Icy temperatures and cloudy skies helped the Frozen Shamrock 3-Mile Road Race, sponsored by J.P. McBride's in Lafayette Square, live up to its frigid name. Runners still came out in droves to take part in the largest race in Haverhill.
There were 780 entries and 685 finishers, a turnout higher than last year's race. Dave LaBrode, the race's technical adviser, said that if the weather had been nicer, there could have been well over 800 participants.
The top finisher was Jimmie Cochran of Sandown, N.H. with a winning time of 17 minutes and 9 seconds. The top female finisher, who placed fourth overall, was Kara Haas of Chelmsford with a time of 17:32.
Although it was impressive that she finished just 23 seconds behind the winner, her feat was even more amazing given she completed a marathon the week before.
The race, directed by Dave Camire, was the first in the Wild Rover Series of pub races. The Claddagh Pub 4-Miler on Sunday, March 1, in Lawrence and the Hynes Tavern 5-Miler on Sunday, March 8, in Lowell are also part of the series.
Despite the weather, spirits were still high and the luck of the Irish was in full swing. Some runners decked themselves out in the Emerald Isle's signature color.
"Because of the series, people really get into it," LaBrode said.
After the race, the Irish pride continued, with J.P. McBride's providing beer, beef stew, chili and a Celtic band for the after party. Irish music was also played at each mile marker.
The Haverhill High School Cross Country Team helped at the water stops and at the finish line.
LaBrode said the race couldn't have happened without the support of the community, including the Haverhill Police Department.
"They did an outstanding job with traffic control," he said.
For more information on the last two races of the series, visit http://www.goodtimesrun.com/wildrover/.