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Feeling the luck of the Irish in Saint John

St. Paddy’s Day Dash held in support of cancer society

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
March 20, 2017

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – They ran, they walked, they wore green and other clothing appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day, and they raised money for the Canadian Cancer Society.
The annual Pete’s Pub St. Paddy’s Day Dash took place in Saint John on Sunday, March 19 underneath sunny skies, and with an enthusiastic crowd of all ages taking part.
Pete Ferguson, owner of the pub that has been hosting the event for many years, said he was “absolutely happy” with how this year’s event went.
“The numbers were just a wee bit down from last year, but we actually made more in donations, which is the main thing,” said Ferguson. “The weather was perfect. The sun came out right around run time, and there was no snow or anything.”

Elizabeth Donnelly-Nelson, Merina Farrell and George Daniel were among those taking part in the annual Pete’s Pub St. Paddy’s Day Dash in Saint John, N.B. on Sunday, March 19.

Photo courtesy of Merina Farrell

All of the proceeds from the event go towards the Canadian Cancer Society. While Ferguson did not have the exact total, he said the presentation would be made to a society representative later this week.
It is always a great time and a favourite event for Merina Farrell, one of the day’s participants.
“It’s really great to be able to dress up with a bunch of like minded fun people, support a good cause, enjoy some fresh air on our wonderful Harbour Passage, get some exercise and have a good laugh doing it,” said Farrell. “One of the best parts is that I have Irish heritage and wear my shamrocks with pride.”
The participants ran and walked the route through the city’s Harbour Passage, many dressed for the occasion, and gathered at the pub afterwards for a bowl of chili and refreshments.
Farrell gave kudos to Alex Coffin for his efforts in organizing the event, and his generosity in providing prizes, and she also thanked Ferguson and the pub for opening its doors for the post-race “recovery” drinks and chili.
“The event is very low key, with the emphasis on fun and participation; my kind of race,” she said. “My friend and I are both injured so we walked the ‘dash’ and enjoyed every minute.”
A family event, the dash saw many children take part, as well as people of all ages and abilities.
The course is mostly flat with some rolling hills, according to Farrell, who said there is something magical and empowering about running along the harbour.
“To me it’s all about participating,” she said. “Do what feels good, whether it’s running, jogging, walking, shuffling, crawling… just get off the couch and enjoy the day. That’s what I love so much about the St. Paddy’s Day Dash is that it is truly a race for everyone.”