This year I ran in the Clover Dash 5K for my first time. My good friend and I signed up for the race, well maybe more for the after party, but the race was a great way to start the day! 😉 This race and Saint Patrick’s Day Party and Parade take place in beautiful Crosslake, Minnesota. This year we were blessed with PERFECT spring weather!
The race begins in the town square of Crosslake, right next to the Raftery’s Pizza. The race started at 9:00AM which was nice because it wasn’t too early. Packet pick up could be done the night before or the day of! It is not a huge race, so this was all nice and easy! Parking was also very easy, we were able to park so close that we could literally see the start line from our car. It was great.
After the National Anthem it was time to run. I started near the front and I was happy I did as I didn’t have to do much dodging around people at the start. I went into this 5K better trained than ever, so I was excited to see how I could do. I did however drink a lot of wine the previous night, ha! So, I wasn’t totally sure I would be able to give it my all! The good weather combined with a mostly flat course helped a lot, and I felt great the entire race. In my last mile there was a 7 or 8-year-old boy who was keeping my exact speed and wouldn’t let me pass him and it was super cute and motivating! He was one of my favorite parts of the race. While there weren’t many people cheering along the course there was a nice crowd at the finish line to make for a fun ending! They also offered excellent snacks, had a fun finisher picture area, and they had a system set up where you could type in your race number and see your results almost instantly after crossing the line. The race seemed well planned and organized and I look forward to doing it again next year! I am also happy to say all my training paid off and I was able to get a new 5K Personal Record – 25:39
After the race it’s time to party! Crosslake throws one of the best Saint Patty’s day party’s in the state, so it is a celebration to put on your bucket list. Since the race starts at 9:00, and the parade doesn’t start until 2:00PM, there is plenty of time for fun! We choose to walk from the start line to Zorbaz. We absolutely love this restaurant. All the locations are fun and they have great food! This was probably a quarter mile walk. We had four kids under 5 with us so having strollers and wagons was extremely helpful! When we got to Zorbaz it was already very busy, but the service was great, and we were served very quickly. We sat in the downstairs of the restaurant so that the kids could play the arcade games and it was an excellent choice. They had a great time and it allowed us to sit back, relax, and enjoy!
We left Zorbaz about an hour before the parade started and were lucky enough to find a small spot directly across the street from the resturant. We sat with a couple other families with small kids, so it was a perfect spot for our group. It was also nice being near Zorbaz to use the bathrooms, They have their indoor bathrooms and additionally had a lot set up in the parking lot. The location was perfect. While we waited for the parade to start we visited with new and old friends, the ladies sitting next to us painted our kids faces, and the kids enjoyed cotton candy. The adults enjoyed beer! HA! You can drink right on the street so everyone has coolers and such! It was great! The parade is AWESOME. They have everything, and it’s all fun! It’s also LONG, I am not certain but I think at least an hour and a half of parade fun! They throw out a ton of candy for the kids and adults can get a variety of new drink cozies. Our kids had a blast, and we had a blast! The amazing weather helped make it the perfect day! We already can’t wait for next year.
After the parade there is A LOT of traffic getting out of Crosslake, I recommend tailgating the parking lot, or stopping in some of the fun shops on your way out of town! Or stay and party some more! Your choice! =)
Overall, this was a great day and a great race! I can’t wait until next year! We already have plans and we will be bringing more friends for the fun! I’ve experienced a few great Saint Patty’s day party’s in Minnesota, but for me, this is where it is at! Where is your favorite place to celebrate the holiday? Also, where is your favorite Saint Patrick’s Day race? I’d love to know! Thanks for reading!
Much Love & Happy Spring,
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