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Kick Your St. Patrick’s Day into High Gear in Tacoma

Tacoma is a family-friendly destination that’s steeped in creativity and features an abundance of outdoor activities and unmatched views of the surrounding landscape. The city, located on the shores of the Puget Sound, offers visitors the opportunity to visit world-class museums, events, and art galleries.


St. Paddy’s Day Run Tacoma has been one of the top athletic events in the city for nearly a decade. It includes a number different length runs (a half marathon, 10K, 5K run/walk, and a 1K run for kids), and the half marathon course is certified by the USATF (United States Track and Field) as a qualifier for the New York City Marathon. Participants will love the course as it grants runners scenic views of Commencement Bay and the downtown area. Participants will get the opportunity to participate in a post-race party at The Forum, with beer specials and live music. Awards will be handed out after the party to the top overall performers and the top runners from each age group. got the chance to interview Claudia Hansen, Director of Operations for Tacoma City Marathon Association, to talk about the event.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

CH: St. Paddy’s Day Run Tacoma is in its ninth year and will take place on Saturday, March 11th.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

CH: It has been a growing event that drew 3,000 participants in 2016.


RAL: What is the typical demographic makeup of the event? Children? Families? Couples?

CH: The event is family-friendly, offering distances such as a half-marathon, 10K run, 5K run and walk, and 1K kids run for children 12 years old and under.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

CH: It is St. Paddy’s Day-themed, so costumes are encouraged. Some people will dress in green, some people will go all out, but everybody has fun.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event.

CH: St. Paddy’s Day Run Tacoma is a running event. The distances are USATF-certified so that serious runners can claim their finishing times in official stats.


The day starts with packet pickup for the runners who opted not to do this ahead of time. People who come to Tacoma from out of town may take advantage of this service. At 8:10 am the half marathon starts. It is the longest of the races and has a three-hour time limit. Next is the 10K start at 8:30 am. The runners and walkers who participate in the 5K have their start at 9:00 am. Strollers are allowed in the 5K. The tiered starting times mean that most of the runners will finish in a smaller time window, making the finish area a great place for spectators. There will be live music if the weather allows and bars at the finish area will have special offers for participants of the race. The final race of the event is the 1K kids run. Parents can run along with their children. It's lots of fun, and every finisher is a winner.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

CH: The race starts and ends in downtown Tacoma. We typically recommend one of the hotels for accommodations. In past years we have worked with the Hotel Murano as well as the Holiday Inn and the Silver Cloud.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

CH: While the race is not a charity fundraiser, we do support the Humane Society. In addition to donations, runners have the opportunity to donate their registration fee and our volunteers can request that we make a donation on their behalf.


Last, but not least, the event supports Tacoma's large running community. When else can a runner be on major streets and not worry about traffic? Events like this always raise awareness through their marketing and hopefully we encourage people to become more active.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

CH: St. Paddy’s Day Run Tacoma is a fun event for runners and walkers of all abilities.

Whether somebody is a half marathon runner with lots of races under their belt, or they are a first-time walker who wants to complete a 5K (3.1 miles) walk to work on a more active lifestyle, our event is inclusive of all (with the exception of pets – for insurance reasons). The race is timed to be a great goal for New Year’s resolutions. Lots of new runners have so much fun that they decide to stick with it and try another race later in the year. To commemorate everyone's individual accomplishments, we have a race photographer who offers beautiful professional pictures and every runner with an official finish time will be able to get a video of themselves crossing the finish line. Half marathoners will receive a beautiful, high-quality medal.

For more information about the St. Paddy’s Day Run Tacoma, please visit their website.