Join in on the fun at the fourth annual ShamRox Run, a St. Patrick's themed road race that benefits the Stronger Together Foundation. Runners are encouraged to dress in their best St. Patrick's Day attire while participating in the March 17 5K or 15K race, but there will also be some changes this year.
The event will feature brand new courses located in Columbia's downtown area, starting and finishing at Longboat Brew Co. This course will be fast with very few hills until the end of the race where runners will go up Mount Lucky Charm.
"The previous years for this event were held just out of town in Rocheport. We loved the atmosphere Rocheport had to offer, but bringing the event downtown just seemed like the right move. People love running downtown, and our 15K route really encompasses much of Columbia's awesome trail system and brings the participants through campus, which is always a hit," said Brian Fleming, UltraMax Sports race director.
Local runners like Erin Bidlock, who has participated in previous years with a group, has also been looking forward to the changes being made.
"This year it's in downtown Columbia, which I think is great because when you run Katy Trail, it's nice, but you run through all of the same scenery, whereas running downtown there are a lot of different buildings and people. So I think this year is going to be a lot better," she said.
Bidlock who is a physical trainer and owner of Studio 573, has also been preparing her group and others in training for the 15K race.
"People always think if you have to run 9 miles then you have to run 9 miles like every single day, and I tell them, no no no. You really just have to build up and you don't even have to build up to the full 9. Just get close enough to where you feel like you can run 6 and then keep going, and then that's a good sign," Bidlock said.
She said another thing is runners should always take off 24-48 hours before they race.
"You can do some yoga or something with low impact to relax your muscles and make sure to get plenty of carbohydrates and water the night before," she added.
But whether you're looking to meet a physical goal or just looking to have some holiday fun, this event is geared to meeting both of those interests.
"While we will absolutely have runners monitoring their time against their PR, we also have a large base of those out for the experience. Our goal is to accommodate both of these effectively," Fleming said.
Ticket prices include race admission, a free beer from Longboat Brew Co. for runners 21+, a post race food spread provided by Purest Meals and a ShamRox hoodie. Participants will then also be able to enjoy live music and an awards ceremony after the races.
The ShamRox Run begins at 8 a.m. March 17. Packet pickups are available at 6 p.m. Friday at Dublin's Pass and 6 a.m. Saturday at Longboat Brew Co. Sign up for late registration the day of the race at Longboat. For more information about the ShamRox race, visit ultramaxsports.com/races/shamroxrun/columbia.