2016 Shamrock Run 5k in Downtown Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

2016 Shamrock Run 5k in Downtown Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Savannah police are starting to block off intersections along the route of the annual Shamrock Run.

From Ellis Square to Forsyth Park, runners, joggers, and walkers of all ages will be participating in a 5K and kiddy run.

One of the race organizers tells WTOC they have more than 1,200 runners registered for the race, and it's a race that attracts serious runners to families just looking for a fun night with a little exercise.

The race will not only affect those participating in it, but anyone trying to drive around Downtown Savannah.

The race starts in Ellis Square, heads south down Jefferson, east on York, then south on Bull Street all the way to the south end of Forsyth Park, slowing down traffic with what are considered soft roadblocks for the duration of the race.

A representative with the March of Dimes, the organization that will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the registration fees, explains what those blocks will mean, and how long they're expected to affect traffic downtown.

"This is actually what is considered a soft close. So you won't ever be completely cut off from your driving. But I would certainly recommend that you avoid the pathway from Ellis Square down to Forsyth Park between 6:15 to 7 o'clock if that works for you,” said Tajana Cahoon, March of Dimes. 

In Chatham County, there's an almost 15 percent premature birth rate, so the money raised here from the registration fees will go toward local education and preventative programs, as well as research. About 1,200 runners have registered for the 5K, and one of those runners is a seasoned pro.

WTOC spoke to 13-year-old Mason Smith, who last year finished third in the 5K race.

Smith shared his goal for this year and what he thinks it will take to reach it.

"My big record that I'm trying to do is sub 17, so that is 16-50's, somewhere around there,” said Smith.

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