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Hear Philly: Leprechaun Run Goes The Extra Mile For Special Olympics PA

Leprechaun Run attendees. (Photo provided by the Special Olympics.)

Leprechaun Run attendees. (Photo provided by the Special Olympics.)

(Andrew Kramer.  Photo by Josh Buzi) Andrew Kramer
. Andrew Kramer multitasks at KYW Newsradio as a web edi...
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By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On March 16th, you can bring the whole family out to the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia and go the extra mile to help a wonderful cause.

“The Leprechaun Run is a five-mile run, or a two-mile walk,” explains Eric Cushing, Vice President for marketing and development for Special Olympics Pennsylvania. “It is for avid runners and amateurs alike. The distance of five miles kind of separates us from the usual pack of 5Ks.”

The Leprechaun Run is now in its 29th year. It was created by a former police officer and his wife, who handed the event over to the Special Olympics just last year.

“Special Olympics has always been the beneficiary, in particular our Philadelphia program,” says Cushing, “but the event became really big – it’s several thousand runners. It’s been a source of tremendous income for the program.”

With an event called the “Leprechaun Run,” it’s no surprise that many of the participants will be dressed appropriately, as Cushing points out:

“We encourage folks to come out in their Irish green or leprechaun suits or whatever fun type clothing they want to wear.”

(Photo provided by the Special Olympics.)

(Photo provided by the Special Olympics.)

In addition to the actual run, Cushing says there will be many other activities taking place during the day:

“We’ll have music playing, some food and light snacks available. We try to create a family-friendly atmosphere in the hour or so before the race. We encourage folks to get there early to sign up, get stretched out, hear a little bit about Special Olympics through a short program that we’ll have.”

As bad as this winter has been, Cushing is hoping this run will provide folks with their first taste of spring:

“Come on out, shake off some rust. It’s one of the first known runs of the season as we lead into the Broad Street Run, and later in the year, the Philadelphia Marathon, so it is just a perfect opportunity to come out, celebrate the hopefully onrushing springtime in a good family-friendly healthy event that supports a terrific cause.”

The Leprechaun Run starts at 9 a.m. and registration begins at 7 a.m. For more information, you can go to leprechaunrun.org, and you can donate to the Special Olympics anytime by visiting sopaphilly.org.

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