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Shamrock Shuffle promises good time for good cause

Runners turnaround on Evergreen Road during a previous Shamrock Shuffle 5K Race. The 14th annual Shamrock Shuffle will be held Saturday, March 25, in downtown Harmony. Eagle File Photo

HARMONY — Runners can do some good for themselves and their community Saturday, March 25, during the 14th annual Shamrock Shuffle in downtown Harmony.

In addition to races of various degrees of difficulty, there will be food and St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

The combination of races, food and entertainment is the annual fundraiser for the Zelienople Rotary Club. With Armstrong and the Harmony Inn as co-title sponsors, the Rotary Club again will partner with Get Fit Families to host the Shamrock Shuffle.

The day begins at 7:30 a.m. with a challenging half-marathon. The race is one of the toughest half-marathons in the tri-state area, with a big climb about 6 miles into the race.

A family-friendly 5k begins at 10:15 a.m., and a 1-mile fun run starts at 11 a.m. Festivities include food and music during, between and after the races.

Athletes have the option to run one race or two races, or they can compete in the triple challenge and run in all three races (16.1 miles). The hilly half-marathon will have Jell-O shots available at the top of Textor Hill for those 21 and older.

“We have over 200 people registered,” said Joella Baker, race director and owner of Get Fit Families triathlon and running company. “The majority registers in the days before the race. We will probably have 300 by the time of the race, and the money raised will go to the Rotary.”

“It’s just a fun event for the family. It’s great for people training for the Pittsburgh Marathon,” Baker said. “If you enter all three races you’re getting nearly 17 miles of running.”

Participants can pick up race packets from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Grace Church of Harmony, 538 Main St., or at the church beginning at 6 a.m. on the day of the races.

The St. Patrick’s Day festivities will begin after the races.

“The Rotary Club will have food and music at the finish line, and there will be beer and food at the Harmony Inn,” Baker said.

“The Zelienople Rotary Club is grateful to have so many local sponsors who are always eager to support the Shamrock Shuffle. We are also fortunate to have Seneca Valley High School students who come out to volunteer on race day,” said Sara Rice, event co-chair.

All proceeds will benefit the Zelienople Rotary Club and its service projects, which include: providing six annual scholarship awards to graduating high school seniors; supporting upkeep and improvements at Zelienople Community Park; supporting area health and human service agencies; coordinating the annual Zelienople Fourth of July Parade; and assisting those less fortunate through support of the local food bank.

To register for any of the Shamrock Shuffle races visit www.trisignup.com/Race/PA/Harmony/ShamrockShuffleZeienopleRotary or at www.getfitfamilies.com.

The Shuffle featured 5K, half-marathon and mile events and is open to runners of all ages and abilities. The combination of races, food and entertainment is the annual fundraiser for the Zelienople Rotary Club.

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