26. March 2013 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 40: The McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day Run · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
Just before race time!

Just before race time!

A couple weeks ago we took part in another Florida Panhandle tradition: the McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K Prediction Run on March 9th.

This is a race that rewards not how fast you can run, but how close you finish to a time you predict at registration time. It happens to be considered the nation’s largest prediction run. It’s also a race that welcomes crazy costumes and serves Irish stew, beer and the restaurant’s signature drink, the Irish Wake, for 3 hours after the first person crosses the finish line.

Our whole family was registered to do the race, but Timmy was sick the week before, so his baseball coach offered to take him to the Navarre Baseball opening ceremonies and we were able to meet him in time for his game. Jacob was excited to take part in the run!

Some friends gave us a heads up: get as close to the starting point as possible so we didn’t have to wind through the crowds so badly, so that’s precisely what we did. Some friends joined us, saying that they could find us because they could see me in my orange shirt in a sea of green.

How did we do? Well, it turns out that Jacob took 2nd place in his age group for only being 7 seconds off of his prediction! He guessed 28:00, and came in at 28:07! Out of the 16,000 runners, he came in 251st place overall!

Dave had predicted 45:00 assuming he’d be running with Timmy, and I accidentally wore Timmy’s runner number and applied my time to his bib. So neither Dave nor I came in any significant place with our predicted times.

  • Jacob — 28:07
  • Patricia — 29:38
  • Dave — 30:02 <– he had to stop to go potty on the route

The afterparty is absolutely incredible, and we noticed hundreds of people who paid for running bibs but did NOT race, just to be part of the party afterwards.  I’d argue it’s quite a bargain.

If you have a sense of adventure and live on the Florida Panhandle, try out either of McGuire’s 5K races: the St. Patricks’ Day race in Pensacola, or the Halloween race in Destin, which includes a 10K.

Do I look ridiculous enough? This was TAME!

Do I look ridiculous enough? This was TAME!

We enjoyed the bagpipe corps marching through the starting crowd playing for us, and also the beautiful Star Spangled Banner sung by McGuire’s own Rich McDuff.

Our distance from the race start. Not bad at all.

Our distance from the race start. Not bad at all.


The bagpipe corp — okay, it was the back of the bagpipe corps, since these are the drummers, but I really was this close to the band, and is was AWESOME! I’m sorry I didn’t get an earlier picture.


I really love this picture of Dave. I thought it would make a good Facebook cover photo….


This was the view behind us! The crowd extended all the way back to the highway signs you see there.


After the race, Jacob was pretty upset with how crowded everything became. He and I hung out in this relatively quiet parking lot and seeing this girl and her dog put a big smile on his face.


“Pi Girl” also put a smile on Jacob’s face. I wrote about Pi Girl on GeekMom for Pi Day: http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2013/03/celebrating-pi-day-last-weekend/