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Run your way to St. Patty's

JBLM's MWR presents the ShamROCKin' Run

Gina Wadleigh of Olympia happily waits at the start line for last year’s Shamrock Run on JBLM. More than 700 participants enjoyed the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in 2017. Photo courtesy JBLM MWR

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You may not believe me when I say there are more ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than just by finding a stiff drink -- but trust me, there are. Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Family & Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) is offering an alternative to the standard drinking smorgasbord this March with its ShamROCKin' Run. The March 10 family-friendly event will feature 5K and 1K fun runs, live music, costume contests, beer and sausages, and a healthy dose of St. Patty's Day festivities.

"We've definitely changed the theme this year," said Carli Jenkins, the lead MWR coordinator for this year's ShamROCKin' Run and an administrative assistant for MWR's Outdoor Recreation. "We went with a rock-and-roll theme intertwined with the St. Patrick's Day celebration ... We wanted to make this year's event different, so people don't end up running the same race every year."

To ensure the ShamROCKin' Run is as lively as possible, the 56th Army Band's Courage troupe will play live rock music throughout the event. The band is based out of JBLM and performs at more than 600 events each year.

In addition to live music, the fun run will have crafting stations for youth and an all-ages costume contest featuring prizes for "Best Family Rock Band," "Best Rockin' Leprechaun" and "Most Creative Celtic Kids" costume categories.

"I hope people have fun at the event, participate in the costume contest and bring their whole family out," said Jenkins. "I hope they keep taking advantage of these races on base. A lot of people are trying to get in shape and have been participating in MWR races. We're hoping to have at least 700 participants this year, but more is always better."

Early registrants for the ShamROCKin' Run will receive a free T-shirt, pint glass, a complimentary banger sausage and drink ticket, and a finisher's medal upon completion of the run. The Kid's Rainbow Rush 1K fun run will kick off at 10 a.m. followed by the ShamROCKin' Run 5K at 10:30 a.m. Packet pick-up begins at 8:30 a.m.

In true St. Patrick's Day style, a beer garden will open once the races are complete, followed by an after party at the Samuel Adams Brewhouse on JBLM.

"We've been focusing a lot on helping servicemembers find opportunities to do more in their free time, not just sit in their barracks," Jenkins said. "We want them to get out and do more on the weekends and have safe fun. We're trying to give them options on base. We want our servicemembers to have fun when they're not deployed or working."

Readers unaffiliated with the military are welcome to sign up for the ShamROCKin' Run, as the event is open to the public.

ShamROCKin' Run, packet pick-up begins at 8:30 a.m.; races begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 10, MWR Fest Test, 2200 Liggett Ave., JBLM, $15-$45,

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