For a map of the course, click here: SP O’Shenanigans 5K Race Map 030317
By BRIAN JENNINGs
A new 5K race is coming to Southington and is bringing a little holiday spirit with it.
The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) is hosting the O’Shenanigans 5K in Southington on Saturday, Mar. 11, which will be the first of four St. Patrick’s Day-themed, family-friendly races that HMF will produce over two weekends.
“When the opportunity came up to expand the O’races to another location, I was quick to recommend Southington,” said Liz Cowles Johnston, president of Cowles Johnston public relations, in a press release. “It’s a really active community with incredible support for running and family events of this nature.”
Cowles Johnston has been supporting HMF with media relations, social media, and marketing communications since 2008 and has already received incredible response for the event. The initial cap for the race was 600 runners, but HMF bumped the margin up to 800 and has already sold out.
The other three races HMF hosts includes the Courthouse O’Putnam (Sunday, Mar. 12), the O’Niantic (Saturday, Mar. 18), and the O’Hartford (Sunday, March 19).
“These 5Ks are popular, fun races that have a real party atmosphere,” Cowles Johnston said in the release. “We have hundreds of people signed up to run three or all four races in the series as part of a challenge.”
The challenge includes earning four pieces of a four-leaf clover. You will receive an event medal for each of the four O’races you compete in. If you collect all four, they will join together to form a glittery, green three or four-leaf clover if you join the Trinity or Lucky Challenges, respectively.
Participants that registered by Feb. 27 were rewarded with a magic middle piece to connect the clover medals together, provided at the last of three or four races in Niantic or Hartford. Participants that took the four-race Lucky Challenge also received a custom series pint glass.
You can earn your first O’race medal accompanied by a festive, seamless bandana if you run in the O’Shenanigans race. The race will include a serene, flat, and fast 5K along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and other surrounding roads from Southington through Cheshire.
The race will begin and end near the Kinsmen Brewing Company, located on 409 Canal Street in Plantsville. The Kinsmen Brewing Company will serve as host for the post-race party where runners can grab a beer, a medal, and food by Sauced.
“The team at Kinsmen have been enthusiastic and a great partner for the event,” Cowles Johnston said in the release.
The Kinsmen Brewing Company is also participating with HMF at the O’Hartford Craft Brew Pub event at the O’Hartford race.
Adults aren’t the only ones participating in this event though. Kids can participate as well with the HMF FitKids Run.
All FitKids races are $10 per child. Parents and guardians who accompany their children may run for free and must sign a waiver during the registration process for children to participate.
You can register for the FitKids races online at www.hartfordmarathon.com/oshenanigans/races/hmf-fitkids-run-2/ or in person on race day. All participants will receive a finisher’s medal.
Don’t want to run, but want to help out? No problem. HMF is still looking for volunteer groups to help support runners on the course. If you are looking to volunteer in the event, you can sign up online at hartfordmarathon.com/hmf-volunteer.
“We’d love to get some volunteer groups involved in this inaugural year of the race,” Cowles Johnston said in the release.
HMF is also holding a nonperishable food drive to benefit Bread for Life as part of the foundation’s “HMF Can” initiative.
“We ask runners to donate to support the communities we run in as a way to give back,” Cowles Johnston said in the release.
The HMF Can initiative was introduced in 2015, asking runners, volunteers, and spectators to bring nonperishable foods to race events to be provided to food banks within the communities that race events are held. According to HMF, the Can initiative surpassed its goal of collecting more than 10,000 pounds of food that year.
For more information on the HMF Can initiative, please visit www.hartfordmarathon.com.