Whitehorse runner Donna Jones was on the prowl for leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day. She wasn’t in Ireland, she was on the Island of Hawaii.
Jones ran in the five-kilometre Leprechaun-A-Thon & Shamwalk on the Big Island in Hawaii on Sunday.
In addition to going for fast times, runners were encouraged to chase down three pacers dressed as leprechauns.
“They were adorable with red beards, top hats, short pants, green vests and rainbow socks,” said Jones in an email to the News. “The object of the run was to catch a leprechaun and take his gold. I managed to catch two of the three, so I was rewarded with chocolate gold coins. Everyone received a package of Lucky Charms as they ducked under the finishing line.”
Jones, who was the only Yukoner in the race, was the sixth female finisher and placed 28th overall with a time of 25 minutes, 6.8 seconds. She was also the top finisher in her age category.
“I felt good about my result as it is the first race of the season and I have done zero speed work,” said Jones. “I spend my winter in Whitehorse enjoying the trails with my granddog, Louie. I know I have some speed work to do and there is no better place in the world to do it!”
Jones won three gold medals and a silver at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, in October.
Competing in the women 55-59 age group, she captured gold in the 10-kilometre race, the 4×100 relay, and the five-kilometre race with a time of 24:16, about 50 seconds faster than her time on the Big Island.
Two of her times qualified her for this year’s Iowa Senior Olympic Games.
“I intend to run a few more races while here,” said Jones. “It is great training for the Iowa Senior Olympics that I will be attending in July.”
Jones also competed at the Canada 55+ Games last September in Sydney, Nova Scotia. At the Games Jones won more medals than any other Yukon athlete, bagging seven medals, including four gold, in the 55-and-over division.
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