Nolan’s Pub is known as a spot for fun and games in the downtown Safety Harbor district, thanks to its trivia contests, giant Jenga and Connect Four matches and wheel of beer challenge.
But this St. Paddy’s Day, the Irish pub will be the home base for another type of friendly competition, one that involves getting off the bar stool and getting out into the streets of Safety Harbor.
The first annual Nolan’s 5K will take place on Sunday, March 17, with the proceeds going to the Fraternal Order of Police District 3, according to Nolan’s owner Craig Davide.
“We’re just hosting the race,” Davide said during 3rd Friday in January, where he had a registration tent set up outside the bar. “This whole thing is to benefit the Fraternal Order of Police.”
According to Karl Lounge, a St Pete police sergeant and president of the FOP’s Pinellas Lodge #43, the organization travels to Tallahassee every year to visit the memorial that honor officers who were killed in the line of duty.
The annual event, which is attended by officers from all over Florida, requires funding to get the officers up to the state capital, hence the fundraiser to help support the trip.
“Every year on the first Sunday of May, officers go to the state memorial in Tallahassee,” Lounge said. “We try to send as many as we can but funding is tough, so that’s what this race is for.”
To enter for the race, participants can come into the pub, located at 230 Main Street, and fill out a registration form, or register online at imathlete.com and search "Nolan’s."
The fee to enter is $30 to $35 the day of the race — and there are also sponsorship options that allow individuals or businesses to make contributions from $200 to $750.
“Every bit of the money we raise is going to the trip,” Lounge said.
While the race course isn’t set yet, it will begin and end at Nolan’s and encompass parts of Bayshore Boulevard, Philippe Parkway and other downtown streets.
The street in front of the pub will be closed off for two hours after the run to allow entrants a chance to cool down and enjoy a post-race pint or two, and the St. Paddy's party will continue in and around the pub well afterwards.
Davide, a former St. Petersburg police officer, and Lounge, Davide’s former boss, are hopeful the turnout will be terrific for the inaugural event.
“I’m hoping to get 300 to 400 people, but I think it may be more,” Davide said.
“This is a perfect spot for this race. It's beautiful here,” Lounge, a Safety Harbor resident, said. "We’re optimistic the turnout is going to be good.”
To register for the first annual Nolan's 5K, visit the website www.imathlete.com and search "Nolan's" or come into the Main Street pub. The entry fee is $30, $35 the day of the event.