Leprechaun Leap History
The Leprechaun Leap started when Tustin Chamber of Commerce Board Member Tracy Zimmerman, at the time the owner of Extreme Bootcamp, suggested at the Board of Directors annual retreat that the Tustin Chamber have a footrace as a fund raising event. This was in July of 2009. The City of Tustin had one Race at that time, the Dino Dash which raised funds for the Tustin Unified School District.
After several years of proposing the Race the Tustin Chamber settled on a St. Patrick’s Day event that would not interfere with the TUSD Dino Dash. Running the Race through the Tustin Marine Corp Helicopter Base Blimp Hangars was suggested and enthusiastically supported by the Chamber and the City of Tustin. The first few years however the City of Tustin had leased the Hangar out and it was not available for opening up for the Race. In the inaugural race of 2012 there were over 700 participants and the Race was run around the Hanger, starting and finishing at the District Shopping Center at the Tustin Legacy.
A character Logo was created to help market the Race and Terry O’Tustin was born.
2012 The first year weather was more Irish than Southern California, but we still had over 700 Runners!
Including the OC Sherriff’s Department
2013 The second year the Race grew and over 900 participants enjoyed the run around the Hangar.
The OC Sherriff’s Dept. participated for the first time and ran the race in cadence with the US Flag proudly displayed. More people showed up in St. Patrick’s Day Irish inspired costumes. Sponsorships grew and the more people were talking about what a fun race the Leprechaun Leap was. An Expo was held at the District and over 30 businesses participated.
2014 The third year of the Leap showed a little more growth and a little more participation from the City of Tustin.
But things really started to take off as the City finally allowed the Race to be Run through the Blimp Hangar! Yee Haw!
2015 Things really took off in the fourth year of the Race
By this time the race had grown to over 1200 participants. Costumes and Kids and Dogs and happiness prevailed! The Race had begun to take on a life of its own.
2016 the Leprechaun Leap was the biggest ever.
Over 1,600 entrants and volunteers made the Race a total success both financially and aesthetically.