Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle 2015


Today I ran my 4th Shamrock Shuffle! I haven’t been running much, given my knee and not keeping up with my PT exercises and the crummy weather. So, today was just for fun. A 5-mile warm-up to Michelob Ultra …

Since we don’t live too far from downtown, my husband offered to give me a ride to the start. Which was pretty great, since I was planning to ride a Divvy. I got to the race site at 7:30, just in time for the Chicago Running Blogger / Mikkellar Running Club meet-up.


Can you find Xaarlin, Eric, Lauren, Pete, Mo, Kelly, Zenaida and Emily?

Shortly after the pic, Kelly and I headed to the corrals. After getting through the porto lines, we tried to wait as long as we could until removing our layers and checking our bags. I brought a garbage bag to wear in the corrals and that helped keep me a little bit warmer. We also ran into Amanda and Judy in Corral B. The thing I love about the Shuffle is how many friends I always run into!


Kelly and I planned to run together and we had no goals. Neither of us has been running as much, so we just used this as an opportunity to “hang out” on the race course. I tried to use my new Timex GPS watch but apparently I did something wrong and noticed near mile 1 that it wasn’t tracking us. Just as well. I joked that today would be a personal worst … and it was!


I think the chilly temps resulted in fewer finishers – normally I think there are ~35,000 finishers? It was quite chilly and windy on the course. The wind was even blowing water out of my cup at one of the aid stations.

My knee did OK during the race, although I could tell if I went longer than 5 miles we might have problems. So, noted, get back into doing my PT exercises regularly.

Kelly and I finished together, grabbed snacks through the finishers chute – and new this year, medals!


We decided to stop and get our beers on the way to gear check, and by the time I finished my beer my fingers were getting pretty cold. Putting on my layers helped a little bit, although extra gloves would have been awesome. I brought my helmet so I could Divvy home, but that sounded unpleasant. However, I didn’t bring my Ventra card, and some of the roads were still closed due to the race, so I wasn’t sure if an Uber would be a good option. So, I ended up Divvying home anyway. That was a rough ride. I sort of warmed up, but the wind was brutal and my legs were tired. I think the 2+ mile bike ride was harder than the 4.97mi run.

Once I got home, I changed and drove over the Kaiser Tiger for a combined CRB/MRC brunch (and even got to meet some Redditors too). As predicted, the rain started around 11am – so glad it held off until after the race!

So, another successful Shuffle, although it was my slowest and coldest.

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14 Comments on “Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle 2015”

  1. So great to see you both at the concert last night as well as pre-race this morning!!! The wind and cold were BRUTAL today. I Divvy’d home, too, and it was quite a challenge trying to pedal against that wind!

  2. Sweet bottle opener medal! I’m glad the rain held off for the race – it was nasty here in the morning. I think you still had a pretty fab finish time for not running much lately!

  3. Very cool that you were able to run with Kelly. Yes, things were getting pretty cold in the post-race beer garden. I bet they had lots of leftovers! 🙂

  4. There were fewer finishers because they were way fewer registrants — they capped the event at 30,000 this year instead of the usual 40,000, and even then they still didn’t sell out. The grapevine says this is a trend across all local races, though. I don’t know about nationally — it’ll be interesting to see Running USA’s report on 2015 next year. I have all sorts of theories on this (burnout? Saturated market? Improved economy [more disposable income = easier to afford a gym membership to stay fit rather than just running]? Two consecutively freezing cold Februarys?), but that’s probably more blog post than blog comment material 🙂 Anyway, congrats on your finish! I think just showing up yesterday was enough to consider it a successful race for all of us, given the weather.

    1. That is very interesting!! Personally, I’m feeling a bit of running burnout, even before I started having knee issues. Pair that with a saturated race market, and perhaps that contributes to lower numbers per race? Although I’m curious about the total number of race registrations across the board. I wonder if we’re also seeing a trend toward other workouts. HIIT and Barre Classes are huge, maybe they are taking away a bit from running.

  5. Congrats on the PW!! But those are sometimes the most fun!! (If planned in advance and not due to an on course catastrophe!) it was so nice to see you out there! And yeah- there was a good article in crains last week saying how the field was reduced by 10k people, but I’m sure it didn’t sell out. Whether a combo of the weather being crap again this winter + people not being as jazzed about shorter distances I’m wondering what the cause of the lower numbers is.

    1. Yeah, Bethany mentioned that too (in the comments). I’m sure the weather didn’t help at all, but I wonder if the current running fad is ending as more people move on to another workout craze. Which is fine with me, I think there is enough of a core of dedicated runners that races will still thrive … even better, solid, well-executed races will thrive.

  6. I ran last year and I was so surprised how cold/windy it was this year! Glad I was too much of a procrastinator to sign up haha although it looks like a blast, especially since you have so many running friends! I’m glad the rain waited until the end of the race. Take care of your knee!

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