Somerville’s Ras na hEireann, the most genuine Irish Race

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Photos by Rosalee Zammuto

Ras na hEireann is the most genuine Irish race this side of the Atlantic. It is a celebration of traditions dating back centuries – & simply a celebration of spring in Somerville, Massachusetts.

This past Sunday in Somerville, all runners & walkers, were celebrating life, the coming of spring, & enjoyed a memorable race & St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

This race was born in Ireland & named in honor of its famous sister race, the Ras na hEireann International Cross Country held in Termonfechin, County Louth, Republic of Ireland. The Ras na hEireann U.S.A. 5Km is open to all, from beginners to international stars.
The race in Somerville started at 11:00 a.m., beginning & ending in Davis Square. There were loads of Craic – a celebration & appreciation of heritage & history, the magic & mystery that move everyone to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on the Run – the Ras na hEireann U.S.A. 5Km.

This race is a gem, an Emerald to be sure,& has become a local spring tradition over the last eight years. What a way to kick off the new 2015 racing season & celebrate the coming of spring. This Ras (race)& Craic (party) was indeed a celebration for everyone.

It was competitive too. The Women’s Course Record was set in 2010 by Molly Huddle, of Providence, Rhode Island, with a time of 15:59. The Men’s Course Record was set in 2006 by Irishman Mark Kenneally of Dublin, Ireland, who ran a speedy 14:19. For many participants, however, it will be an outing to jog or walk just to join in the fun.

No, you didn’t have to be Irish to run this race! Somerville, Massachusetts, is was a city of great diversity, & it was diverse long before it all began to hear the term. And it is a city that celebrates life. From March 13th through 17th there was a strong touch of Ireland in Somerville–invention, passion, heritage, culture, customs, & beliefs. It was a green weekend through & through, as Irish as lace, potatoes, shamrocks, & Guinness. Brilliant! Enjoyed by many, it was a touch of the Emerald Isle in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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