The Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile is the culmination of an ongoing running and walking program for elementary-aged children which promotes lifelong fitness and combats childhood obesity. Children participating in the Final Mile run at school and at home in the weeks preceding the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend to accumulate 25.2 total miles. They then run the “final mile” of their 26.2-mile marathon on race day, crossing the same finish line that will welcome the Shamrock marathoners the following day. Many children also raise money for the event’s title sponsor, Operation Smile, making it possible for children just like themselves to receive new smiles and to live happier and healthier lives. These young fundraisers learn at an early age the rewards of helping others.
All Final Milers receive a time for their one-mile run, but there are no awards given in an effort to keep the emphasis on fitness and fun, not competition. All finishers receive a unique, commemorative medal. School pride is evident throughout the event weekend, and the energy, spirit, and enthusiasm displayed by every Final Miler is inspirational–and contagious! Prizes are awarded to the school with the highest percentage of participants and to the school representatives voted the “Silliest Shamrock” by the students themselves.