Although the registered number of racers is not even close to the actual number of people who participate in the annual AOH/Locker Room St. Pats Race, it still proves a healthy amount of runners and walkers flock to Anaconda to take part in one of the longest running races in Montana.
According the the official timing company RunSignUp, 680 registered runners completed Saturday’s race starting on Old Cable Road and finishing on Third Street behind the Locker Room Bar. A total of 617 racers participated in the 3-mile event with 63 braved the six-mile run starting near the Lime Quarry.
According to race director Jason McDonald, although the weather didn’t provide a spectacular day for spectators with a constant drizzle and very little sunshine, the runners found the conditions nearly perfect.
“I almost did a cartwheel at 6 a.m. because it was so nice, unfortunately the weather didn’t hold,” he said.
But through the years, weather has done little to deter the runners from attending this specific race.
“It’s a race for everyone, we encourage everyone to walk, run, hangout … it’s a good time for everybody,” McDonald said, pointing out he loves seeing how the race brings families together for nothing else than to take a walk through Anaconda with friends and loved ones.
Of course the race is a precursor of events kicking off the annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities sponsored by the Anaconda AOH and LAOH. McDonald was quick to point out this event allows the organization to give back to the community along with celebrating their heritage deeply rooted in Southwest Montana.
“Obviously between Butte and Anaconda, St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal,” he said. “This race has always been the kickoff and the kickoff for spring — outside of today. We do a lot of good things, we give back to several organizations in the community.”
The overall winners in the 3-mile run were Anaconda’s Ray Hunt (15:40.01) and Nicole Hunt (16:30.44), along with Jesse Zentz (31:06.59) of Helena and Rebecca Smith (39:46.76) of Butte in the 6-mile run.
In the 3-mile races Anaconda’s Trey Smollack, a freshman running cross country at Dickinson State, won the Male 14-19 event in . Anaconda’s Lisa Minnehan won the women’s 20-29 (17:07.65), Clint Choquette took home the men’s 20-29 run (17:07.99), Carl Schillhammer, an orthopedist at Community Hospital of Anaconda, won the men’s 30-39 (17:17.8), Butte’s Guy Wadas won the men’s 40-49 (17:25.23) run and Anaconda’s Bill Field, pushing his granddaughter in a walker, finished first in the men’s 60-69 in 19:46.27.
To find a complete list of registered runners and their times, click HERE
Here are some more random race photos from the finish line: