Going green for charity

Local runners will strap on their jogging shoes and go green for the 13th annual Shamrock 4 Miler next weekend.

South Charlotte families will go green and take to the streets to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte through the 13th annual Shamrock 4 Miler next weekend.

South Charlotte families will go green and take to the streets to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte through the 13th annual Shamrock 4 Miler next weekend.

The a four-mile race will take place March 15, a Saturday, at the StoneCrest at Piper Glen shopping center, near the intersection of Rea Road and Interstate 485. Registration will start at 6:45 a.m., followed by the race at 8 a.m., a Kid’s Leprechaun Jog at 9 a.m. and an awards ceremony at 9:15 a.m.

The Shamrock 4 Miler is a wildly popular event for families with children each year, according to Ashleigh Lawrence, creative brand manager for Run for Your Life, the company that hosts the race each year. The event boasts a St. Patrick’s Day theme and will feature live music from Celtic rock band Brynmor and bagpiper Chris Lewis, along with a variety of family activities and award opportunities including a Best Dressed team award.

“It’s the whole atmosphere of the event” that attracts participants each year, Lawrence said. “Sometimes you go to 5Ks and everybody is there to run a race and get a really good (finishing) time. When it’s that competitive, you don’t want to bring your family to that.”

Run for Your Life works hard each year to provide engaging activities for children. The company encourages runners with small children to participate in the race with their kids, and designates an awards category to “baby joggers” – moms and dads who run while pushing their child in a stroller.

The Kid’s Leprechaun Jog offers a shorter race for children, and the Shamrock 4 Miler also will feature a balloon maker, washable tattoos and a photo-op area where kids can dress up and have their picture taken. StoneCrest at Piper Glen’s annual Easter Bunny Hop also will take place on race day from 8 to 11 a.m., giving children an opportunity to meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy treats like doughnuts.

“It helps the event and helps families if we can take care of kids and give them something to do,” Lawrence said. “… We find that those little things add up and just make for a much better atmosphere for
families.”

But the goal for the Shamrock 4 Miler goes beyond bringing the community together and giving families a good time – the event also will support the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. Funds collected through the race will benefit the nonprofit, which provides a “home away from home” to parents and families of children facing extended stays in Charlotte-area hospitals. The Ronald McDonald House in return will provide volunteers who’ll help with the race events.

“We work with (the Ronald McDonald House) on several events throughout the year, and we’re really excited to extend that relationship and really grow that partnership,” Lawrence said. “… They provide (services) for a very prevalent need in the city of Charlotte.”

Run for Your Life also hopes the Shamrock 4 Miler encourages families to stay physically active and lead healthier lifestyles.

“The race is just one way we can do that,” Lawrence said. “It’s a great way we can bring people together to enjoy some physical fitness.”

Cost to participate in the four-mile race is $30 for adults and $25 for students in 12th grade and younger if registered by March 14. Race day fees are $40 and $35, respectively. The Kid’s Leprechaun Jog costs $5 if registered in advance or $10 on race day. Find more information and register online at www.runforyourlife.com/Events/shamrock4miler2014.

 

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