We all know that last week's St. Patrick's Day festivities were the annual chance for everyone to be "Irish for a day," to gather in green and celebrate en masse. But as luck would have it, there exists a special place in the heart of Spokane where that spirit lives on every day of the week, where the beer is poured generously, and good friends join in riots of laughter over a biting Irish joke. You'll find it at O'Doherty's. Besides a good selection of beers on tap, live Celtic music on Tuesday nights, and a charming atmosphere (a perfect place to catch the next Zags game, if you ask me), O'Doherty's has something else that really sets it apart. Though it may seem strange to blend alcohol and athletics, O'Doherty's successfully celebrates the two in the form of "The Flying Irish," a running club boasting 1500 members and a weekly turnout upwards of 150 runners of all shapes, ages and speeds. Every Thursday at 6:00, they congregate to tackle a 3-mile run, with the Irish pub serving as the start and finish line. I'll admit, last Thursday was my first run with them (I'm roughly 12% Irish... I blend), as I wanted to witness the fun first-hand. The initiation is simple: You run six of their 3-mile outings and you are halfway to earning one of the coveted "Flying Irish" t-shirts, and the accompanying lifetime discount on burgers and beer at the pub. The other half? You better have the guts to climb proudly atop the bar and tell your best Irish joke for all the patrons to hear! They certainly make you work for it, but they also make you feel like family. Welcome to being Irish.

Check out their menu and more online: www.odohertyspub.com/
If you are interested in joining the Flying Irish clan, visit: http://www.flyingirish.org/