SAUK RAPIDS -- Runners and non-runners alike celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a unique way this weekend.

Meet the Monster Athletics held their 8th annual Shamrock Shuffle at the Sauk Rapids Municipal Park on Saturday.

Central Minnesotans of all ages completed either the 5K or 10K course. Owner and race organizer Shane Keating says the event is open to all levels of runners and walkers.

We’ve got 50-year-old men and 16-year-old girls and everything in between. We’ve got folks of all ages, all shapes, and sizes. Some serious runners, some people coming out that are just walking and having a good time.

Keating says he was inspired to start the event by his Irish heritage and love of running.

We just feel like again being Irish, it’s important to celebrate that and give people a chance to come out and have fun. I think it’s also chance to, at this time of year, to sort of tell Mother Nature that we’re done with this winter thing and you’re not going to stop us anymore. We’re coming out and we’re running.

The races were followed by awards and a post-run party with food and drinks in the park.

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