The Shamrock Run in Portland seems like the biggest race in town. Or at least it sure felt that way on Sunday! Talk about masses of people. I ran it last year for the first time and maybe it was because everything was still just so new or maybe because of the weather not as many people showed up, but it didn’t seem nearly as bad.
I woke up feeling a bit sluggish. I had slept in a little later than planned, but figured the few extra minutes of sleep would be worth it! Unfortunately at one point I looked at the clock and realized I’d better get out the door, so I rushed out and headed downtown. Unfortunately in my rush I somehow ran out of the house without my watch! I was already just about to downtown when I realized it and was having a serious debate with myself whether I’d have enough time to go back home and get it. Realistically I knew I didn’t. So I’d have to just run it based on how I felt. Luckily it wasn’t a big race for me and I didn’t have any major goals I was aiming for (I mean a PR is always nice, but I hadn’t been aiming for it) Also since we had run an “easy” 9.5 miles the day before, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular.
So I dropped my stuff off and started making my way towards the craziness. I ran into one friend (amazing considering how many people were around!) and we chatted as we headed towards the start. He is quite a bit speedier than I am, so we parted ways for the start. Getting to the start was chaos. There was no way to actually get into the starting lane! It was already jam packed with people and they had the barriers up. Even if I was brave (or coordinated) enough to jump over one of them, there was just no room! So I just waited patiently with a ton of other people as the wave of runners slowed moved forward and spots opened up. This made for a bit of a frustrating start – dodging runners and walkers. Not my favorite thing to do. Especially in such a crowded race. But once we got off of Naito Pkwy I felt like it had thinned out a bit and was able to get a pretty steady pace going.
It was great seeing so much green and festive outfits. There was one girl running in a full shamrock costume. I have to wonder how that held up for the entire race – especially on the hills!
Right at the bottom of Terwilliger, I caught up with some of the girls from my run club. It was perfect timing. My legs were starting to get a bit tired and my motivation was fading. Those ladies were just what I needed to make it up that hill! We ended up staying together for the rest of the race. Running with friends always makes races more fun (in my opinion!)
After finishing we made our way to get our medals (which was much smaller than last years….) and to get our “free” beer. We found some other folks from the run club and tried to stay warm as we were hanging around. But for me, I was in my skirt and compression socks and was starting to freeze! So as much fun as the after party was I just couldn’t take it anymore. I went back to my office to change and then made my way to join the other Saturday run folks for brunch.
The Shamrock Run was a fun time, but I wonder if I’m going to bother with it next year. It’s just such a crowded mess. Maybe I’ll just volunteer next year instead….