10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

The Hubs and I had a great time at the Shamrock Shuffle last weekend! This sweet 8K was 5 glorious miles (4.97 to be exact) through the heart of Chicago.

The Expo!

All the fun started on Friday at the Expo. Do you like what I got?! I couldn’t resist it because this year’s shirt was in my favorite color!

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

And I love the hat they gave us!

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!We looked around at all the vendors and I found some great deals. Especially a pair of my current running shoes at half the price!!!

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

I have about another hundred miles left on my shoes right now so these will probably stay in the box until May.

Shamrock Shuffle Race Day!

Race day was on Sunday which worked out good because we had a birthday party for someone special on Saturday! Yup, Lil David is now 3!!!

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

After carbing up with cake and cupcakes the night before, we woke up at 5am to hit the road. We were in the city, parked and meeting my running friends at the Palmer House by 7:15. We were definitely a large group thanks to my friend Judith. She arranged our meeting place and teams!

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

Once we visited the bathroom (twice!) we all headed to gear check to drop off a bag of clean, warm clothes. Then we off to our corrals. The Hubs and my friend Liz ended up in Corral B while I was in Corral C. We all had to go into our correct corrals so I met them at the back of B. We called the rope our wall and of course the friendly teasing started right away.

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

They kept telling the volunteers to not let me pass. At that moment I was determined to catch up to the Hubs!

The Race!

Being at the front of the corral is VERY DIFFERENT! It is really intense up there with all the front runners ready to take off with their hands on their watches. There was a long time between each corral release.  Because of the scheduled delays, the course was never really crowded. And I lost sight of the Hubs and Liz right away.

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

The miles seemed to fly. The weather was perfect and the city seemed to shine even on this cloudy day. We flew over bridges, past the Cadillac Theater and we turned right before the library with those great gargoyles on top. There’s plenty of support on this course and the volunteers cheered the whole time.

Because of the time it took to get released from my corral, I figure I wouldn’t catch up to the Hubs at all. Then I saw a bright orange shirt on Michigan Avenue. I recognized the stride and was so excited to see Duane right before Roosevelt. He was about 500 meters in front of me and I hoped to reach him before the top of the hill.

Well I didn’t….

And I ended up having to stop and walk half-way up. UGH–Roosevelt always gets me! But then to my surprise, Duane stopped to walk a bit. Here was my chance. I picked it up a notch, ran to him yelling, “Yeah, I caught up to you!”

We crossed the finished line and lived happily, ever after…

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

The morning ended with grabbing our medals, meeting our friends for a beer and then lunch at our favorite post-race restaurant, Miller’s Pub. By the way, you have got to try the Lemon Rice Soup at Millers. It’s delicious!!!

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips!

(Pin this for next year’s Shamrock Shuffle)
10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

1. Get there early! Roads start to close down before the race and it’s much easier to find parking when you get up before dawn.

2. Have everything ready the night before. Including your breakfast!

3. Try your shirt on at the Expo. You can trade it in if it doesn’t fit.

4. Don’t eat all the energy gels at the Expo. You will not sleep–ever again.

5. Use Gear Check! It can get cold and windy in the city and you want a dry, warm sweatshirt when you are done. And add a string-bag IN your gear check bag. That makes it easy to carry your dirty clothes and other items after the race. 

6. Have an easy to find meeting place. My run club uses the Palmer House since we park right down the street from it.

7. Write your bib number on your gear-check bag along with attaching the tag. That way if the tag falls off your number is on the actual bag.

8. Look up during the race. The city is amazing!

9. Visit the beer tent area. Companies give lots of free stuff there and the bands are really good!

10. Be sure to check out FlashFrame for race photos. I bought the download below for $7.99! That’s a great deal compared to the finish line picture above for $24.99. And if you do want a picture wait a bit before buying it. A lot of times they will run sales after the race.

10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

I’ll rank the Shamrock Shuffle as another great time in the city. Now, time to get ready for some local hill races and I’m definitely going to train for them!

So what’s your favorite city to run in?
Hills, yay or nay?

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2 Responses to 10 Great Shamrock Shuffle Tips with Race Recap!

  1. duane m says:

    Hills Yay

  2. Mary Jo, great blog! Thanks especially for the tip about the photos– much more affordable than the other site, I want to order a couple too! That’s such a great coincidence that YOUR racing shoe was on sale at the expo. I was at the beginning of my corral, too. (Representing H!) It is intense. And yes, that final ascent up Roosevelt WAS brutal! Can’t wait till your next blog. 🙂

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