The Luck o' the Ir­ish!

Molly Maguire’s Pub helps raise money for Manna on Main Street

North Penn Life - - Front Page - By Michael Alan Gold­berg mgold­berg@jour­nalregis­

or Hat­boro na­tive Amy Shields, run­ning in the gru­el­ing Philadel­phia Marathon last year was noth­ing com­pared to the Her­culean task be­fore her March 17 in Lans­dale: Chug a pint of Guin­ness beer, run a mile, then chug an­other pint of Guin­ness be­fore be­ing DOORwHG WR FrRVV WhH finLVh line.

“I hate beer,” Shields said with a laugh as she warmed up and stretched her legs in the frigid af­ter­noon wind, “but I’m gonna give it a go — I’m in it to win it.”

It was for a good cause. Shields was one of about 20 run­ners tak­ing part in “The Guin­ness Gal­lop,” a sub­set of more than 200 run­ners who par­tic­i­pated in the third an­nual “Get Lucky” One Miler race along Main Street, spon­sored by Molly Maguire’s Pub and the Lans­dale Area Fundrais­ing So­ci­ety as part of this year’s St. Pa­trick’s Day fes­tiv­i­ties, with all pro­ceeds from reg­is­tra­tion fees des­tined for the Manna on Main Street food pantry.

Hours be­fore the 2 p.m. race, run­ners and rev­el­ers alike lined up out­side Molly Maguire’s — nearly all wear­ing green hats, wigs, beads and other St. Paddy’s-ap­pro­pri­ate garb — to grab break­fast and beer.

“It’s not St. Pa­trick’s Day, it’s St. Pa­trick’s week­end,” said Molly’s gen­eral man­ager Adam Snider, who laughed when asked how much beer the bar ex­pected to sell be­tween March 15 and clos­ing time in the wee morn­ing hours of March 18.

“A lot! We got 76 kegs. I can’t even guess how much beer we’re gonna go through. It’s in­sane.”

As the crowds both in­side Molly’s and on the street out­side swelled, po­lice blocked off a stretch of Wood Street from vHhLFuODr WrDI­fiF. Peo­ple young and old danced to tra­di­tional Ir­ish mu­sic em­a­nat­ing from a set of speak­ers, and Molly’s pro­vided more en­ter­tain­ment through­out the day and night in the form of bag­pipers, Ir­ish dancers and live rock bands.

“My dad’s an Epis­co­pal priest, so we really didn’t do too much ‘cel­e­brat­ing’ on St. Pa­trick’s Day,” laughed Snider, who is of Scots-Ir­ish de­scent. “But we al­ways did the corned beef and cab­bage and cel­e­brated our her­itage. So for me it’s a pretty cool day. I would have worn my kilt but at this point it’s about 3 inches too small.”

Stand­ing near the “Get Lucky” reg­is­tra­tion ta­ble in his run­ning garb and green socks with the word “Beer” em­bla­zoned on each, Lans­dale Bor­ough Coun­cil­man Steve Mala­gari said he had “been train­ing a lit­tle bit just to get in shape for this,” and em­pha­sized the char­i­ta­ble as­pect of the event.

“Manna is en­tirely sus­tained by do­na­tions, and with­out that money, the or­ga­ni­za­tion would not ex­ist to pro­vide a re­source for a pop­u­la­tion that needs it right now,” he said.

Ray Lib­erto, one of LAFS’ board mem­bers, who was in the hol­i­day spirit with a tow­er­ing Guin­ness hat, said that “it’s a good feel­ing to raise money and do good things for the lo­cal char­i­ties that some­times have a hard time rais­ing money them­selves.”

With “Get Lucky” reg­is­tra­tion fees rang­ing from $10 to $35, or­ga­niz­ers an­tic­i­pated bring­ing in a cou­ple thou­sand dol­lars for Manna.

As race time neared, Mayor Andy Szekely ar­rived in a lep­rechaun cos­tume that was a big hit, and he walked around shak­ing hands and pos­ing for pho­tos.

“Three years ago I was on a ski­ing trip with friends where ev­ery­one gets dressed uS Ln GLIIHrHnW RuW­fiWV IRr Iun, and a friend of mine came dressed in this and then he gave it to me,” Szekely said RI hLV RuW­fiW. “BuW , hDvH WR tell you that the hat came from the [Lans­dale] po­lice Chief [Robert McDyre].”

Though the mayor had run­ning shoes on, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the race wasn’t in the cards.

“I’ll be start­ing ev­ery­one off,” he said. Look­ing around at ev­ery­one par­ty­ing out­side Molly’s, Szekely added, “This is a great way to cel­e­brate St. Pa­trick’s Day with the com­mu­nity, and even though it’s chilly to­day it’s nice to see the fes­tive at­mos­phere.”

That at­mos­phere could be felt up and down Main Street. At the Water Gallery art co-op in­side Dresher Ar­cade, mu­si­cians played tra­di­tional Ir­ish folk tunes as peo­ple milled around look­ing at the art­work.

“We have a large con­tin­gent of mem­bers and friends who are Ir­ish and have helped give this place an iden­tity sur­round­ing Ir­ish art and mu­sic, so we’re con­tin­u­ing with what we know and giv­ing the pub­lic free en­ter­tain­ment that’s not baror­i­ented, so it’s fun for kids and fam­i­lies,” said gallery co-owner Aaron Wiener.

“We have a good re­la­tion­ship with Molly’s and we work with their sched­ule be­cause we want to­day to be very suc­cess­ful for them,” Wiener added. “We’re all in this to­gether to cre­ate a great com­mu­nity.”

At 2 p.m., though, all eyes were on the run­ners — from pre-teens to se­niors — as­sem­bled in the street in front of Molly’s get­ting finDO LnVWruFWLRnV EHIRrH WhH race. Lans­dale and Towa­mencin po­lice closed off Main Street from Broad Street to Val­ley Forge Road, and af­ter Szekely shouted “Go!” the run­ners were off on a mad mile-long dash to Val­ley Forge Road and back; Shields and the other Guin­ness Gal­lop­ers downed their pint be­fore tak­ing off.

Ex­actly four min­utes and 48 sec­onds later, 44-year-old Rob Sheely, of Lans­dale, sport­ing a green han­dle­bar PuVWDFhH, FrRVVHG WhH finLVh OLnH firVW.

“I felt pretty good, but I wasn’t ex­pect­ing to win,” said Sheely, try­ing to catch his breath af­ter­ward as his fam­ily proudly looked on. Sheely, who used to run while a stu­dent at North 3Hnn, VDLG, “7hLV LV WhH firVW mile I’ve done since high school, but I’m try­ing to get back into it.”

Mean­while, Shields — cheered on by her hus­band and twin 3-year-old sons — finLVhHG Ln D rHVSHFWDEOH nine min­utes. Of course, Gal­lop­ers’ times in­cluded not only the one-mile run but how long it took to drink the two pints of Guin­ness at the be­gin­ning and end of the race.

“It was so much fun!” she gushed. “But I still hate beer.”

At top, a rev­eler cel­e­brates St. Pa­trick’s Day in Lans­dale March 17.

Above, Lans­dale Mayor Andy Szekely poses with run­ners dur­ing St. Pa­trick’s Day fes­tiv­i­ties in Lans­dale.

Left, Lans­dale’s Rob Sheely cel­e­brates win­ning Molly Maguire’s “Get Lucky” One Miler race.

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