HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – This is a huge weekend for thousands of people not only in western Massachusetts, but across New England. 22News was in Holyoke on Saturday for the annual St. Patrick’s Road Race and there was quite a turnout.
Saturday marked the 39th St. Patrick’s 10-K Road Race in Holyoke and event-goers say each year it just keeps getting bigger and better.
Taylor Abbott of Southampton told 22News, “You’re run into so many people that you may not see for a while and what not, it’s just a great time to be around great friends, and family and celebrate a great holiday.”
This year’s runners say although they’re in it to win, the idea of just making it past the finish line is a big accomplishment.
“I always try to pace myself because you can get caught up and you always end up pushing yourself harder than you think you’re going to when you see that finish line you just sprint to the finish,” said Tonya Rainka, a first time runner.
There were about 8,000 people running in Saturday’s race and among them were 22News’ own Ryan Walsh and Laura Hutchinson from the I-Team, and you’re weekend morning anchor Kate Walsh.
“The people along the way just motivate you, they’re cheering, they’re real excited for you, they push you along the way,” said Ryan Walsh.
“We weren’t sure if the weather was going to hold out for us today but the sun came out just in time. The crowd is always there for you. Crossing the line is like no other,” said Laura Hutchinson.
This year, a new record was broken when Askale Merachi from Ethiopia finished in first place for the women runners, and broke an all time record. Even if you weren’t a runner, there was still a lot of fun to go around.
“You’re run into so many people that you may not see for a while and what not, it’s just a great time to be around great friends, and family and celebrate a great holiday,” said Denise McLaughlin of Wilbraham.
A holiday that will continue on Sunday for the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade, the second largest in the country.