For the 19th year, St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated in Copenhagen in typically Irish wacky fashion with the running of the annual 3-Legged Charity Race.
Be warned: it isn’t easy. Bar-hopping becomes a hell of a lot harder when you’re tied to your partner and you have to co-ordinate your steps whilst downing half-pints of beer.
But for the thousands who have turned up to compete over the years, it is an experience they never forget.
Five-pub, 3km slog
The day starts relatively early, with registration at Kennedy’s Bar and the pre-race party in and outside Axelborg Bodega – two of the seven bars officially involved in the event – starting at 12:00.
After registration, the competitors can amble down to Axeltorv in central Copenhagen, where a tent is erected outside Axelborg Bodega to get the pairs tied together for the challenge ahead.
It’s time to get the lowdown on the 3km course ahead, on which they will stop off at four ‘pit stops’ – The Shamrock Inn, Pub & Sport, The Globe and Victoria Pub – drinking half a pint at each, before a grandstand finish along Strøget to the finish line at The Dubliner.
At each pub, as well as downing half a pint of Carlsberg, the pair must get their scorecard stamped as proof before hobbling on their merry way.
The rules are few and simple: participants must complete the race entirely on foot and all teams must wear something green.
The race promises to deliver some imaginative costumes, and of course there is a prize for the best-dressed team too!
All for a good cause
Participation costs a minimum donation of 150 kroner per team. Thanks to the main sponsor Guinness, the entire amount goes to the charities uncut.
According to the race organiser and co-founder Siobhan Kelleher-Peterson, the race has never looked back since becoming a fundraising event in 2007. Since then it has raised nearly half a million kroner for charity.
“2007 was a big turning point. We had built up a following by then, and charity was always the next step. It made a fun day even more fun,” she told CPH POST.
“And then there was our record year in 2012. It was the first time we had The Tent at Axeltorv, and we had over 600 racers and raised 60,000 kroner. The Tent was jam-packed with everyone singing and dancing. It was magical!”
Be early, wrap up warm!
Kelleher-Peterson advises participants to get to Kennedy’s Bar early to avoid the disappointment of being told there is no more room.
And it is strongly recommended that you wrap up warmly as well – particularly as low temperatures could potentially creep back to Copenhagen after a mild February. Nevertheless, at the time of going to press, DMI was forecasting 7 degrees on March 17.
“I always smile when I think of St Patrick’s Day 2008, when we woke to a blizzard. I thought it would be a disaster and no-one would turn up,” recalled Kelleher-Peterson.
“But when I arrived down at Kennedy’s for the registration I saw them coming – over 200 of them! It was so cold, but we had such a blast, and we raised 21,500 kroner for charity, so it was a really great day.”
Need to know
Sun March 17, registration from 12:00 at Kennedy’s Bar, Gammel Kongevej 23, Cph V, race starts at 14:00 at Axelborg Bodega, Axeltorv 1, Cph K; 150kr per team; paddysday.dk