Shamrock Shuffle Race Recap

I signed up for this race weeks ago because it’s a nice local race and my running friend Laurie and I always do it together.  I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I had run a half marathon the weekend before and that I would working in NYC for three days before, as well.

If you’ve read my recap for the Brew 2 Brew Half Marathon, you know that my legs were not tired from the race. And although I am glad that instead of racing it, I ran with a newbie runner for the whole race,  I secretly wondered if my legs still had any speed in them.

I decided that this race would be a good opportunity to test them out.

This was my fourth time running this five mile race.

Now that I’ve run the race three times, I would be at least prepared on how the course went uphill for the first mile, some rolling hills before it went downhill and then flattened out  See below:


Last year, I had a course PR.  Of course, I forget to look before the race to see what that time actually was. I also knew that it was not a 5 mile PR.  That was done at the Delmar Dash and I also did not remember my time for that  race either.

I was hoping that the weather would be a little more spring-like and I could wear a green skirt. But it was not. It was cold.  I actually woke up to a new new light layer of snow (Winter… enough already!!)  So I just wore capris with compression sleeves, several layers on top, a beanie and gloves.

The race was about an hour drive from my house.  But it had a late start of 11 am so I was able to sleep in. When I arrived, the parking lot was already full, but I found a spot on a nearby street and went into the gym to get my bib and race shirt.

another COTTON shirt for my buddy

I chatted with some runners that I recognized including Sue who I’m running the Brooklyn Half with.  I also met some new faces.

Then I found Laurie who I had planned to meet at the race.

We talked for a while being entertained by bag pipes. She introduced me to her friend Marilyn.

With such a late start (11 am), I was already hungry for lunch by the time the race began but I forgot to bring a GU. Oh well.

Soon it was time to head to the start. We waited until the last minute so we didn’t have to stand outside long in the cold.

By the time the race had started, the sun had come out.  Looking at how everyone else was dressed, I wished that I had removed one of my three shirts.

There were over 300 runners for this race (about 200 more than my most recent half marathon LOL). Since I knew that the race was not chip timed, I should have lined up closer to the front. But I was chatting with Laurie and her friend Marilyn and then all of a sudden, the race started.

As I mentioned, the beginning of the race went uphill. I took it slow. But I refused to walk and tried to keep an even pace. At first, I tried to keep up with Laurie’s friend Marilyn but she was too fast and I eventually lost her.


over the highway bridge (2015’s pic)

Although it was around 30 degrees, with the sun and when the wind was at our backs, I was sweating. I took off my gloves and unzipped my shirt.

After going over the bridge, about 1 1/2 in, we turned into the neighborhoods to some rolling hills. I could still see Marilyn way ahead. But there was no way I could catch up to her.


2015’s pic

There was a water stop around mile 1.75, I usually stop but not today.  I was going to push it and try and run the WHOLE race.

Finally mile 3 arrived and that was the downhill portion of the course. I knew here that I could pick up the pace.

The second water stop was around mile 4. I was so tempted to walk a bit.  I did not but probably should have since I knew that my pace was now slowing. (Walking always gives the boost I need to finish strong.)

But I just plugged along and refused to walk until I was done.

Then all of a sudden, I saw Marilyn ahead.  She had obviously slowed down. In fact, I eventually passed her during the last mile. (She was not mad I guess since she sent me a friend request on FB after the race.)

Finally, I saw the finish line and gave it everything I had.

I crossed at 45:42. I was happily surprised.  I was not expecting anything under 46 minutes.

I waited around for Sue to cross.

Here comes Sue

I wasn’t sure where Laurie was and if I had missed her.  I was sweaty and getting very chilled so I went inside.

The refreshments in the cafeteria were not much to speak of. I had a brownie, a cookie and a banana.  Soon Laurie came in. She had not been running regularly and really struggled to finish the race.

We then waited in the gym for the results to be posted. In previous years, I have won an award. – always 3rd. I wasn’t sure if  I would win again but you never know when you’re in the old ladies group. But I did!! First, this year!!!

Instead of a medal this year , you got a pint glass in addition to usual loaf of Irish soda bread.

the bread was yummy and glass is also a welcome prize


mile 1- 9:05
mile 2- 9:07
mile 3- 8:48 (downhill – yay!)
mile 4- 9:02
mile 5- 9:21 (tired legs)

45:25 according to my Garmin.

So my current Five Mile PR is 45:26 from 2015.  So too bad that I didn’t stand close to the start line and too bad that this race wasn’t chip-timed.

Nevertheless, I am happy with how I ran the race.  I didn’t walk (which is rare for me.)  I do not do ANY speed work. (I know…maybe I could be even faster…)

My finish time last year was 46:10. Yup, a course PR (by 28 sec.)!! Woo! Hoo!

This old lady’s legs are not dead yet!!

I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Any running or racing?


25 thoughts on “Shamrock Shuffle Race Recap

  1. Yay for a speedy time! The bagpipes were a nice addition to the race! I am surprised that they gave out age group awards since it wasn’t chip timed. When I read about a race not being chip timed I assume that no one is keeping track..haha. congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Good job 😉 I know what it’s like to be so tempted to walk, even just a few steps through a water station. I really have a tough time NOT stopping because (like you mentioned) I also get a bit of a recharge from doing so and I don’t think it affects my overall finish time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. amazing how you can still crank it out even when your legs are tired! I love the glass and soda bread instead of a medal! enough medals, give me something fun 🙂 (ok not for everything!!). Congrats on FIRST!!!

    i had a pretty hard long run this past weekend. my training pushed me to keep a pace that I normally don’t do the long run at for 15km. I did a half marathon distance and was then toast!!! getting closer to the marathon so I have to keep increasing the mileage.


  4. First place finish, wow! I love that you get Irish soda bread as part of your award. Your green outfit is so cute, glasses incuded, how perfect for the Shamrock Run. Side note: is it actually possible to be “entertained by bagpipes?”

    Liked by 1 person

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