Get out that green, the Paddy Pint run is back on!
The Prineville Paddy Pint Run saw its peak in 2019 – more than 500 walkers and runners with over 100 people at the finish line cheering them on and ready to celebrate. Our planning team spent the winter of 2019-2020 gearing up for the biggest event yet –700 runners/walkers was our goal. Then COVID-19 hit.
Only four days before our 2020 event, the governor announced that no events with more than 250 people were allowed. We quickly met, discussed our options, and postponed the race to May. With the knowledge we had at the time, it appeared the virus would be a short-lived issue.
By late April, it became apparent that life was changing for a while, so we pivoted to a virtual race. It was wonderful to see how much support we received, over 300 people still registered (some from other states!), picked up their swag bags, dressed in their best St. Paddy's Day attire and took to the streets of Prineville. It might have looked a bit off in May, but people reported having fun for a good cause, nevertheless.
Here we are in 2021. COVID-19 is still a factor in our daily lives, but our team has had a year to plan for back-up options. Working closely with the Crook County Health Department, and in constant review of the state guidelines, we are excited to say that an in-person Paddy Pint is going to happen!
Sunday, March 14, will see a wave of green in Pioneer Park. With gathering restrictions, we will be starting in waves of less than 50 people every 15 minutes from 1 to 3:30 p.m. With our new timing company, all bibs are chipped, and individual times are tracked from the moment you cross the Start Line until you return through the Finish Line.
When registering, you choose your start time, so if you plan to run with family members, please make sure you all sign up for the same time slot. We will keep people socially distanced as much as possible and will be requiring masks on anytime you are less than 6 feet away from non-family members. The Crook County High School track team will be there with food, and a live band is expected to keep the energy up. We will be awarding our prizes from the stage at 4 p.m., so plan to say around for an afternoon of fun.
Our planning team is excited to add two new elements to the Paddy Pint Weekend this year. The first is a scavenger hunt that anyone can participate in (no race registration required). There will be a list of St. Patrick's Day icons that you will need to find around town, take a selfie with, then post on Facebook with our hashtag. We will be randomly drawing names over the weekend to win fun prizes! While out and about, take advantage of the opportunity to visit some of our supporting sponsors and businesses. They will be identified by a large Paddy Pint four-leaf clover window sticker.
The other new addition is a treasure hunt on the route (must be registered to be able to participate). When you pick up your swag bag, there will be seven wooden tokens and a list of clues that will lead you while on the run/walk route to entry pots. When you find a pot, drop in a token and that enters you to win prizes!
Due to the rules around events this year, we are encouraging people to register early online. This will help us determine how quickly each wave is filling up and how we may need to manage crowds onsite. Our planning team knows that this year will look a bit different, but we also understand the importance for people to get out of their houses, interact with others, and get some exercise in the fresh air. We hope to see you be part of the green kick off to what we hope is a series of community events this spring.
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