Leprechaun Run returns to Pacific Beach on March 12

Participants in a previous Pacific Beach Leprechaun Run.

Join the sea of green that will be running along Cass Street and Garnet Avenue during the morning of Saturday, March 12 as part of the fourth annual Leprechaun Run in Pacific Beach.

While there is no pot of gold at the finish line, there will be medals with an image of one for participants.

Similar to Pacific Beach’s annual Santa Run, but on a smaller scale, the St. Patrick’s Day-themed event is not only an opportunity to have fun and get some exercise, but raise money for projects benefiting the PB community, according to organizer Eric Marenburg.

The 5K will start at 9 a.m., followed by the Kids 1K at 10:15 a.m. The route includes Garnet Avenue between Bayard and Ingraham streets and Cass Street between Garnet Avenue and Turquoise Street.

He said there is no dog run — as happens in December — but there is a 5K for runners plus a 1K Kids Run so younger community members can join in the fun. Based on previous years, he said at least 1,500 runners are expected.

A sea of green attire, including tutus, is a highlight of Pacific Beach's annual Leprechaun Run.

This number of runners is similar to the Pacific Beach Half Marathon and 5K planned for Oct. 1. In contrast, the Santa Run draws around 4,000 participants. This year’s Santa Run is scheduled for Dec. 10.

“The Santa Run is by far the most popular ... but the allure for Leprechaun Run is similar to Santa Run because it is so much fun,” Marenburg said. “It is a day out with friends and family. Bring the kids ... everybody is dressed up. It is an entertaining, silly day. That’s why it is so popular.”

Also returning is the Run PB Challenge — an opportunity to receive a second, much larger medal in December for those who in 2022 participate in all three events.

“For those who run all three, when they finish the Santa Run there is an extra challenge medal at the event,” Marenburg said. “It is a big medal, fun and silly, but people love their challenge medal.”

He said those who decide to register for all three races now will receive a $5 discount on their entry fees.

But even if people don’t want to commit to the later races just yet, they will have an opportunity to change their minds and still enter the Run PB Challenge this fall before the second race is held.

Children in a previous Kids 1K Run, which is part of Pacific Beach's annual Leprechaun Run.

As for those who might be in need of some green attire, race organizers have them covered.

The 5K race’s entry fee includes a Leprechaun Run T-shirt, finisher’s medal, custom bib, complementary drink ticket to Mavericks Beach Club (for those over 21), chip timing and access to free race day photos. It costs $50 to enter if registered by March 11 and $55 on race day.

The Kids Run fee includes sunglasses and a finisher medal. It is $30 for those who register by March 11 and $35 on race day.

The registration website is

Those who want to add extra pizzazz to their attire can order through the website striped green and white socks for $10; green, white and orange wristbands for $5, a green top hat for $5 and a green satin bow tie for $5.

Marenburg said many runners also like to wear other items, such as green tutus.

This is the first Leprechaun Run held since 2019. Marenburg said the 2020 event was literally canceled right before it was held due to the COVID-19 shut-downs. Those registered were given the option to participate in a virtual run and given their medals.

“Canceling was hard,” he said, adding that while most registrants were understanding about the situation, some were understandably upset. That is why no efforts were made to hold a 2021 event since an in-person run was not feasible.

The races are organized by PB-based San Diego Running Co. Marenburg is its chief running officer and co-founder. He is also the president of Discover Pacific Beach, the community’s business improvement district, which according to Marenburg utilizes proceeds from the races for beautification projects to revitalize PB.