Annual Holiday Race Brings Runners Downtown
About 260 runners and walkers lined up in front of Northwest Arena to take part in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dash. David Reinhardt, Chautauqua Striders athletic director, said this is the eighth race of its kind and it is very popular with runners from near and far.
“Any time you can tie it to a popular holiday like St. Patrick’s Day (it is popular). With St. Patrick’s Day being yesterday, people are still in the spirit,” Reinhardt said. “We always have it on a Saturday right after.”
He said many participants dress up in St. Patrick’s Day-themed clothes. The flair of excitement is what makes it fun, Reinhardt said.
“That’s part of the activity,” he said. “It’s just running and there are some competitive people, but some people out here to have fun.”
The race benefits Chautauqua Striders, and is a yearly three-mile race through downtown Jamestown. The inspiration for the race came from a popular St. Patrick’s Day decoration.
“We came up with the three mile race because the actual Irish clover has three leaves,” Reinholdt said.
The race marks the beginning of the Chautauqua Striders/UPMC Chautauqua WCA Runner of the Year Series for 2017. The series is a year-long competition for runners designed to determine the top area distances runners. In the program, runners can accumulate points in selected area races.
Several upcoming races are in the schedule for the Runner of the Year series, such as the Bemus Point Sunset 5k on May 28, the Marauder Trotter on July 1, the Laurel run on July 15 and the Wild 5k on July 29.
The top male open finishers were Stephen Matteson of Lakewood, second was Peter Auer of Bemus Point, and third was Michael Peppy of Bemus Point. The top female open finishers were Brooke Adams of Randolph, Tammy Putt of Allegany and Kylee Witchey-Celments of Pittsburgh, Pa.
For more information on the upcoming runs in the series or Chautauqua Striders events, visit ChautauquaStriders.org.