Shamrock Half Marathon: Virginia Beach

 Last weekend I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. I have run the full marathon several times and the 8k once but never the half.

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I was originally just going to do the 8k because I haven't been training but my friend was running the half so I decided to run it with him.

Friday I had a spa day with a friend so I didn't pick up my race packet until Saturday afternoon. I timed that right because I didn't have to wait in any lines. My friend said it was super busy when he went Friday afternoon. I have to say the expo was pretty underwhelming. Maybe it's just me, because there is nothing I need anymore. Usually I like to keep it low key the night before a race, but my friend had tickets to a magic show and by the time we drove home and got to bed it was after 11pm. 

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5am wake up call came too early. The race didn't start until 7:30am so we left a little after 6am. My friend knew someone that lived fairly close to the starting line so we were able to park there. We got there way too early that there were not even any lines at the porta potties so we used them and then sat in a hotel to stay warm before dropping our bags off. After bag drop off, we decided to use the porta potties once again and this line was super long now. While we were waiting in line the singing of the National Anthem started. The line was moving pretty fast and by the time we got done we still were able to make it in the back of our corral. 

When we first started, it was pretty windy. But it was not raining nor sleeting like it was in years past. Prior to the race I asked my friend what time was he hoping to get and he said 1 hour 50 minutes. I thought that was pretty doable. The first mile we clocked in at 8:09 and was feeling good. The next mile we ran a 7:59. That's when I told my friend we need to slow down. He said I'm just staying at your pace. I thought ok well I need to slow down or I am going to crash half way. We finally settled in at a decent pace we were both comfortable with.  Even though the wind continued to blow the sun was finally coming out so it wasn't too bad. The course was pretty flat and we ran about 4 miles in Fort Story which is their military base. 

By the time we exited the base I was so over this race. We still had another 4 miles to go. I will say the spectators during the race were pretty good and that helped.  There were mile markers at every one and it seemed to take forever to reach them now. Finally we reach the last mile and that was the split part when the full marathoners went straight and the half marathoners made the turn to go on the boardwalk to finish. At this point I was so happy that I didn't sign up for the full. I felt bad for those runners. I picked it up the last stretch like I always do and finished strong at 1:47 which I was happy with, considering I wasn't really training for this race. 

After crossing the finish line we got plenty of swag. Another thing that the J&A Race series does well. We received a drawstring bag, a hat, and a beach towel. Along with a ton of snacks. We were so happy to have packed our coats in our bags because it was still pretty windy out. Luckily the after party was inside a tent. 

We got one food ticket for beef stew from a local restaurant that always caters. In addition, to 4 beer tickets for Yuengling since that is the sponsor of the race. Needless to say I did not use all these so other runners were happy to take them off my hands. This year the band that played was from Nashville. After listening to a few songs we were ready to leave. 

We got a duck donut on the way to the car.  After a shower and a nap that afternoon, we celebrated our evening with a delicious dinner at the Melting  Pot.

Have you ever participated in the Shamrock Marathon Weekend? If not, what is your race of choice during this time of year?  -L

We are linking this post up with our friends from Runners' Roundup


  1. OMG that Duck Donut! Congratulations! I miss the days when I could run a 1:47 on little training. :-)

  2. Well done, Lacey! That is a very decent half-marathon time!
    Did your friend stay with you as he promised or did he take off?
    This sounds like a well organised race. I love getting a lot of swag... it feels like a nice reward.

  3. Congratulations! I have run one race in Virginia Beach and it was a pretty cool experience. This time of year, we have a 5k/10k in a historic cemetery that is always a good time. No beer, though.

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