Runners dressed in green tutus, tights and hats braved a Saturday morning snowfall to take part in the seventh annual Mt. Bachelor Rotary Club St. Patrick’s Day Dash.

The festive participants warmed up around fire pits and listened to bagpipe players before beginning the 5K run along the Deschutes River in Bend’s Old Mill District. A light snow was falling on the group.

“This is actually really nice weather compared to the last couple of years when it was rainy and windy,” said Bend resident Leslie Seaton, wearing a green beanie, tie dye wig and tutu.

Seaton, customer service manager at Robberson Ford, runs in the 5K each year with a large group of co-workers and family members all dressed in green outfits.

“I come every year,” she said. “I haven’t missed one yet.”

St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of Seaton’s favorite holidays. As an adopted child, Seaton never had any proof she was Irish, but in her heart, she thought she was. She always celebrated the holiday and was even engaged on St. Patrick’s Day. Years later, a DNA test provided proof of her heritage.

“I did the test, and I just found out this last year I’m 3 percent Irish,” Seaton said.

That’s more than most who celebrate the Irish holiday.

Seaton’s 16-year-old daughter, Rileigh Seaton, has joined in each year at the St. Patrick’s Day dash.

Rileigh ran Saturday with a flag of Ireland draped around her. She, too, enjoys the holiday as much as her mother.

“I like the festivities,” she said. “It’s always so fun to go all out and dress up.”

Her friend, Gabe Fischer, 16, joined the family and the Robberson Ford employees. Gabe said he looks forward to St. Patrick’s Day each year.

“Everybody is in just a lot better mood, and there’s way too much food and way too much fun,” Gabe said. “What’s not to like?”

Bend residents Tom and Terri Pitts entered the 5K dash for the first time Saturday with their four young children.

“It’s our first family race,” said Terri Pitts, who wore green tights and green plastic glasses. “We will be running with a backpack and strollers.”

Following the family outing, the Pitts family planned to warm up at home and share a hearty St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

“We will hang out at home after we leave here,” Terri Pitts said. “Make a stew and stay inside.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7820, kspurr@bendbulletin.com

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