Thursday, March 22, 2018

Shamrock'n Half Marathon Race Recap 3/11/18

Shamrock'n Half Marathon Race Recap 3/11/18
A couple of weeks ago I ran the Shamrock'n Half marathon in Sacramento. It was a fun one. I decided to not race it for time because ever since I got back from our Japan trip, I'd been feeling not as speedy and with the time change (moving clocks forward an hour thus losing an hour) I just felt I needed to take it easy. Turned out to be so much fun running it with one of my coworkers.

PACKET PICKUP: For this race I joined Fleet Feet Davis's Shamrock'n half marathon training group which was great. I couldn't make it to all of the sessions due to family commitments but whenever I went, it was a good session. Training groups are a great way to meet other runners. A perk of this training group was an early packet pickup. We were able to pick up our stuff on our last training group session before everyone else. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the session but one of my coworkers was able to get mine (thanks Kathy!). For other runners not in the training group, regular packet pickup was on Wednesday-Saturday during store hours at Fleet Feet Sacramento. There was also race day pickup at 6:30am. Women got long sleeve v-neck shirts and the design was really nice.
Shamrock'n Half marathon long sleeve shirt
RACE DAY: I got up around 5:30am Sunday morning. Ate some toast with peanut butter, got dressed, bathroom, etc.. before heading to my coworker's house at 6:15 to carpool to the start. The race started and ended at Raley Field where the Sacramento River Cats minor league baseball team plays. It's about a 20 minute drive from Davis. Our friend reserved parking at one of the garages she thought was close to the start, but it ended up being a little further than we thought (almost a mile away). It wasn't bad and turned out fine, because it ended up being a nice warm-up walk for us. 
Walking to Raley field
We got to Raley field around 7:10, so we had enough time to hit the bathrooms and check out the VIP area (another perk of Fleet Feet training) before the first wave of the race started at 7:45am. VIP was at the Legacy Club and it was a nice gathering area and had bathrooms just for those in VIP but it ended up being too long of a line, so we went out to use the regular bathrooms which ended up being totally fine and with not much of a line at all.  
Pre-race pics
On the way to the start line, it was fun to see some runners in costume. I didn't dress up but got matching shirts with my coworker. Thanks for the shot before the race Maria! My plan for the race was to just take it easy and stay with my coworker. We headed to our wave, which was wave 1 and started at the back. It was nice that the race had 3 different waves that were 15 minutes apart so there wouldn't be much crowding. The race started on time as my watch has us crossing the start at 7:46am.
Shamrock'n Half Marathon start line
It was a beautiful morning! Chilly at the start (around 39 degrees) but as we ran, I warmed up nicely. It was very foggy from the beginning and it was really neat looking. I was hoping the fog would dissipate but it lingered for a lot of the race.
Shamrock'n Half Marathon Tower Bridge
The route took us across the Tower bridge, or my kids like to call it the cool yellow bridge.  Running on Tower Bridge
After the bridge we turned left into Old Sac. We ended up running on cobblestone in some parts but it wasn't horrible. Just had to be a little more careful as not to step in a wrong spot.
Running in Old Sac
Running in Old Sac
After a short loop in Old Sac we made our way onto the Sacramento River Bike trail and ran along the river which was nice although it was still foggy and in many parts could not see much, not even the river.
Shamrock'n Half Marathon
Running Shamrock'n Half Marathon
It was fun running with my coworker, Maria. She did great considering she was having stomach issues. We even had to stop a couple of times for a bathroom break but she still did awesome pushing on through.
Running Shamrock'n Half Marathon
It was around 5.6 miles that we did a u-turn and started heading back to Raley field on Riverside Blvd. We made our way through part of William Land Park. The route looked familiar from other races I had done before (Run the Parkway Half & 20 Miler, and maybe part of it from Urban Cow). I did recognize the below sign from Urban Cow half. :)
You're running better than the government
As it got towards the end of the race, the fog went away. However in some areas, it still lingered as you will see in another pic below. 
Shamrock'n Half Marathon
I enjoyed seeing bands all along the course. 
band on the route of Shamrock'n Half Marathon
The crowd was great in parts as well. Someone was even handing out Otter pops and here's a shot of my friend enjoying one. :)
otter pop
Here's a pic of the fog back in the picture. The building is there, but was it really there? It kinda looks like the building is an illusion or something. Anyway, something I did not like about the race was seeing Raley field thinking we were almost done, but we end up doing almost 2 more miles after seeing the field. I am so not a fan of seeing the finish destination and then have to go do a round about loop to get more miles in before heading to the finish line at the field. 
Shamrock'n Half Marathon
However, the finish line inside the field is awesome. I loved that I got Maria to push it in the last mile and she finished really strong. It's great too because people are cheering and there is a big screen that is recording your finish. I found out later when we were in the VIP section that some of the coaches saw our finish. 
Shamrock'n Half Marathon finish
It was a fun run for me so time didn't matter but I figured we did great considering we stopped a couple of times.
This is the course map, taken from my Strava.
Got some finisher pics with coworkers who all did great, especially Nick who got 6th overall (he even got lost)!! 
Shamrock'n Half Marathon post race pics
Overall, I'd say it was a great run! The race was very well organized. It was fun that we got burritos and beer at the finish. The medals are really neat too.  I also liked that we got free pictures. It is always a plus when that happens. I heard a lot of people PR'd at the course, so it is a fast one if you race it. At least I know what to expect for next time. This is definitely one I would do again! 
Shamrock'n Half Marathon medal 2018
Happy running! 

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