A few weeks ago, I volunteered at the Catch the Leprechaun 5K in Mt. Pleasant.
Catch the Leprechaun uses a really fun concept that makes it a great race for all runners, regardless of ability. The organizer, Mike McKenna, is a great guy and friend and always does a wonderful job. For the speedsters, the race offers a “pot of gold” to the overall winners, which is a cash prize of those $1 gold coins. Age groupers get pint glass awards, and the age groups are 5-years and 3-deep.
Catching the leprechaun is the best part of the race. The leprechaun runs around the course encouraging runners and making everyone smile. If you finish before the leprechaun, you get a mug with the race’s logo on it, so you goal is to beat the leprechaun. The course is flat, fast, and perfect for a tune-up before the Cooper River Bridge Run.
Due to construction at Patriot’s Point, the race wasn’t held last year, so I was excited to see it return this year. I ran the race in 2014 and 2015, and I signed up in January when I saw the announcement. I encouraged all my friends from Wednesday night track workouts to run it (so we could cancel the workout that night). When I got peroneal tendonitis and couldn’t run, I signed up to volunteer and cheer.
I helped out with packet pick up, which is always a lot of fun. As a frequent volunteer, I’ve done it all- from slicing bananas to managing water stops to registering runners. Race day packet pick up is one of my favorite volunteer activities because I get to see everyone and wish them good luck, Plus, I know many of the Charleston runners by name and can quickly find race numbers.
Once everyone picked up, Cindy and I walked over to the race course to watch the start and cheer for the runners. Then, we hit the post-race party and refreshments, which were already being set up. Volunteers have to turn around quickly in a 5K because in less than 20 minutes, runners would be finishing up and heading over to get snacks and beer.
We made it back to the course to see most of our friends finish as well. Melissa placed 2nd female overall and Theresa and John both placed in their age groups.
It was a chilly and windy night, so a lot of runners opted to skip the post-race festivities and head out. The race was also on a Wednesday night this year, so people had to go home, refuel, shower, and get ready for work or school the next day too. Thankfully, I didn’t hear or see anyone who got injured or hurt, which is always good news at a race.
Congratulations to everyone who ran, and thanks to the race director and other volunteers for making it a great night.