Yuengling Shamrock 8K Race Recap

Last weekend, I headed across the country to meet up with Oiselle teammates at the Yuengling Shamrock race events. I'd been slated to run the half, but I dropped back to the 8K after being injured and not having time to train. A few other ladies ran the 8K and the majority ran the half marathon. Although my travel was long and involved some hiccups, I was super impressed with the race itself which made it worth the effort.

I arrived in Virginia Beach about 6 hours later than expected due to a flight issue, but luckily I was still in time for the expo. It lasted until 9 pm Friday night, big bonus if you need to go on the weekday after work. The 8K was Saturday morning, meaning I had to pick up on Friday (no race day packet pick-up.) The expo was quick and easy, I grabbed my bib and shirt then walked around a little bit before heading off to dinner. One thing to note: if you stay along the boardwalk in Virginia Beach, the expo is 1.5 to 2 miles away from there. I made it my 2 mile shakeout run and then walked back because I didn't rent a car.

Saturday morning dawned chilly but the weather only got better from there. The 8K start was an easy 10 minute walk from my hotel, where I lined up in Corral 3 and hid behind people to block the wind while I waited. The race kicked off at 7:45 am with Corral 1 and then each corral started with 1 minute or so in between. It took a couple of minutes to break out of the start crowd, but after that I had no other crowding issues.

The course followed the road on the other side of the hotels from the beach, then turned and ran down the boardwalk. I LOVE oceanside running so I was thrilled. We went back to the street for a short time, then turned around to go the other direction on the boardwalk to the finish line. This was a really flat, fun 8K course. That said, the time between turning back onto the boardwalk to arriving at the finish line feels insanely long - you can see the finish arch for at least half a mile before you get there.

The Boardwalk, which is really concrete. Finish tent in the distance.

As far as my personal race, I'm happy that I am able to run again and enjoyed the race atmosphere. I took it easier than I would usually want to in races but harder than what my recent runs have been. It was wonderful to push a little harder and to cross a finish line! The goal for the 8K was to run around a 9:30 minute/mile pace, and I'm happy to report I did just that. My finish time was 47:17, an average pace of 9:31 minute/mile. We even received nice bottle-opener medals for the 8K; these are seriously nicer than many half medals I've received.

Obligatory oceanfront finish photo.

With fellow 8K runner, Colleen, at the finish. (Photo from Ashley)

The 8K finish line is the same as the half and full marathon, and it had the same awesome beer tent benefits too. I'd be lying if I said the race being sponsored by Yuengling had nothing to do with my desire to run it, and the Yuengling tent did not disappoint. Four beers per person, multiple kinds of Yuengling, and no lines to get beer. Amazing. I only made it to 2 beers that morning but one can only drink so much before 10 am (7 am home time...)

Yuengling Bock and medal close-up.

Beer tent band - loved them.

Long sleeve cotton shirts for the 8K.

After the race and beer tent fun, I headed back to the hotel for a shower and a nap. As this was a Oiselle meet up race, we head a team dinner at Bravo that evening. What a fun group of ladies! I always love meeting more of the team and having such a great run community. 

So many of us!

I went to sleep on Saturday very excited for the Sunday events. I LOVE race spectating and cheering for runners. Our cheer group met up at 6:45 am and jogged out to the start line. After cheering there, we grabbed coffee at a nearby Starbucks and secured a cheer spot about 1 mile from the finish. It was actually quite cold on Sunday and the wind got progressively worse as the day went on. After a bit we jogged to another spot just to warm up.

Spot number one. (Photo from Kristin)

And number two. (Photo from Asher)

Once most of the half marathon runners went by, we went inside for a coffee and get warm break at Java Surf. Highly recommended. At that point most ladies needed to get warm and shower from running, so the group said a sad good-bye and split up.

I decided to hang out and cheer for the marathon for a couple more hours, first with a few Ragnar Ambassadors I met somewhere in mile 25. When I got cold, I jogged another mile or so out and went nuts on my cowbell for everyone that ran by - it was so much fun. People seemed really happy to have the support on the long and spectator-deserted part of the road. I stayed out until a little after 2 pm, at which time the runners were dwindling; by that time I was really glad to go inside out of the wind.

Overall, I had a fabulous weekend thanks to Oiselle team and to the race organizers. I'd love to go back to run a longer distance here someday.

Check out the Oiselle Blog for Kristin's race weekend recap too.

Comments

  1. Looks like so much fun...and FOUR BEERS PER RUNNER??? Wow! Jealous of the Runner Girl weekend away...I could do with one of those! SO glad you're healing nicely!

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    1. I know 4 is nuts! Thanks for the kind thoughts. :)

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  2. Everyone seems to love this race! Sounds like you had a great time. AND, glad you are running again. :)

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    1. Yes thanks! So glad to be running!

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  3. Ah ha ha! "7am home time." Four beers per runner is pretty good! I ran a race once that had unlimited wine, but unfortunately I didn't know any other runners and had no friends/family along. I felt like a weirdo standing there sipping wine by myself, so I think I only had about 2 ounces!

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    1. Unlimited wine is pretty dangerous - especially by yourself. :)

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  4. I seriously regret not having run this race before moving to Berkeley from DC. I've had so many friends run the race and have such an amazing time! And seriously, 4 beers? That's outrageous/amazing/enough to make me want to go back just to do the race! Congrats on a successful return to racing.

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    1. It's a looooong flight but I was super happy I went anyway. Highly recommend!

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  5. Congrats on your 8k, Paulette! I agree with several other commenters - FOUR BEERS PER PERSON?! Thats nuts! I'm really sad I wasn't able to make this trip, but hearing all your great reviews makes me excited for my first Oiselle meet up!

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    1. Yes can't wait until you come to bird camp!

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