Sunday, March 16, 2008

2008 Shamrock Run 8k

Race: 2008 Shamrock Run 8k
Location: Portland, OR
Distance: 8k (4.97 miles)
Time: 00:55:17 (11:12 min/mile pace)

Pre-race: Ate a PB&J, poured my coffee, and got geared up. Running shoes? Check. Tutu? Check. Flashing nipples? Check. Race number/timing chip? Check. Okay then, I was all set to go.

Me at the house before heading downtown:

I met up with my friends, Nadine and Deb just after 7am. We drove to a nearby MAX station, and then took the train to downtown Portland since a 10 minute train ride is faster than circling for a half hour trying to find parking. As we got to the event, the announcer said that it was a record number of people this year. 16,000 up from 11,000 last year!

Me at the MAX station with my scary face:

Warm Up: It took all of our cushion time just to find the bag check, hit the porta potties, and work our way through the mob to the starting line. No real warmup, just jumped around a little to fight off the chill in the air. And smiled and waved as people oggled our outfits.

We ran into some Headhunters who had just finished the 5k. Here is me and Kevin "K-Dawg":

Run: Nadine showed up at my house in the morning feeling pretty sick and not at all in the mood for a 8k run. But she toughed it out and decided to do the run anyway. We knew that Deb would be going at a much faster pace than us, so she went ahead and did her own thing. Nadine and I stayed together, only stopping a few times so that she could strech out her calves. She just wasn't having a fun day run-wise. After the long uphill, my knee started to ache, but then it really felt great at around mile 3.5. I was able to pick the pace up and make it to the finish line feeling really strong. Since I haven't run more than 2.5 miles since the half marathon in January, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this felt.

What would I do differently?: Not much. The whole point of today was to have a fun time!

Warm Down: We walked past the chowder/beer lines and decided that it wasn't worth waiting in line for an hour just for a free drink. So we got back on the train and headed home. Nadine's husband, Brian, came over to the house and cooked us an Irish lunch of bangers & mash while we sat on the couch and watched television. Nice, huh!

Event Comments: I have no idea how any event is able to deal with over 16,000 athletes and multiple runs going on within an hour of each other, but they did it! Plenty of porta-potties, well marked course, great live music, lots of free water after the event, smooth bag check, etc., etc. The only downside was trying to get anywhere fast due to the large amount of people, and the lines for food/beer afterwards were way too long. I would definitely do this event again!

Nadine, me, and Deb after the run: