Race: Shamrock Virginia Beach Marathon – http://www.shamrockmarathon.com/

Runner: Emily M

Date: 3/20/2016

Results – 5:07

3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most

The race is well coordinated for starters.  They have plenty of water stations and porta potties along the way.  The goody bag is great!  You get a nice, big medal!  The shirt is one I’d actually wear, and they give you a hat and beach towel at the end.  The scenery is nice and I never got bored!  There are a lot of bands and radio stations playing along the way, and so many nice local people handing out cookies, beer, etc.

Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

The wind was horrible!!!  We ran into the wind 17 out of the 26.2 miles!  Luckily the rain stopped right before the race started and didn’t start up again until I was finished.

Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race

You had some pretty interesting outfits for St. Patty’s Day :). Otherwise, there wasn’t much weird about it.

Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular

I paced myself as best as I could and my first half was right on target.  Unfortunately, I stopped to go to the bathroom around mile 14 and my legs got stuff so I had a rough second half.  Since I’m a little slower, people were scattered and I couldn’t really get behind anyone to help block the wind.

Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Plan on wind and cooler weather.  I ran the half here a few years ago and it was windy then too because you are right on the water.  Also, it’s better to get a hotel on the main strip if you can because parking is not very good.

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course

Overall I’d say it was a pretty course.

Difficulty – is it a tough course

Other than the weather, it’s pretty much a flat course.  You run over a bridge twice within the first half but it wasn’t that bad.

Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Extremely well run and the after party is awesome!

Competition – is there a strong field?

I’m on the slower end so I’m not really sure but I’m guessing it is strong since it’s such a flat course.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Registration was easy…prices go up as the year goes on like most races. Get your hotel early because the good ones book fast!

Aid Stations

Plenty of aid stations

Weather and typical race conditions – Cool and windy, possible rain

Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

Be prepared for rain and wind

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

Not really.  The only time you come back to the same spot is between mile 11-13.1, so our friends saw us at the start, middle, and finish

Awards – Not really sure

The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it

If you are up for taking a risk on weather, I highly recommend this race!  They have an 8k on Saturday, plus a half and full on Sunday and you have the option to combine the races if you want to for more medals and shirts!