On Saturday, March 17, the Brandon Running Association will host their 40th Annual Shamrock Classic at O’Brien’s Irish Pub on Kings and Lumsden. This family-friendly event is open to walkers and runners and will offer a 10k (6.2 miles), a 5k (3.1 miles), and a 1-mile fun run. There will be a post-race party including bagels, bananas, and beer. This race is a flat course, and St. Patty’s Day costumes are encouraged.

All proceeds from this event will benefit Ainsley’s Angels of Florida. Ainsley’s Angels is an organization that aims to build awareness about the special needs community by promoting awareness, providing education, and participating as active members in local communities. Last year, the group raised $3,500 for Ainsley’s Angels, and they hope to raise even more this year.

“This is our second year working with Ainsley’s Angels,” said long time Brandon Running Association member, Steve Swift. “We love that this organization gives back to children in need, and we enjoy having some members of the group join us at the race.”

The Brandon Running Association is a not-for-profit organization that has over 150 members. “Our members are all different speeds. We have people that run a sub-eight minute mile and some that run a 16 minute mile. We have a pace for everyone,” said Swift.

In addition to hosting the Shamrock Classic every March, the group also hosts the Brandon Half Marathon and 5K in December. All proceeds from this race benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The group also holds weekly group runs all throughout Brandon, from FITniche, JF Kicks, the Campo YMCA, the Brandon Parkway, and more. Memberships (not required to run with the group) are $10 a year and you can attend meetings on the fourth Monday of the month. Coaching services are also available to runners.

For information on Ainsley’s Angels, visit ainsleysangels.org. For information on the Brandon Running Association and to sign up for the Shamrock Classic, visit brandonrunning.com.

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