2017 Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K Recap

The Shamrock Shuffle was held on Sunday, April 2nd in the heart of Chicago. I last ran this race in 2012, less than one year after first starting running, and finished it in 47:28 minutes (9:33 min/mile pace). I had high hopes of making this my speediest 8K to date, but my body and I weren’t really on the same page. Oh well, it was still fun though!

I stopped by the expo a few days prior to race day but didn’t stay long. It was decently sized though and looked to have some interesting booths to explore.

I gotta say, it’s so nice to live within walking distance of Grant Park. I woke up around 6AM, ate some toast + PB + banana with coffee, got dressed in all black (totally on theme with the green right? oops) and ran over to Grant Park. I had 6 miles scheduled for my half marathon training, so I covered 1 mile to Grant Park and barely made it in time for the Wave 1 start.

I kind of wish I waited for Wave 2 instead because I ended up entering the Wave 1 corral with only 2 minutes to spare (no joke) and didn’t have a chance to go to the bathroom beforehand. Running with a full bladder sucks! I was greeted with a sea of green as we waited to start. It took me almost 20 minutes to cross the start line. Luckily, the weather was perfect – 50’s with overcast skies.

Miles 1-3
I really should start training myself to become a morning runner again because it took forever for me to feel awake. I was just not feeling it at all the first few miles and decided early on that I wasn’t going to actually “race” this race. My Garmin lost reception and remained wonky the entire race, so I never actually knew my pace. Anything under a 9 minute mile (based on my Garmin) felt challenging, so I eased up and ran by feel.

Miles 4-5
I finally started feeling better around the 3.5 / 4 mile mark, which is generally how long it takes my body to actually warm up these days. At this point I started speeding up and pushing myself into the challenge zone. I felt pretty strong throughout the race but really hit my stride near the end (sadly). The last 0.5 miles featured a slight uphill climb which made me cringe but didn’t cause much torment. I sprinted at the end and crossed the finish line in 42:34 minutes, and only then did I remember that my 5 mile PR was 42:35. Now, an 8K is a tiny bit short of 5 miles, so I’m hesitant to call this a new PR, but whatever. That 1 second though…ugh!

Final Time42:34 (8:34 min/mile pace)
Place: 4,060 / 20,003
Age Division (F, 25-29): 321 / 2,337

Pros:
• Race course – Nothing beats running down the wide streets of downtown Chicago! Although it sucked to lose Garmin satellite reception almost immediately…
• Water stops –  It was nice to have multiple water stops despite the short distance
• Swag bag – I love the material and the emerald green color of the tech tee, and the green hat is adorable (although I don’t think I’ll ever wear it)
• Medals – I’m not sure when they started giving out medals for this race (they didn’t when I ran it in 2012) but I’m always thrilled to receive more race bling!

Cons:
• Cost – I paid $50 for the race, which is pretty steep considering the distance
• Race photos – Perhaps others did not have this problem, but there were no photos identified of me. Annoying, although I’m sure I would’ve looked horrific in them as usual.

Overall, I think this is a great race to start one’s spring running season. I may just run it again if I’m still in Chicago this time next year!

♥ Irina

3 Comments

  1. April 12, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    I believe they started giving out medals in 2015. I’d have to check my race recaps to be sure, but I’m almost positive it started three races ago. I’m glad you had a good run, though! You did still PR your 8K, yes? I mean, yeah, there isn’t much of a difference between an 8K and a 5 miler, but there is *a* difference, so if your previous 8K PR was a 47:28, I’d definitely say you PRed at Shamrock! And I totally agree about the hat: it’s so cute, but I’d be surprised if I ever wore it haha.

    • April 19, 2017 / 1:49 pm

      Yes I guess I technically did PR so I’m counting it! The medals are a nice touch in addition to all the other things they give, so now that I think about it the entry price isn’t that steep I guess. I’m still shocked at how much the race pool shrunk in the past few years though!

  2. April 20, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    The hat and shirt are both cute! Great pace too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *