Katherine Daniel ~ Editor-in-Chief
The Holy Cross Regional Catholic School hosted Lynchburg’s first ever St. Paddy’s Day 5K on March 16, 2019. The race took place on 1600 Concord Turnpike.
Riverside Runners website said, “Feeling lucky? Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at this festive 5k that benefits Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) programming for Holy Cross Regional Catholic School. Leprechauns, runners and walkers are welcome!”
According to the Run Sign Up website, the cost for participants was “$15 (children 9 & under), $25 (on or before 2/14/2019), $30 (2/15/2019 – 3/14/2019), and $35 (Packet Pickup & Race Day 3/15/2019 – 3/16/2019).”
Director of Advancement for Holy Cross Regional Catholic School, Beth Holcomb, said, “This is the FIRST year for our St. Patrick’s Day 5K! We do plan to make this an annual event that we can grow and involve many businesses and organizations in our area. We are extremely excited to make this a staple event for the community and Holy Cross School. There is a rich Irish history here in Lynchburg, and much within the Catholic community and school. We figured starting the St. Paddy’s Day 5K would be a great way to celebrate our Irish history, raise funds for additional STEAM programming, as well as give Lynchburg and surrounding communities a fun themed local event.”
“Our main goal is to fund more STEAM programming throughout the year for all of our students (Pre-K-12) and our second goal is to provide a fun event for the community,” added Holcomb.
According to Holcomb, “247 [people] registered [as] Runners/Walkers and 225 participated in the run on March 16, 2019, around 82% of the total who registered.”
There were many local businesses who partnered with the school to ensure the success of the event.
Holcomb said, “Riverside Runners assisted with registration logistics, the start/finish line timing system and audio, Virginia Plaques and Trophies worked with us on the finisher plaques, Dr. R. Kelly Golden Family Dentistry supplied food for the participants at the finish line, and Karen Smith Photography made sure we had great shots at the finish line. Girls on the Run, which originated at Holy Cross School, worked our water stop for runners and walkers on the trail. HCS had a goal of 150 registered participants. We were honored to be contacted by Lynchburg Chiropractic Center, Pick & Paint, and our Lynchburg Hillcats about being vendors at this first year’s St. Paddy’s Day 5K. We reached out to Backwater Coffee Trailer about having coffee and warm beverages when we noticed the temperature would be around 40 degrees that morning. We felt that all of our vendors helped make our event more enjoyable for spectators and participants. We do want to grow our vendors and sponsors. Lynchburg Hillcat’s announcer Jeff Raymond assisted as MC and Southpaw helped give out awards at our 10:00 a.m. awards ceremony. During our awards ceremony, we gave out door prizes through a drawing with prizes from Bath & Body Works Salon and Day Spa, Play It Again Sports, Duke’s Diner, and the grand prize was a one night stay for two at the Virginian Hotel downtown.”
“Thanks to our sponsors, donations, and the 247 registered runners and walkers, we were about to raise $7,000 for STEAM programming, nearly doubling our original goal. Race morning, we had 82% participants with 225 of the 247 registered runners and walkers start and finish the run. Those who registered prior to March 1 were guaranteed a race T-shirt. We ordered extras, but quickly ran out of all sizes between the March 15 packet pick-up and morning registration/packet pick-up”, mentioned Holcomb.
Holcomb said, “Lynchburg is a running community. We were so excited to see the great mix of Holy Cross School families, faculty, and supporters and the general community this past Saturday. We celebrated a beautiful and fun day with those we know and love, and made new friends who expressed their excitement about being part of the event again next year!”
“We hope to see this event double in participation as well as vendors and activities for spectators and participants. We could not be happier about how well the inaugural St. Paddy’s Day 5K, and now that we made it through our first year, we are so excited to start the planning for 2020!” added Holcomb.
The Holy Cross Regional Catholic Church does not have an exact date for the St. Paddy’s Day 5K for next year, but will be meeting and discussing this. They plan to have it the same time Lynchburg hosts other St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.