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Saint John pub hosts annual St. Paddy’s Day run

Proceeds go to Canadian Cancer Society

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Feb. 27, 2017

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Call it a Shamrock Shuffle or call it a St. Paddy’s Day Dash, but show up to Pete’s Pub here on Sunday, March 19.
The annual event will take place in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the Harbour City, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society, as it has for the past two decades.
“We’ve found the last few years that a lot of people wear green and dress up for St. Patrick’s Day, stuff like that,” explained Pete Ferguson, owner of the downtown establishment that puts on the event. “Afterward they come back here to the pub for some green beer and some chili. It’s done really well.”
The seed for the event was planted about 20 years ago when the pub, ahead of its time, decided to go non-smoking about two years before the New Brunswick government brought in legislation to make it mandatory.
Pete’s Pub was the first licenses premises in the province to go non-smoking, according to Ferguson, recalling with pride how the Canadian Cancer Society got behind him on that decision.
“The cancer society gave us a lot of support with that whole thing, with lots of publicity, and I just wanted to find some way to help them out,” he said.
What he came up with was a fun run, about four kilometres in distance, starting at the pub and winding through Harbour Passage, the city’s series of interconnected waterfront parks, recreation spaces and heritage sites.
The entry fee is only $5, although many participants give more because 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the cancer society. Everyone also gets a free prize from Moosehead, and a free bowl of Pete’s chili back at the pub.
He emphasized that the run is more about fun than performance.
“We got a little too serious for awhile and started timing it, first, second, third and all that, but we don’t do that anymore,” said Ferguson. “It’s just a fun run, with random prizes.”
That seems to be fine with the runners who come out and take part every year, usually running between 100-150. Last year’s event was packed with what Ferguson believed to be the biggest crowd yet, and he expects no less this year.
Registration can be done online here or on site on race day.