HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – More than six thousand men and women ran the 10 kilometer course Saturday afternoon during the 43rd annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race.

Many thousands more lined the parade route for what has grown into a major attraction during Holyoke’s St Patrick’s weekend.

Some of those running the course had signed on for the first time to experience the excitement.

“It’s my first time, Jan ran before 3,4 times. My goal is to finish it without dying”, Stacey Jarmudewski of South Hadley told 22News. “I think it’s fantastic. Again it’s my first time here, beautiful weather, it’s a lot of fun.”

22News spoke with a spectator, Jack Heaney from New Hampshire who said he came to support family. “My son lives in Northampton, his two sisters in law are running. I’ve known about Holyoke for a long time.”

From the near record turnout of more than sixty eight hundred runners, Apryl Sabadosa of Westfield finished first among the women.

John Busque of Manchester, Connecticut crossed the finish line first among the men.