Shamrock Half Marathon Race Recap – Catch Meb, or Blow up Trying

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Shamrock Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Image result for forrest gump waving gif

This is how I say “hi” today.

I’m back from a long weekend that involved not quite 2 hours of running, but involved over 7 hours of driving. Needless to say, I’m in need of a rest day. That was a lot of driving in a 24 hour period, but it’s not all the time that I get an opportunity to run a race that I’d heard SO many great things about. It helped even more that some friends of mine were going to be there and so graciously allowed me to crash on their extra hotel room bed (you’re the BEST, Clark and Abby).

I’d heard many great things about Shamrock and the legends are real. It’s really not just the race though, it’s the whole kitten kaboodle. There’s an 8k on Saturday, which I unfortunately could not attend and of course they have an after party for that. Sunday is for the half/full marathons, which both start at the same time and the same place. I like that.

Mentally or physically, I wasn’t very prepared for this race. That’s mainly because I didn’t plan to run it, but sometimes you only get one shot and you cannot miss your chance to blow, the opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yes, that’s a song). I hadn’t run more than 10 miles since December and I hadn’t run more than 2 miles in a row faster than 7:10.

Luckily, I got some surprise motivation. Little did I know that MEB was pacing the 1:35 group! Unfortunately, I put 1:40 for my estimated finish time and ended up in corral B. No problem, I thought. I’ll just make up the 2 minute head start that he’ll have a little at a time. Mile 1: 7:02. It felt surprisingly easy. I crunched the numbers and figured I’d catch Meb by mile 10 or so. My tummy had other plans though.

Those big dips on my pace chart are poops haha.

As you can see, there was a mini stop at mile 5 where I lost about a minute. That was poo poo stop #1 (or number 2, I guess…get it?). I figured that I still had a chance, so I got right back to work with a sub 7 mile. My tummy started giving me fits again and by mile 10 it was time for a real stop. Stupid tummy. It’s not your fault, lobster mac and cheese. It’s not your fault either, Smithwick’s Irish Ale.

I didn’t ever catch Meb, though I saw him doing video when I walked past him in the finish chute. I thought about touching him, but that would be weird, right? (haha)

Overall, I was REALLY happy with my effort. It wasn’t too shabby for an unplanned race. Shamrock is a pretty fast course overall. The weather was that perfect kind of cold. It’s nice and flat and finishes on the boardwalk, which kinda makes you wanna fly (hence my 6:24 pace at the end). The wind can be horrible or great, depending on the direction it blows.

Now let’s get to the best parts.

Part 1: The SWAG! I wasn’t able to attend the expo (a friend picked up my packet). She gave me my long sleeved shirt, which I was more than happy with. Little did I know that so many items awaited finishers. Upon finishing, I was handed my bottle opener of a medal, my hat, my blanket and my little bag to carry it all. Yuengling being a sponsor sure helps!

Look at all this stuff!

Part 2: The post-race festivities. There is a HUGE tent right on the beach with food and beer ready to go. They handed us various snacks at the finish (bananas, granola bars, a shamrock shaped cookie, etc.) and in the tent was beef stew. The beef stew was delicious but definitely didn’t cut it for a hungry guy like me. It’ll hold you over but you’ll want more, especially if you ran the marathon. You’re given 4 beer tickets with your race bib and they had a variety of Yuengling products to choose from (the Porter is my favorite, but sadly they didn’t have it). The live music is great and the atmosphere is good too. There’s plenty of room in the tent, so you never feel too crowded. It’s a great time!

The giant tent and the stage. Great music and plenty of Yuengling.
The party was very “constructive”.

Again, I’d recommend devoting an entire weekend to this event and not just the 24 hours that I gave. I couldn’t enjoy the party TOO much, so I hung out for as long as I could and then had pizza with Clark and Abby. I may or may not have eaten an entire pizza.

The other highlight of the race is that it was my first race ever for BibRave as a Bibrave Pro! I waited longer than most, since I tore my achilles shortly after joining up. I also “officially” met my first fellow BRP! Of course, we had to get a pic.

I squatted a bit to account for our height difference haha.

I’d like to make it back for this one again. I can’t promise you a PR, but I can promise you a great time.

26 Replies to “Shamrock Half Marathon Race Recap – Catch Meb, or Blow up Trying”

  1. I told ya it was awesome and I honestly think it could compete with Rehoboth with the right crowd! So glad you got the chance to run it. I hope to be there next year. Great race even with the…shitty conditions. Bahahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry about all the pooping, but that pace chart made me laugh! Still impressed with those splits even with the stops.
    Well now that you know firsthand why Shamrock is my favorite race, you have to come back next year, and for the whole weekend. You’re welcome to crash with us any time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great job! Having an upset stomach for a half marathon is one of my greatest fears especially since the ones I’ve ran thus far are smaller events and 2 of the 3 were rural courses so the number of porta potties was severely limited. Glad you got to enjoy lots of food and fun after though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BOOM! I finally had time to read it and I’m glad I did. How could I not read your first race post for BibRave? I’m so proud! You are so fast I’m jelly. I remember my friend trying to get a glimpse of Meb. That didn’t happen. I think he said he saw Meb’s hat or something and that was that. Sounds like you had a great time…sans tummy issues. It was totally the lobster mac and cheese. Also, you’re going to have to crouch a lot more for our photo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats, Ralph! That’s a great pace & what a fun race! Didn’t mean to rhyme, but it happens time to time. 100% gonna be on the lookout to do a race like this next year! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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