hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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February 29, 2012

Editorial: Frozen Shamrock race a welcome showcase for city

Maybe Mayor Fiorentini should have hired the organizers of Sunday's Frozen Shamrock 3-mile road race to implement his downtown parking plan.

After all, they did a bang-up job bringing people downtown, getting them into the parking garage before the race and into downtown pubs and eateries after — just what the mayor wants to happen under his parking plan.

Race organizers said a record 900-plus runners completed the course down Washington Street, across the river to Bradford and back.

Hundreds more turned out to watch, so many that police had to deploy barricades along the route.

The race was the first leg of a three-race series that continues on Sunday and the following Sunday in Lawrence in honor of St. Patrick and the region's Irish heritage. Many runners wore green; a few ran in leprechaun garb.

The race was sponsored by Archie's Little River Ale House, which was packed afterward with racers and spectators, as were other downtown establishments.

In all seriousness, the race — now in its fifth year and still growing — is a welcome showcase for the progress the city has made, attracting out-of-towners as well as locals. First-place finishers were from Manchester, N.H., and Newbury.

For that, the mayor and city deserve some credit.

"I can't say enough about the city and what they did for us," said Dave Labrode. one of the race organizers. "It was very well run by everyone involved."

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