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Leprechaun-a-Thon draws large crowd

March 18, 2017--1:51 p.m.

By David Crowder

More than 850 runners and walkers, most decked out in glowing jewelry and green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, participated the Harbin Clinic Leprechaun-a-thon on Friday night in Downtown Rome.

View a video of the start here.

The event featured a 5K race and two-mile health walk.

The night start and the foam and the bubbles helped boost race participation more than doubling the number of participants from last year’s event when 425 runners and walkers participated.

Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Cowling was extremely happy with the turnout.

“It’s a great night,” he said. “I think it being a night race and adding the glow and foam element really piqued interest. Plus, it’s on a Friday when we traditionally run on Saturdays.

For many, like Rome’s Tim Groves, it was their first Leprechaun-a-thon.

“My Birthday is tomorrow but I always celebrate it on St. Patrick’s Day,” he said. “I’m partially Irish and I heard about it. My girlfriend is a big runner, so those are the things that interested me.

Groves said he didn’t even know about the bubbles and foam, but once he found out, he was looking forward to it.

Rachel Dorris not only captured the overall female title, covering the 3.1-mile course in 19:50, but her time placed her first overall for all runners.

Jake Roberts, a 14-year-old, won the overall male title finishing 30 seconds behind Dorris in a 20:19.

Jamie Doss captured the Male Masters title with a 20:39, while Helen Fishburn won the Women’s Masters title with a 25:41.

Ken Pharoh won the Men’s Grand Master Title with a 21:02, and Kathy McFarland grabbed the Female Grand Masters Title with a 31:24.

You can see the complete results here and there are more pictures below.