Four Years of Shamrockin’

With one of my favorite road races coming up this weekend, I thought it would be fun to look back at my last four years of running of the Yuengling Shamrock half marathon.

Throwback Thursday or Thinking Out Loud?

Either theme works I guess.

I’ve run the Shamrock half marathon four years in a row. This year will be fifth Shamrock and 29th (?) half marathon.Shamrock half marathon VA beach

2012: 1:33.30 (recap here)

At the time, this was also my half marathon PR.  It was my fourth half, and I ran it while on college Spring Break.  I don’t remember a lot about this race except my brother ran the race the year before in a time of 1:33.31.  Granted he didn’t train, and I did, but it was sibling rivalry at its best.  It was my fourth half marathon at the time, and I was running it after taking four months off of running for swim team.

2013: 1:25.14 (recap here)

2013 remains my fastest time on the course.  While it was windy, I surprised myself.  I trained hard through the Upstate NY winter.  I didn’t race much (because racing in -20 stinks).  At the time it was a half marathon PR, although it was short lived because I Pred again a month later at the Nike Women’s half).

This was my favorite year, not because I Pred but because I got to watch dad finish his full marathon as well.

This photos reminds me it was very cold and windy
This photo reminds me it was cold and windy

2014: 1:25.29 (recap here)

2014 was a letdown race.  After my course PR the year before, I expected to PR again.  Looking back, I should have known I was not ready to PR.  I wasn’t in the same physical shape, and I also had a lot going on that weekend.

We had a huge Oiselle meetup, and I didn’t eat my usual evening race food (Similar to last week when I ate Octopus.  I swear it doesn’t happen often).  I felt lethargic and run down during the race.  In fact, it’s one of the few goal races I failed my nutrition goals. I put socializing first but honestly I had a great time with the team.  Even though I didn’t run to my full potential that day it was still a great event.  I went to PR at the April Fools half marathon two weeks later.

But I did get this sweet photo...
But I did get this sweet photo…

2015: 1:33.04 (recap here)

Last year I raced injured.  To be honest, it was dumb and set my injury recovery back more.  I ran the half at roughly the same pace as the first half of the Phoenix full marathon.  I had more important things to worry about that weekend like my final touches on our wedding and hanging out with both sides of my family.shamrock 3

One of my closest friends Kris ran the half as a tempo.  She ran an entire mile with me, and it was the closest glimpse to elite running as I’ll get.  Not sure if there is a reality TV show called “Running with the Stars” but sign me up.  (Kris is running the full this year…so missed opportunity).

shamrock 2


2016: ?!

Will I run a 1:25?
Will I run a 1:33?
Will I break this strange pattern? 

Who knows…It’s been two months since my PR at the Carlsbad half.  I’ve been training consistently with no major set backs, and Shamrock is a faster course.

However, it’s forecasted to pour rain.  You can’t control the weather so we will see how it goes.  40 degrees and pouring rain aren’t ideal for racing or for my hair (hashtag knot city).  My goal is to have fun, race as hard as I can for the day and to see as many of my friends as possible.

Shamrock is one of my favorite races and a race I recommend to anyone.  The course is flat, and crowd supported, plus the after party can’t be beaten.  Logistics wise, it’s one of the biggest races I run that you can find a hotel close to the start (or finish).

It was fun to look back and see my racing the last few years there.  I can’t wait to make it 5 in a row.  I think Shamrock is the only race I’ve been able to run that long straight (knock on wood).

Questions for you:
What is your favorite race? (Let me know if you are running this year)
Do you have any St. Patricks Day Plans? 


  1. I ran this race in 2014 and loved it- great course & support, and so much fun with the town and hotels full of runners all weekend! I definitely hope to do it again in the future.

  2. I love Shamrock so much! I ran the half in 2013 and 2014 and PR’ed both times. It’s definitely a fast course! My husband and I volunteered last year and we handed out medals. I doubt you remember me but I said hi 🙂 Hope you have a great race and fingers crossed the rain holds off.

    1. Christine! I do remember you at the finish line…I’m not that delusional ;). Will you be there again this year?

  3. Love this and loved spending those races with you. I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be able to find out how you did until after my race on Sunday because I have a good feeling you will have an amazing day! Your momentum going into this half is rolling fast!!

  4. Ugh this suspense is killing me! I love seeing the ebbs and flows of your times because it’s really really encouraging to me. I’m not doing too hot in my speed right now and have some half marathons coming up. It probably won’t be my year of any PR’s but theres hope for next year!

  5. GOOD LUCK!! I’m positive you will PR regardless of weather. And, I would also love to be on the show “running with the stars!” 🙂

    1. I think it’s supposed to pour rain in the am. I agree, we gave up swimming a long time ago 😉

  6. That’s SO funny that you guys got almost exactly the same time! Well, you were faster. 🙂 You’re my run-spiration right now, you make me want to run more races and train harder! Good luck!

  7. Good luck this weekend! Looking forward to hearing about how it goes!

  8. I’m not going to make any race predictions for you because I think you are in amazing shape and are capable of amazing things. I know the weather looks sketchy and it is one of the many uncontrollable variables that can affect a race. However, I know based on how hard and smart you have been working that you are going to have an awesome race. GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN and ENJOY the whole weekend!!!

  9. Good luck this weekend! I can’t wait to see how it turns out for you. I’m not racing this weekend, but will be thinking of everyone running Shamrock. Maybe I can run it next year! Have fun!

  10. This race sounds awesome, good luck with the 2016 edition! I kind of wish we had a few more local spring Halfs around here but then again the weather in Calgary can go all minus stupid degrees and snow at any given time.

  11. It’s so cool that you run this race each year and can look like this. Ahh favorite race, I only have like 1 solid year of racing in me, but I loved the half marathon I ran in Chicago last year. I’m doing a different one this year but last year it was super organized, flat, on Lake Michigan, early April so like my favorite weather, and there was deep dish pizza and a free beer at the end:)

  12. Hope you break the “strange” pattern with a PR, or not. 🙂 Just hope you have a good, fast, fun race!

  13. Weather conditions look less than ideal here for the NYC Half this weekend. (Snow is in the forecast.) You’ve had a great training cycle, and I can’t wait to see how you do!

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