATHARINE WRIGHT, THE OTHER WRIGHT BROTHER
OAK ISLAND ART GUILD COLLAGE AND MIXED MEDIA WORKSHOP
365 DAYS OF COLOR
LISTEN UP, BRUNSWICK COUNTY, GOOD MUSIC/GOOD DEEDS.
GROWING AND COOKING WITH HERBS
WINGS OF OPPORTUNITY
FIRST 2,000 DAYS 5K
COFFEE WITH THE AUTHORS
SWEETGRASS BASKET WORKSHOP