Calling all runners! It’s back! After a three-year hiatus, the Shamrock Run returns to Mocksville!
The race will begin and end at O’Callahan’s Publick House at 115 N. Main Street. The course will wind down Main Street to the greenways at Rich Park, past Mocksville Elementary School and Davie Family YMCA, and back downtown.
Not a runner? Support the cause by registering for the 0.0k, and you won’t even have to take a step!
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church began hosting the Shamrock Run 5K & 10K in 1988 as a church fundraiser. Several years later, they decided to have a greater impact on the community by sponsoring organizations that help those in need. The Shamrock Run raised thousands for organizations in need throughout Davie County, including A Storehouse for Jesus, Special Olympics, Family Promise of Davie, Habitat for Humanity, the Dragonfly House, Davie Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center, the Davie County Pregnancy Care Center, Hospice & Palliative Care of Davie County, and the Davie Family YMCA.
The run was canceled because of COVID in 2020. As the pandemic subsided, so did the number of dedicated volunteers at the church. “COVID and committee member fatigue put us out,” said church member David Taylor.
Enter Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin. During an American Red Cross blood drive in the spring of 2023, two members of St. Francis mentioned to Marklin that the church wouldn’t be hosting the Shamrock run any longer. As the president of the Rotary Club of Mocksville, he saw an opportunity.
“Seeing the success of the Hillsdale Rotary Club’s Turkey Trot, I considered the news of the Shamrock coming to an end as an opportunity for the Mocksville club to continue the 5K run instead of creating a new venue for raising funds to support our local charities. I met with Chris Domanski from St. Francis one evening at O’Callahans, and we started the process of planning for the 2024 Shamrock Run. We met with the committee from St. Francis, which had 32 years of experience planning the event. Our Rotarians were initially overwhelmed with all that it takes to put on a 5K race, but we are working our way through the details and look forward to the event on March 16th.”
O’Callahan’s Publick House, the downtown pub and eatery that has traditionally supported the run, agreed to be the premier sponsor. Since it’s also St. Patrick’s Day weekend, O’Callahan’s will be open early that Saturday morning, offering Irish specialities, as well as serving as race headquarters. Marklin said the restaurant has something special planned for those who sign up for the 0.0K.
The Rev. Father Eric L. Kowalski of St. Francis is happy with the transition. He’s also proud of his congregation for putting on the run for so many years- one of the most popular in the area because of the food and hospitality.
“Every year was different, and that was the best part,” Kowalski said. “Just seeing the people, saying hello, and hearing where they’re from. Watching everybody work together as a pastor, it made me proud, and it made my heart feel good. It’s what we’re supposed to be doing.”
“It’s been very humbling to me. Everybody here is so warm and inviting. People open doors for each other. That’s the way the people here are, and it was seen in the Shamrock Run.”
Kowalski credits John Sherden and Sister Bernadette McNamara as key members in getting that first Shamrock Run going. The members, and there weren’t that many in 1988, “were a determined group.” That first race saw 33 people participate and was the first official 5K in Davie County. Over the years, it grew to include hundreds of runners.
“As it developed, it became an important fundraiser for the parish, but it expanded into the community,” Kowalski said. “We’re very excited to be able to see this legacy continue,” Kowalski said.
“Father, we had a good run with the run,” Taylor said. “It’s great to bring this back, and the downtown area will help make it big.”
Marklin is pleased to be part of the event’s revival. “The Mocksville Rotary Club looks forward to taking this event and keeping the Shamrock Run alive here in our community. Thank you to St. Francis for 32 years of tradition and fellowship. We are honored to receive the torch that has given back to our community in so many ways. Thank you in advance to our sponsors, and I can’t wait to see you on race day!”
Will the leprechaun be back? Maybe.
Will there be bagpipes? Well, it is St. Patrick’s Day, and it is O’Callahan’s.
$30 early registration from now until March 1st.
$35 from March 2nd to March 15th.
$40 on race day.
March 1st t-shirt order deadline to guarantee a shirt (S, M, L, XL)
March 15th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at O’Callahans.
March 16th from 7 a.m. until the race starts.
COGNITION will offer childcare for the Shamrock Run from 7:30-10:30 a.m. for $10 per child for registered runners. The link to register for childcare is: https://square.link/u/IqH5yMRe
Childcare will also be open to the public for $30 per child for non-runners, as a Mom’s Morning Out.
Children will play upstairs from 7:30-9:00 until COGNITION opens for normal exhibit area hours, and then go downstairs to the maker space for St.Patrick’s themed crafts/activities.
1st, 2nd and 3rd Men and Women Overall
Age Groups: Under 18, Ages 18-29, 30-39, 40-49,50-64, Over 65
Participants may register online at: https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/Mocksville/MocksvilleShamrockRun.
Will Marklin, 848 South Main St., Mocksville, NC 27028
Sponsors are needed for this fun event! The more money raised, the more money that goes back into the community. Sponsorship levels start at just $100. Sponsorships must be confirmed and payment received by February 15th.
For up-to-the-minute information about the Shamrock Run, please follow the Rotary Club of Mocksville on Facebook.