Shammrock shuffle back for sixth year

Senior Alicia Wuttke said she entered the Shamrock Shuffle last spring as part of the team “Lucky Charms,” which consisted of about eight girls.

The best part, she said, was the physical and mental aspect of the event.

“When I finished the Shuffle I felt like I had accomplished a goal,” she said. “I felt a huge adrenaline rush. I really had to push myself.”

Sunday, students and community members will have the opportunity to run, walk or even shuffle in the Shamrock Shuffle, a 5-kilometer fun run/walk sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Department of Recreation and Sports Facilities.

The shuffle begins at 10 a.m. at the American Legion Post 53, 634 Water St.

The proceeds from Sunday’s shuffle will be used to sponsor the National Youth Sports Program, which is geared towards economically disadvantaged families, said Vicki Funne Reed, Associate Director of University Recreation.

The NYSP is held on campus and facilitated by University Recreation, she said.

The free, four-week camp is designed for 10 to 16 year olds and includes free transportation for children who live in Altoona and Eau Claire, breakfast and lunch and numerous sport and fitness activities, Funne Reed said.

She added that the Shamrock Shuffle raised a record $3,300 for NYSP last year.

The Shamrock Shuffle started six years ago when the aerobic staff at University Recreation wanted to develop “a project that would give back to the community and promote fitness,” Funne Reed said.

When they decided to hold a run/walk close to St. Patrick’s Day they came up with the idea “Shamrock Shuffle,” she said.

The majority of people who enter the Shuffle are Eau Claire students, Funne Reed said, but there are also numerous members of the community that participate. So far, 440 people registered to participate in this year’s race.

Funne Reed said hot chocolate, hot cider and door prizes will be available at the Legion following the event.

“Everyone is a winner,” she said.

Wuttke said one of the best things about the event was being with all the other participants.

“It’s fun because everyone is doing the same thing,” she said, “and it’s for a good cause.”

Although team registration has already passed, individuals still can register in advance today for $12 or on the day of the event for $15 beginning at 9 a.m at the Legion.