This weekend I am headed to Virginia Beach for the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon and Half Marathon. In the fall we decided to designate several races throughout the year as team meetup’s: Chicago Marathon, Club XC Nationals, Shamrock and Boston in April! The course is known for being fast, flat and scenic. On Saturday our team will be cheering on 7 of women in the Townebank 8k. Later that night we will meet for a carbo loading pre-race team meal to get ready for the marathon and half on Sunday morning! We will have Courtney Dredden from DC racing the marathon and 17 other women racing the half marathon: See your lineup here!
A few of our women raced Shamrock before and highly recommended it for our spring meet up. Mollie Turner and Stephanie Viloria are sisters and Oiselle team members. It was actually Mollie who enticed Stephanie to apply for our team. Stephanie has been running for 20 years, since 7th grade XC and Mollie was a standout XC/Track athlete at James Madison University. Mollie also coaches her sister! Both are moms who love to run and share in the joy of having the same past time. It's basically a family affair for these sisters. Last year Mollie raced with her husband Pete and Stephanie with her husband. It was also last year at this race where Stephanie met her first Oiselle teammate besides her sister: Megan Fay at the Nuun booth. One of Stephanie's favorite parts about this race besides PR'ing was:
“There are lots of spectators and music is played along to course, which keeps you going. Even though 2013 was particularly chilly and windy, I was able to PR by 8 minutes. That made my day! And, the after party on the beach is fantastic” - Stephanie
Speaking of the post race party, a lot of people have been talking about this! I will give you all a full report on the festivities next week but imagine this: beach front, sand, beer, a crowd full of happy runners..how can we go wrong? Nicole Hart, one of our Volée members from Boiling Springs, PA raced here in 2010. She came to Shamrock with her sister also. It was the first time that her sister had watched a marathon in person and she was blown away with the amazing efforts of all of the participants. When I asked Nicole about her first Shamrock experience she said that she was blown away with the great atmosphere, the volunteer support along the course, and the fabulous post race party!
Most of our east coasters are coming to the beach to look for a little sunshine and warmth. Stephanie was just telling me the other day. “I am still looking forward to a break from the arctic upstate NY weather. I can't wait to head to VA beach and run in shorts. I'm still trying decide between Distance Shorts and Stride Shorts for the race! “
So you have a lot of people, 28,000 to be exact, coming to VA Beach for different reasons but what rings true is that Shamrock is a great atmosphere: well organized, well supported, and lot’s of fun! Sounds like a great way to spend St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Stay tuned for a recap on the weekend next week.