By HEATHER KEELS
9:24 PM EDT, March 14, 2012
Drivers heading through downtown Hagerstown on Saturday morning should be prepared for detours, closed lanes and sweaty leprechauns as hundreds of runners celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a “Run For Your Luck 5K.”
The run/walk event — in which participants are encouraged to wear St. Patrick’s Day-themed costumes — is a joint effort between the city of Hagerstown, Washington County Recreation Department and the Community Free Clinic. Most of the proceeds will benefit the clinic, county Recreation Director Jaime Dick said.
The course begins at Public Square and follows South Potomac Street, West Baltimore Street, South Prospect Street, South Walnut Street, West Antietam Street, Summit Avenue and West Washington Street, returning to South Potomac Street to finish at the Washington County Free Library construction site.
Runners complete the loop twice, while walkers will complete it once.
Race participants gather in the square at 9:45 a.m. and the race begins at 10:05 a.m.
Road closures will begin at 9 a.m. with the closure of South Potomac Street from the square to West Baltimore Street and the closure of the right lane of West Washington Street from the courthouse to the square, according to a traffic advisory issued by the city.
The left lane of West Washington Street will remain open during the race, but traffic will be stopped for a few minutes at 9:55 a.m. until runners clear the starting line, the advisory said.
Walnut Street also will remain open, with runners using the shoulder, Dick said.
At 9:55 a.m., traffic will be stopped on the other race route streets, the traffic advisory said. All streets should be reopened by 11 a.m., the advisory said.
With three days to go before the race, 330 people had preregistered for the event, Dick said Wednesday morning. Organizers expect about 400 people to preregister and potentially hundreds more to sign up on the day of the race, he said.
Only 500 T-shirts are available, but organizers do not plan to turn away anyone, Dick said. Registration costs $25 in advance at www.raceit.com or $30 on race day.
The event is to be held rain or shine, but Saturday’s forecast looks promising, with the National Weather Service predicting mostly cloudy skies and a high near 70.
Participants are encouraged to arrive early and avoid street parking, an email to participants said. Parking will be available for $1 in the garages at 25 N. Potomac St. and 25 Renaissance Way.
Registration and packet pickup begin at 8:30 a.m. at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown at 32 W. Washington St., and refreshments and entertainment will begin at 9 a.m.
An awards ceremony will be at 11 a.m. at The Maryland Theatre.
If you go ...
What: Run For Your Luck 5K
When: Saturday; registration, 8:30-9:45 a.m.; race starts at 10:05 a.m.
Where: Check-in at 32 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown; starts at Public Square
Registration: $25 in advance at www.raceit.com or $30 on race day
For more information: Go to http://raceit.com/search/event.aspx?event=b5fd86ad-d423-43f3-9643-a82b62fd1151.aspx
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