In an event that will not only promote running and the Community Free Clinic but also encourage people to stay in downtown Hagerstown for events such as “A Night at the Opera,” city and county officials Thursday afternoon formally announced this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Run for Your Luck 5K foot race in Hagerstown.
The March 16 race, which attracted about 400 participants last year, raises money for the Community Free Clinic, which provides free medical care for under-insured people.
The City of Hagerstown, Washington County and the Community Free Clinic, among others, are working together to put on the race, which will have a new route this year, said Washington County Recreation Department spokesman Jaime Dick, who joined city and county officials at City Hall to announce the event.
Last year’s race used a loop route but with a growing numbers of participants, race organizers felt runners and walkers of the course might overlap each other, Dick said.
This year’s route will start at city square at the intersection of Washington Street and Potomac Street and proceed down Potomac Street toward Bester Elementary School, Dick said.
Runners in the 10 a.m. race will turn right on Memorial Boulevard, left on Surrey Avenue and left on Virginia Avenue, Dick said. The course will continue on City Park Drive, which will deliver “the most challenging hill,” and continue on Key Street, Walnut Street, Antietam Street and Summit Avenue before returning to Potomac Street and finishing near The Maryland Theatre, Dick said.
Those who register before the race will pay a $25 fee and those who register on race day will pay $30.
The first 700 registrants will receive a free t-shirt.
Robin Roberson, executive director of the Community Free Clinic, said events such as the Run for Your Luck ensure that the clinic is able to stay open. The clinic, which has operated for 24 years, receives no state or federal funding, said Roberson, who also thanked sponsors of the race who have helped cover expenses to get the event off the ground.
This year’s race pays tribute to the clinic’s former medical director Dan McDougal.
The race’s awards ceremony will be held at The Maryland Theatre. Karen Giffin, the city’s community affairs manager, also announced that $5 worth of “city center dollars” will be given to each race participant and the dollars will be good at selected businesses downtown.