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.
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.
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 Time: 42:34 (8:34 min/mile pace)
Place: 4,060 / 20,003
Age Division (F, 25-29): 321 / 2,337
• 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!
• 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!