This would typically be the weekend when thousands of runners make their way to the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts for the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race but for the second year in a row the global pandemic has forced a cancellation of the iconic race. This 10K course brings elite runners racing for cash prizes and casual once a year runners alike to the city with a rich Irish history for a road race that is truly one of the finest in the country. Spectators line the course, Irish music is a plenty, an unofficial beer stop in the final mile makes for some added merriment for those wishing to partake and the city really comes out and celebrates St. Patrick’s Day and makes for a really fun running atmosphere.
This year, the race directors pivoted and moved the race to a virtual 10K to keep people in the spirit as much as possible. Race registration came with one of the famous Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race shirts being mailed out to you so registering for the virtual race was a no-brainer.
I ran the virtual 10K around Bridgewater, Massachusetts this morning kicking off at 6:20. It was a cold start with temperatures in the 20’s but overall it was a pretty nice morning for a run. It certainly wasn’t the same as hearing the bagpipers on Homestead Avenue, racing down the hill on Cherry Street, making the final turn to head toward the old Holyoke Catholic High School or enjoying a pint at one of the Irish pubs near the finish lines but partaking in the virtual 10K was still a nice way to keep the legs moving and give me something to look forward to in 2022 when hopefully we are through the thick of the pandemic and races will be safe again.
I finished up the virtual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race with a time of 56:31, good for 9:07/miles.
Hope everyone else who is partaking in the Virtual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race had a good time and look forward to being back at the starting line in downtown Holyoke soon enough!