This is the Us
Welcome to the Wild Rover Race Series! What better way to shake off those wintertime blues than with the vibrant emerald green of an Irish race series? Everything kicks off on February 26th at Maria's Family Restaurant, Frozen Shamrock 3-Mile run in Historic Haverhill, Mass. The next weekend, the series moves to the Claddagh Pub 4-Mile Classic in Lawrence on March 5th. The series concludes on March 12th in Dracut, MA for the Irish Clover 5-miler. Each city and each race will lend its own unique personality to the series.
It's as easy as 3-4-5!
Want to get ready for the upcoming spring racing season? If the answer is yes, then the Wild Rover Series is meant for you. The distance of each event increases by one mile on three consecutive weekends, adding to the challenge and increasing the fun. So, getting fit for the spring is as easy as 3-4-5!
It's happening in Haverhill!
Haverhill serves as the first stop on the Wild Rover Series. This diverse little city, nestled between the Merrimack River and Southern New Hampshire, is home to some of the giants of the sport. This is where the legendary Tony Sapienza ran, worked, and lived most of his life; this is where speedster, Dave Dunham of Mt. Washington fame lives; this is where race director extraordinaire, Dave LaBrode calls home.
Haverhill also plays host to many unique races such as its oldest, the Baldi River Run. When it comes to road racing, it is happening in Haverhill! It will also be happening on February 26th, with the annual Frozen Shamrock 3-Miler. After the race, the Zaffta brothers welcome everyone into their cozy Maria's Restaurant for a delightful after-race experience.
The Frozen Shamrock is being directed by Dave LaBrode of the Bobby Bell, the Wild Rover Series, and the Mill Cities Relay fame. Dave's co-director is Dave Camire, founder of Cool Running, the Mill Cities Relay, the Good Times Series, the Bay State Marathon, and Yankee Timing. Over the last 16 years, these two self-professed running geeks have established the Frozen Shamrock as a must-do classic.
So, mark your calendar for February 26th and make sure you're there for the kickoff event for the Wild Rover Race Series. LaBrode and Camire can't guarantee you'll run a fast time, but they promise you'll have a good time.
Lawrence Loves Runners
The City of Lawrence welcomes runners with open arms, and you'll find the same type of reception at the Claddagh Pub 4-Mile Classic. This race is in its 30th year and has grown steadily. The Claddagh is considered by many as the Merrimack Valley's coolest St. Patty's road race, and with good reason; just stick around for the after-race party and you'll find out.
Through the able directorship of Jay Karamourtopoulos (the Older) and Jay Karamourtopoulos (the Younger), the Claddagh race has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Barry Kara foundation (named in memory of Jay's brother Barry.) The foundation was set up to help disadvantaged youths of Greater Lawrence and with the support of the local running community and the Claddagh Pub, hundreds have been assisted.
The Claddagh Pub is also the finishing location for America's 2nd oldest running relay, the Mill Cities Relay, and it is host to the annual Vietnam Memorial each autumn.
Anyone who has ever run a previous Claddagh race can attest to the fantastic after-race party, with its terrific entertainment and delicious post-race feed courtesy of Claddagh Pub and owner Brian Farrell and his terrific staff. So, "make March 5th mattagh by running and partying at the Claddagh".
Dracut home to the Navy Yard
The series concludes on March 12th with the Irish Clover 5-Mile Road Race the Merrimack Valley's oldest yet newest Irish race. Dracut's favorite 5-mile race relocated from the Hynes Tavern to Owens and Ollie's. Although the name and location of the race changed, it was still a great continuation of a tradition that started in Lowell in 1980.
Dracut is a great town. You've got to love a place that has a Navy Yard yet is 35 miles from the seashore.
The Irish Clover is under the able directorship of Kim Kelly and Steve Gendron. This year's race is part of the New England Runner Pub Series, so you know it'll be a great after-race party. So, join Harry Gorman and his terrific Owen and Ollie's staff for a great day in delightful Dracut.
The Wild Rover Race Medal
Each race will award finishers with a medal. Collect a medal from all three events.
Each race will feature a unique design shirt featuring an Irish theme. T-shirts go to all entrants.
If you enjoy live entertainment, then this is the series for you. All three races will feature their own blend of Irish and traditional rock music. You may even find a bagpiper or two out on the course. All races will feature hot food so that no one goes home hungry or cold. Oh, and of course, you'll find a brew or two waiting for you at the finish.
Chip timing, emailed race results, aid stations, and accurately measured race courses are just some of the race course amenities you can expect to make your racing experience a special one.
Age Group Awards
Each event features ten-year age group awards. Please refer to each race's website for details.
Easy to get to
All three races are just minutes off of Rte.495 and Rte. 93. They are all just a short drive from Southern, NH, the Seacoast, and Metro Boston North.