Lucky Leprechauns loop around town in annual run
Last updated 3/14/2023 at Noon
The luck of the Irish smiled upon over 200 green-garbed runners and walkers, as Saturday morning dawned bright and clear for the second annual Lucky Leprechaun 10k and 5k on March 11.
A day earlier, snow covered all the roadways in Sisters, which would have made for a treacherous time for even the most nimble leprechauns.
Kyle Gray and Katie Black had no trouble navigating the course out and around the Sisters Industrial Park area as the two claimed the men’s and women’s 5-kilometer titles. Gray, of Bend, got off to a quick start and maintained his lead throughout on the way to a time of 18:24.9. Drew Dinan finished second (19:10) and 14-year-old Broderick Womack of Sisters took third in 21:02.
On the other hand, Black won her race by little more than the length of an Irish walking stick (shillelagh) as she held off Margaret Reilly by less than five seconds to cross the line in 23:31. Deb Elliott of Bend came in third in 27:38.
Claudia Williams of Sisters, 75, was tops among three finishers above the age of 70.
Eli Nixon, a 26-year-old from Eliot, Maine, led all the green-clad costumed runners in the 10-kilometer race to win in 35:53. Michael Stadnisky of Bend came through second (41:21) and David Cowan of Sisters finished third (44:09).
Dory Goodrich of Bend won the women’s division in 46:44 while finishing fourth overall, just over a minute ahead of the next two women, both from Sisters, Sarah Cribbin (47:47) and Lauren Baeten (48:01).
The race attracted runners mostly from throughout Central Oregon but included a sprinkling of contestants from the Willamette Valley and beyond.
The course started and finished at the Three Creeks Brewing facility on Barclay Drive, where participants enjoyed refreshments and live music.
“It was a beautiful day with a good course and a fun atmosphere,” said Bob Dannenhoffer, of Bend, who ran the 5-kilometer race along with his wife, Annie.
Gail Little of Sisters was joined by her adult children Scot and Melissa and their four children for the 5k, but the group split apart a bit during the race when hot chocolate was discovered at the aid station midway.
“About half of our group stopped there and the rest of us kept going, so the hot chocolate drinkers had some catching up to do,” she said, laughing.
Marsha Marr, well known locally as Miss Sew-It-All, won the costume contest hands down, portraying an Irish gentleman — complete with beard.
“I felt very happy with the turnout and everyone seemed to be in good spirits,” said race director Kelly Bither. “What a beautiful sunny day!”