RICHMOND, Va. -- Every year the Church Hill Irish Festival kicks off in March with the Hill Topper 5K. But like many events this year, it will be different.
"This year’s race we’re gonna go fully virtual," Hill Topper organizer Dan Meehan said. "We’re gonna let racers go for three straight weekends because of kinda the race schedule, we follow the 10K. A lot of people kinda run that, [so] we want to stay on the weekend of the Irish Festival."
But this year’s Monument Avenue 10K is June 3-6 and the Church Hill Irish Festival is still on hold, so organizers wanted to give runners something to do in March.
"We run you through all the park. You go from over St. Patrick’s all the way down to Jefferson Park," Meehan said. "It's a beautiful view and then you end up a run through Church Hill. You end up on the backside of Chimborazo on a lovely set of stairs. We run you up on the backside of Chimborazo and then you end up through Libby Hill Park and then you finish up coming down 25th Street."
The finish line is at the Irish Festival, which is usually held the weekend following St. Patrick’s Day.
"This year, like everyone else, we’re just kinda waiting and you know seeing what happens in the world. And hopefully, we can, at some point, we can open up," Irish Festival organizer Stokes McCune said.
And any chance of not having the festival this year?
"Oh, we’re gonna have it, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in March," McCune said. "The Irish, we can celebrate any time of the year, so as soon as we get that big green light, we’re gonna have something."
The Hill Topper 5K will be over three weekend between March 13 and 28.