Irish Run Saint Paul

Sunday, March 22, 2015
Summit Avenue
St Paul, MN
5K Run/Walk @ 11:40 AM
¼ Mile Youth Run @ 12:40 PM
½ Mile Youth Run @ 12:45 PM
8K Run @ 1:20 PM

Join us the for the 43rd edition of the Twin Cities original St. Patrick’s Day race. Since 1973, our fast, gently rolling course has been a great place to start your spring racing season. With a 5K, 8K and youth run, there is something for the whole family. Leprechauns are welcome. Join the extend celebration of St. Patrick’s Day where Irish Run Saint Paul!
8K course map
What is the connection between this event and St. Patrick`s Day?
The event began as the St. Patrick`s Day Mini Marathon, put on by a St. Paul civic organization. The records are a bit murky, but the first race was held in 1973, making 2015 the 43rd edition of the event. GBS Sports (now called The Sporting Life) took over the event in 1980.

Why isn`t it held on St. Patrick`s Day?
It has been a few times in those 30 years. For many years it was held the Sunday before St. Patrick`s Day. Most recently it has been the Sunday after.

Most races start early in the morning. Why is this race at midday?
The late start is a combination of tradition, courtesy and good sense. The 8K race has always started at noon or later (now 1:20 PM). This allows the more than 50 churches on or near Summit Avenue to complete their services without traffic disruption. It also allows the temperature to rise to near the high for the day, which can be nearly 20 degrees warmer than the overnight low! That seems like good sense, doesn`t it?

I heard that the race used to be point to point. When was that?
The race used to start near the University of St. Thomas, and finish in downtown St. Paul. That worked fine through the 1980s, but the city decided it would prefer a route that didn`t tie up so much traffic and require so many people to secure. In 1990 it was switched to an out and back course, starting and finishing at the University of St. Thomas. In 2013 the route was tweaked with a new 5K course and 8K course created with a start/finish at Ramsey Jr High School.

Has there always been a walk and youth run?
No, those were added in the late 1980s. The 5K is now presented as a walk/jog, with all participants receiving an official time. All participants in the youth run receive certificates.

Where does the money from entry fees go?
All entry fees go to pay for the costs of putting on the event. That includes permit fees, police, ambulances, T-shirts, food, insurance, entry forms, etc.

How does this event benefit the community?
Irish Run Saint Paul benefits the community in several ways. First, the event is a celebration of fitness and healthy living, which we believe are positive community values. Second, each year we conduct a shoe drive to collect worn (but not worn out) shoes for distribution at a local free store. We collect over 500 pairs of shoes each year. 

Why do people like Irish Run Saint Paul?
There are many reasons, but according to our surveys, the top four are: (1) people love to celebrate St. Patrick`s Day! (2) people are looking for a season opening event after a long winter; (3) the course is fairly flat and definitely fast; (4) the event is well organized. Elite runners also like the fact that nearly all the top runners in the area will show up, so they know the competition will be good. Nearly every Minnesota 8K record for every age group was set at this race, including the all-time bests of 22:56 for men and 25:45 for women. Of course, you don`t need to be that fast to enjoy the event. Our 5K is mainly for fitness. We time everyone, but no awards are given. Walkers are welcome too!