The Star-Herald

Sneakers & Shamrocks 4K to mark St. Patrick’s Day

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital and Northern Maine Community College will join forces to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a fun, healthy way by hosting a Sneakers & Shamrocks 4K on Sunday, March 17.

“We just wanted to do something fun and simple for the occasion,” said Jamie Guerrette, community health specialist at the hospital.  “When we started working on this idea, it was a natural fit to partner with the college. The area near the college is ideal for the event route. Students bring a lot of volunteer support, and the college has shown a commitment to community wellness.”

Eric Pelkey, an NMCC humanities instructor and advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, the college’s honor society, leads efforts on behalf of NMCC.

“We are proud to partner with Northern Light AR Gould Hospital for the Sneakers & Shamrocks 4K,” said Pelkey.  “This event offers students the opportunity to volunteer in our community and to promote a healthy lifestyle. We look forward to cheering on the participants and ensuring they have a fun, positive experience.”

In planning this event, Guerrette and Pelkey wanted to play off the idea of the four-leaf clover in honor of the day.  In keeping with that thought, the distance to run or walk will be 4K and the registration cost is $4. Small four leaf clover good luck “coins,” shamrock window-clings, stickers and St. Patrick’s Day pins will be available for all who take part, and those who cross the finish line will earn a pair of green shoelaces.

“We hope participants will also get into the spirit of the day and wear green for the race. The more creative the better,” said Guerrette. “A special award will be presented to the best dressed person.”

In addition to the tie-in to St. Patrick’s Day, promoting a healthy lifestyle and physical activity is an important goal for both organizations.  To help encourage this goal, each participant will receive a free one-day pass for the NMCC Smith Wellness Center.

Registration will begin at noon on March 17 in the lobby area of the Smith Wellness Center at NMCC.  The 4K run/walk begins at 1 p.m., starting and ending on campus. The course travels around the Presque Isle Industrial Park and is fairly flat.  

Although money will not be collected until official registration on March 17, participants are encouraged to pre-register online at so organizers will know how many people to expect.

For more information, contact Guerrette at 768-4008 or

Submitted by the Communications Office of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.

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