Race Report: 2013 Shamrock Shuffle 8K

I love the Shamrock Shuffle. I almost skipped it this year, for the sake of saving money, but this really is a great event. The expo is great, the course is great, and post-race is fun too. I’m glad I ended up doing it.

Kelly and I went to the expo together yesterday, meeting up with fellow blogger Eric at The Bean and heading to Navy Pier where we met up with my former co-worker Megan. (Who I didn’t photograph, I’m bad at this blogging thing sometimes.)

Sail boats are heading to the harbor Bloggers in The Bean

Kelly and I got delayed on our way to The Bean because the bridges were up to let sailboats head to the harbors … another sign of spring! PS – who has a sailboat and wants to be my Boat BFF?

This morning Kelly and I drove up together again and met up with our running club at the Hilton for indoor bathrooms.



Then I headed off to the start with the other Wave 1 folks. I checked my bag and got in the port-o-potty line but gave up before I got through the line (I really only had to blow my nose) because I didn’t want to have to scale a fence to get into my corral. Once in my corral, I found some friends:


Shamrock shuffle with @xaarlin in corral A

Local pal Nicole, fellow bloggers Maureen and Xaarlin. By the way, Nicole ran the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon yesterday.



I snagged this pic of the start from Nicole. 40,000 runners. I’m in the square.

Coach Vera reminded me that this isn’t my goal race, but it seems she arranged my training for this week so that this is my speed workout. And she told me I could run it at a pace that would be a PR for me – about 7:45. I decided to just run it by heart rate, and keep it around 10K rate to 5K rate near the end.

The race itself was pretty expected. I ran my pace. The sun was shining. There were lots of runners but it wasn’t over crowded. I saw a woman with a jogging stroller on the course – uhh, are those allowed?

Pete was spectating and got some video – here I am in action. Also I think I need to dub my gait “The Elaine” because I seem to run with my thumbs sticking up.


I finished in 39:10, which was a 25-second PR over last year and a average pace of 7:53. Pretty close to what I planned to do and what my coach was OK with. My heart rate was right around 10K zone.

After the finish, I ran into Nicole and Maureen again and hung out with them and some of their friends waiting for Kelly to finish. Because I finished and got through gear check, and she still hadn’t started the race. Excessive amount of waiting, yes, but that keeps the course manageable for runners. ThisΒ isΒ the largest 8K in the world.

post Shuffle beers

Past race’s mylar blankets make good post-race-beer-drinking blankets.

Post shuffle

Perfect day

Shamrock Shuffle

Eventually Kelly finished and found us.

Anyway, so my lesson learned today – you love the Shamrock Shuffle, don’t fight it, just register.

Do you have a super fun local race that you do every year? Also, do you ever drink Michelob Ultra when it’s not acquired via a ticket on a race bib?Β 

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36 Comments on “Race Report: 2013 Shamrock Shuffle 8K”

  1. awesome job today, Maggie! and a great PR over last year πŸ™‚ congratulations- and how cool that you ran into so many people. I love it when that happens at races and/or on the path!

    1. Thanks! Between my local running friends and bloggers, I don’t remember the last time I went to a race and didn’t see people I knew! It’s so fun!

  2. Congrats on the PR and I’m glad you got some decent screen shots from my video. Anyway, I think the last time I drank Michelob Ultra was at the Shamrock Shuffle two years ago. Here’s hoping they have a better beer (i.e. anything else) next year! Crazy about the jogging stroller woman! Was she a “bandit” perhaps?

    1. Maybe she was a bandit. I can’t imagine they’d let her in the corrals. Although I saw a guy with an F bib in the A corral, so who knows. Also, I hear that the Muddy Monk trail races have good beer. I’m thinking of checking out their race at the end of May.

      1. Muddy Monk is awesome. I’m doing Double Down on Saturday and Nearly Sane in August. I was thinking about doing ‘Merica too. I’m already overloaded on May races so those are out for me. I ran Chiller in Schiller last year and they served Half Acre.

  3. You guys really got a great day for it, didn’t you? I avoid the shuffle because I’m not overly excited about massive races like that. The year I did it, I spent the entire first mile scared people were going to run me over… lol

    Great PR!

    1. I feel like they really have the corral system down to prevent a lot of crowding on the course. I didn’t feel crowded at all, even though from mile 2 to the end I was being passed by A LOT of dudes.

  4. Congratulations on the PR. It was a great day and I am well sold on the race.
    I am also a thumbs up runner – I figure it’s just my body’s way of saying “thumbs up to running!”.

  5. Congrats on a great race! And thanks for waiting around for me to finish! I’m glad it was a nice day because it took forever to start! (And then it took me over an hour to complete the race.) I’d pick an Elaine gait over a Phoebe gait any day! πŸ˜‰

  6. Congrats on the PR and for sticking with your coaches plan. Your hard work will definitely pay off in that half marathon your training for.

    So wonderful to see you in the corral on Sunday! That lady with the stroller started in the corral. WTF how was she allowed to get there and run with it!?!?!

    MGD, bud light etx I never drink- except occasionally at the races where it’s free. I purposely avoid the large beer companies in favor of the smaller craft breweries πŸ™‚

  7. Way to kill it! It was definitely the perfect day for racing, despite that pesky wind cutting eastward on Jackson. How’d you like the last-minute detour through Trump Tower? Thank some guy threatening to jump off the State Street bridge for that.

  8. Nice recap, and congrats on the PR! It sounds like you were really in tune with your body and did an awesome job pacing yourself. This was my first shuffle but I’ll probably run it again next year–it’s a fun race, and I think it’s still worth the money even if you don’t get a finisher medal. πŸ™‚

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