March 24, 2014

Shamrock non-racing fun: 8k, Shake out run with Bart & Expo

One of the things I was most looking forward to at Shamrock was the chance to see some friends, both local and non-local.  Big race weekends seem to be a good chance to catch up with other runners and bloggers that I've met through the inter webs.  Let me tell you - this race weekend lived up to all the hype in my head!

Saturday morning I decided to head down to the Oceanfront in the morning to join Bart Yasso and a group of other runners for a shakeout run.  With the 8k running that morning, I knew it would be challenging to find parking so I headed down a bit early.  I got to the beach around 8:15 and miraculously found a parking spot at 36th street, which was really close to the turn in the course where runners head to the Boardwalk.  It was a gorgeous morning and I loved getting to cheer on the 8k runners!
A sea of green!
My cheering spot was obviously in the shade and there was a decent wind coming off the ocean so I slowly meandered my way down to the Boardwalk area to get in the sun.  I also figured I should start heading down to the Hilton on 31st street where I would be meeting Bart and the group for the shakeout run.  Once I got to the Boardwalk, I was treated to some gorgeous beachy views.  It was a truly beautiful morning - what a treat for the runners!  As I was passing one of the large cheering stations, I was handed an orange pom pom for more effective cheering!
8k runners heading south to the finish line
King Neptune had the best view of the finish line
 At last it was time for the main event (at least for me!) of the morning  - the shakeout run with Bart.  The group was meeting in the lobby of the Hilton at 9 and then planned to do an easy 2 miles or so.  As always, Bart was gracious and snapped photos with the runners.

There were about 20 runners or so.  The funny thing about runners is we're all basically instant friends.  There's an unspoken bond that comes from consuming gelatinous fuel, early wake-up calls and Yasso 800s.  I enjoyed chatting with a few people and debating what we would all wear the next day (the temps and wind were challenging for race day!).

And before I knew it, we were back to the Hilton where we reconvened for a group photo and then headed across the street to a local joint for coffee.
Shake out runners - photo courtesy of Bart Yasso
We chatted about race goals, heard some funny stories from Bart (a typical staple of interacting with him) and exchanged social media info.  I made plans to cheer for the marathoners that I met and around 10:30, we called it a morning.  I headed home to get cleaned up and relax a bit before I was headed back to the beach to the expo.  I had plans to meet up with Lacey and Sarah around 3:00ish.

The expo wasn't too crowded when I got there (it closed at 5 on Saturday) so I was easily able to grab my bib and get my race shirt.  After last year's giant shirt experience, I sized down to an xs this year and it fit just fine.  Lacey had mentioned some of the cute race gear but sadly it was mostly picked over by the time I got there.  The one thing I wanted that I wasn't able to get was the Shamrock Half magnet and unfortunately they only had the 26.2 magnets left.  No matter, I snagged a sticker instead.  We wandered the booths for a bit and I was able to replenish my nuun supply.  And then a few minutes later while we were watching Bart speak, we ran into Sarah and Matthew.  It was so fun to see them and we enjoyed chatting for a bit.
Yay runner girlfriends!
Lacey and I headed over to meet Lelseyanne, Sue and some other runners.  I loved getting to meet these ladies and hear about their race day goals….there were lots of PR aspirations which always motivates me!  By this point, it was after 4:30 so we were all pretty tired and eager to get organized for race day.  We snapped a quick photo and agreed we would try to meet up in the party tent post-race.
Sue, Lesleyanne, me and Lacey
Expo swag
When I got home on Saturday evening, I was able to reflect on the awesomeness of that day and I hadn't even raced!  I just love the way a race weekend can bring people together….makes me feel all warm and happy inside!


  1. So glad you all were able to meet up! Interactions like this make race weekends much more fun! -M

  2. So fun!! I love what you said about runners instantly having an unspoken bond. It's so true! I get so excited meeting fellow runners and learning about them and their experiences!

  3. I love when races to shakeout runs, it's such a great opportunity to meet other runners!

  4. A PR coupled with running friends new and old, it sounds like you couldn't have had a better race weekend if you tried!


  5. Race weekends aren't always about the race itself, and I love the thrill of race weekend activities, even if I'm not traveling for the race. The thrill of interacting with other runners is definitely one of the highlights of any race weekend.

  6. So fun! I think the coolest thing about being runners is that we're all instant friends! I mean you get to run with Bart Yasso and he's totally cool and down to earth. Not many athletes in other sports get to enjoy perks like that!

  7. Fun! I just love the race weekend atmosphere! Pretty cool that you got to meet and run with Bart!

  8. This looks like so much fun! Honestly, sometimes it's the whole "race weekend experience" that trumps the actual race for me. :) Glad you had such an awesome time!

  9. This sounds like so much fun! I love what you said about runners instantly being friends, so true!
    I hope to meet Bart Yasso one day, I always seem to miss him at races!
    Karen @karenlovestorun