Want to hit some Irish bars before St. Patrick's Day parties start?
Falls Road Running Store is sponsoring a self-guided St. Patrick's Day Pub Run on Saturday morning that covers a half-dozen city Irish bars. Participants get a map and a number and can run or walk to each of the six bars in any order. Slainte in Fells Point will have a small party for the runners.
The watering holes are Patrick's of Pratt Street (934 W. Pratt St., 410-244-5000), Maggie Moore's (21 N. Eutaw St., 410-837-2100), Mick O'Shea's (328 N. Charles St., 410-539-7504), Tir Na Nog (201 E. Pratt St., 410-483-8968), the James Joyce Pub (616 S. President St., 410-727-5107) and Slainte (1700 Thames St., 410-563-6600). Since most of the bars don't open before 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. Saturday, representatives from the race will be outside to validate runners' numbers.
While there are no large cash prizes, each runner gets a small gift certificate for each bar he or she visits. The fun is really getting to tour the city before it gets crazy later on, said Jim Adams, the running store's founder. The bars span a good section of the city, from Fells Point to West Baltimore to Mount Vernon.
"People that go to all of these places are going to get a little tour of the city," Adams said.
Adams estimates the shortest route that covers all six bars is a little less than six miles. The average will be about six or 6 1/4 miles. Just don't plug the addresses into a mapping Web site, because they'll give you driving -- not running -- directions, he said.
As of last week, Adams said about 100 people had pre-registered for the race. He was initially hoping for 100 to 200 but now thinks he might get more. It all depends on the weather.
"A lot of people will lie in bed and wait and see if it's raining or not," Adams said. "If it's a good day, we'll have a bunch of people. A lot of people just walk up that morning."
Though Slainte will host a party after the race, participants don't have to end there. They can start at Slainte and finish at James Joyce or anywhere else, if they want. Those who want to show some Irish pride can buy a kilt at the running store before setting off.
"This is all about having fun," Adams said.
It can also be a great excuse to justify a little partying later on, he said.
"I know some people are going to look at that as 'Hey, I just burned off some calories,'" Adams said. "'Now I need to go replenish them.'"
The St. Patrick's Day Pub Run starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Falls Road Running Store in Fells Point, 1622 Thames St. Runners can sign up the day of the race at 7:30 a.m. Registration is $10 in advance and $15 on race day. Kilts are $40. For more information, call 410-296-5050 or go to baltimorerunning.com.