Running of the Leprechauns – Nags Head, NC

Running of the Leprechauns is an 8K run sponsored by Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant in Nags Head, North Carolina.


Inaugurated in 2009, The 8K (“race for the Pot of Gold”) was launched to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Parade. The 8k is a point to point course including paved road and trails including HILLS!

Runners complete the course under the race arch in front of Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and celebrate in the Tavern at the Party of the Leprechauns with Irish Stew, Gaelic Soda Bread, sugar cookies, Kelly’s Signature Sweet Potato Biscuits and Guinness beer.

The event is the State’s Largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade Leprechaun 8k Race. The parade, which includes more than 1,500 participants and attracts some 10,000 spectators, features floats, live music, marching bands and other events such as the Taste of the Beach and a Shamrock Car Show.

NOTE: Other “Running of the Leprechauns” events are held by the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City in New Jersey (“the best and biggest St. Patty’s Pub Crawl this side of Dublin”); The City of Boston Running of the Leprechauns event which benefits the Children’s Hospitals; and The Philadelphia Leprechaun Run at the Navy Yard 4747 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA. All proceeds from the annual 5 mile run benefit the Philadelphia Special Olympics.

There is also the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon and Anthem Half Marathon and TowneBank Shamrock 8k that takes place at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on St. Patrick’s Day weekend; and The Irish Run in St. Paul, Minnesota which hosts a 5K run/walk (3.1 miles), 8K run (4.97 miles) and youth run (1/4 and ½ miles) on Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.

Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant
US 158 Bypass – MP 10.5
2316 S Croatan Hwy
Nags Head, NC 27959

Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant (Website)
Running of the Leprechauns (Article)
Running of the Leprechauns – Boston (Facebook)

Google Maps


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Thomasville, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Festivals and Parades

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