It was so amazing to be out in Downtown Tucson today to finally, finally, be able to hold the Desert Leprechaun 5K & 1Mile event in person this year. This event idea was born when the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival folks approached Southern Arizona Roadrunners (SAR) back in 2020 about doing a running event in conjunction with their festival. We are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with them. They are amazing folks and were great to work with every step of the way. In particular, that means you, my friend Jen Garcia! A big shout as well to Steve Taggar for having started the tradition of running races on St. Patrick’s Day in Tucson and for being there with us today.
Desert Leprechaun is an event that benefits both SAR and The Children of Fallen Officers Fund. Here’s a shout out to all of our incredible first responders and their families, especially those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.
A huge thanks to our main sponsor, The Running Shop. Sharon and Lucas are tremendous supporters of our local running community and we simply cannot thank them enough for all of their help and support with this event.
I’ve directed many of these events over the years and can tell you that I am truly moved by the sacrifice, capability, and selflessness of our volunteers. It is absolutely the case that we couldn’t put on these events without a troop of amazing folks doing a tremendous amount of work, much of it behind the scenes. PLEASE consider volunteering for SAR events in the future. We need more volunteers. The rewards are substantial. It feels great to be supporting local running events like this one, so please help us out when you can.
I know I will inadvertently leave some folks of this volunteer list by my humblest thanks and gratitude to Lauren Erdelyi (SAR President), Caroline Gardiner (SAR Vice President), Kris Fitharris (SAR Membership Secretary), Gary Parcher, Noemi Mills, Marina Garcia, Laurie Canacakos, Denise Fall, Chris Fall, Kelly Mack, Michelle Senner, Mark Kelleher, Danielle Fix, Connie Lopez, Michelle Hawk, Mark Edwards, Martha Edwards, Julie Evans and Rob Tenny.
I would also like to thank DJ Rich for all of his wonderful announcing and great tunes, and Greg Wenneborg with RoadRunnerRaceTiming for expertly handling the results for us.
The One Mile race kicked things off at 8:15am. The race was won by 15 year old Aric Accetta in a very impressive time of 5:20, followed closely in second place by Victor Jung-Yang in 5:25 and Clifford Franklin in 5:37. The women’s mile was won by Kirsten Shipway in a time of 8:36 followed by Ally Butler with a time of 9:15 and then Johanne Ives in 10:13.
Next up was the 5K and our inaugural in person race was won by local running stand out Craig Curley in a wicked-fast (hey, I’m from New Hampshire!) time of 15:04. That’s a per mile pace of 4:51! Second place was taken by Zachary Stewart in a time of 16:40, followed by Michael Grier in third place in 17:08. For the ladies, Line Lauritsen took the title with a great time of 19:51. The Lauritsen family cleaned up with many other members of this impressive running family taking home age group awards. Line was followed by Abby Nastase in a time of 20:04 and Tia Accetta in a time of 21:18. The women’s master’s crown is being worn by Tracy Serryn in a time of 22:44 and the male Master’s was won by Robert Rozetko in an impressive time of 18:06.
I can absolutely not wait for next year’s Desert Leprechaun race. It will be bigger and more fun, that I can assure you!
Next up on SAR’s race calendar is Dave’s Run for ALS, an event for which I have a soft spot in my heart, next Sunday, 3/20/22 at Curtis Park near River and La Cholla. I hope to see all of you there! You can still register online or race weekend. Visit runsar.org for more details.
Race Director, Desert Leprechaun 5K & 1Mile
obo Southern Arizona Roadrunners