Holyoke kicks off St. Patrick’s weekend with annual road race
HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Saturday kicked off the festivities for the St. Patrick’s weekend in Holyoke with the annual road race! Western Mass News spoke with runners who drove near and far to take part in all the fun.
The streets of Holyoke were flooded with people dressed in green Saturday, all to either participate or to watch the St. Patrick’s Road Race, which 5,000 people registered for this year.
“It’s just a great homecoming for Holyoke and all of western Mass.,” said race director Brian Donoghue. “People come from all over; we have 37 states represented in the race today.”
The day kicked off with a kids fun run at 11 a.m. followed by a presentation at noon and a performance by the Mummers. The race kicked off at 1 p.m. with those walking the race following right behind.
We caught up with a group of runners from New Hampshire who drove more than an hour in a 12-person van to run the 10k.
“It’s a great 10k,” said runner Amanda Paul. “It’s a hilly course, so it’s got a little bit of rolling hills, a little bit of everything. It’s a great race to train for.”
Many people we spoke with said that the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race has become a tradition for their family and friends over the years.
“I’ve been coming every year since 2013,” Jeffrey Hendricks told us.
Although the people we spoke with were running in the race, they said that was not what they were looking forward to the most.
“I like the people that participate, their enthusiasm and vigor,” Hendricks said. “I like the fans because they’re supportive, and I like the music and the good times.”
The people, the food, the music, and even the beer is what brings them out each and every year.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said runner David Paul. “They keep you well hydrated, too. Whatever they need they got it for you.”
“Beer, Jell-O shots, water,” added Amanda. ”The atmosphere is just electric.”
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