Overall Rating
Overall Rating (29 Reviews)
4.4
(29 Ratings)  (29 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.9
SCENERY
3.5
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
4.7
Find your pot of gold at the 50th Annual Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend. This St. Paddy’s Day tradition is celebrating its golden year in Virginia Beach, Virginia this March. There is a race distance for every goal: Marathon, Half Marathon, 8K, and challenges. No matter the distance, you’ll experience the … MORE
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Recent reviews

    22twain REPEAT RUNNER '20

    A handful of us committed to running Shamrock Half virtually down at the oceanfront after hearing the unfortunate news of a live event being cancelled. Without course support and access … MORE

    A handful of us committed to running Shamrock Half virtually down at the oceanfront after hearing the unfortunate news of a live event being cancelled. Without course support and access to Ft. Story, the route was a simple out and back. Weather was unusually perfect.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    22twain REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Signed up to see how my fitness level had progressed since 2018, but opted to pace a friend for her first sub-2 finish, which was just as rewarding as setting … MORE

    Signed up to see how my fitness level had progressed since 2018, but opted to pace a friend for her first sub-2 finish, which was just as rewarding as setting a PR, if not more so. Same course, same support, same amazing after party!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    22twain FIRST-TIMER '18

    I started training to run a half marathon in early 2017 with the intent to participate in Shamrock that year, but ended up traveling for work instead, and the weatherwas … MORE

    I started training to run a half marathon in early 2017 with the intent to participate in Shamrock that year, but ended up traveling for work instead, and the weatherwas some of the worst in the history of the race.
    Fast forward to 2018, and I had joined a local run club 2 weeks before Shamrock weekend – while out on the trails, rolled my ankle on a pinecone. Having signed up for the Dolphin Challenge (8k plus Half), I nursed the ankle through Saturday’s 8k, loaded up on ibuprofin that evening, and hoped for the best on Sunday. Luckily an experienced runner friend was there to pace me and the ankle loosened up around mile 6 and set a personal record for the half. Amazing race experience and after party has me coming back every year for the biggest race in the 757.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    dwhit490 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was my 1st ever marathon, but not my first ever Shamrock event (I did the Half marathon the year before) and not my first J&A event. J&A events are … MORE

    This was my 1st ever marathon, but not my first ever Shamrock event (I did the Half marathon the year before) and not my first J&A event. J&A events are always well put together, and this was no exception. The problem is the mid-March weather in VA, which is always unpredictable and is often awful. At the start of the race, the temps were about 35 degrees and it was raining. About 10 minutes into the race, it stopped and it appeared that the skies were clearing and the sun was going to come out to play. However, about 10 minutes later, the wind kicked up (to probably 30-40 mph) and it started to snow. Then, the snow mixed with freezing rain\sleet and that continued (sideways because of the wind) off and on for the remainder of the race. Miserable!!! Because of the weather, the bands and DJs that usually line the route, disappeared and so did the fans. It was a cold, wet, lonely race. Running through Ft. Story at around the 18-21 mile mark, part of the road was flooded and soldiers were guiding us around the flooded parts (thank you for your service)! I don’t like to make excuses, but the weather sapped me. All in all, if it wasn’t for the weather, this would have been a great race. There was food and free beer and a band in a massive tent at the finish, but I was so tired, wet and cold, I just had my wife drive me home, while I sat on my frozen hands on the heated seats in the car…

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    dwhit490 FIRST-TIMER '16

    J&A puts on great races. This was no exception, but the weather sucked. At the start of the race, there was freezing rain, which continued for probably half the race. … MORE

    J&A puts on great races. This was no exception, but the weather sucked. At the start of the race, there was freezing rain, which continued for probably half the race. Had to dodge multiple large puddles and flooding. Despite the weather, there were ample water/gatorade/gel stations and plenty of course support. The Shamrock races always have a great post-race party with a band, great food and free beer inside a humongous tent on the oceanfront. It was great for my first ever half marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    alwoods REPEAT RUNNER '21

    I love all events that J &A Racing puts on and Shamrock is one of my all time favorite events. They handled the logistics of this "Covid Friendly" race well. … MORE

    I love all events that J &A Racing puts on and Shamrock is one of my all time favorite events. They handled the logistics of this “Covid Friendly” race well. The communication was great, support was great, swag was amazing, and it is oceanfront. The wind was the only negative thing about the weekend. This was my 3rd time running in person there (previously ran the half only)and the weather can be a bit iffy in March there. But it was so much fun!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    5

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I did the 8K this year as part of the dolphin challenge. You can read my review for the half for more details but the silver lining of the modified … MORE

    I did the 8K this year as part of the dolphin challenge. You can read my review for the half for more details but the silver lining of the modified Shamrock experience this year was I got to do the 8K and the dolphin challenge. The 8K swag was great for a short race and included a short-sleeved tech shirt, a drink cozie, and a really nice medal although appropriately smaller than the half and full medals. Since I did both the 8K and the half I got the dolphin challenge medal which was amazing! I did this race right after packet pickup. It started with an out and back on the boardwalk and then about a mile or so on a main street in Virginia Beach before turning back on the boardwalk. It was a nice, pancake flat 5 miles. The only difficulty is there was a strong headwind on Saturday when I ran it. There was issues with my chip timing for the 8K and they seemed to miss my finish line time but it sort of got fixed but now my listed time is 2 mins slower than my Garmin. Oh well I still had fun and the swag is great and had no issues with the timing chip for the half marathon

    DIFFICULTY
    1
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    3
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    5

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I am trying to run a half marathon every month and this was the only weekend in March I could squeeze in a half marathon between my work schedule and … MORE

    I am trying to run a half marathon every month and this was the only weekend in March I could squeeze in a half marathon between my work schedule and marathon/ultra schedule. When I was looking for races this one caught my eye but I wasn’t sure how it would be possible to hold this race this year. Well you know what they say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Race directors definitely got a bunch of lemons this year (so please be kind to them!) but j&a racing did the best they could to make lemonade and hold a safe and fun event with what they were given. Logistics: this was held from 7am to 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on an open, official course with chip timing and limited to about half the normal participants but still a whole lot more participants than most races this year. I arrived in Virginia Beach mid-morning on Saturday. A plus of this modified race was I was able to do the dolphin challenge (8K + half marathon) which I normally wouldn’t be able to do without taking Friday off. As soon as I arrived in Virginia Beach I picked up my packet at the host hotel which is the Hilton right by the start. FYI if you want to stay at the host hotel book your room asap it was sold out when I booked hotels but I stayed at the Ramada which was right nearby and very convenient. Packet pick up was spread over 4 days and opened for several hours each day so I understand why it had to be inside and the conference room was very large, easy to space out in and well ventilated. Not as safe as outdoor packet pickup but as safe as indoor could be. This was set up as kind of a mini expo where they were selling some other Shamrock gear and some gels and chews for the race. At packet pickup you get your swag and the swag was amazing. It came in a tote bag and for the half you got a long sleeved tech shirt, blanket, hat and a cup plus with the dolphin challenge I got all the 8K swag too. You also got your medals at packet pickup which I get that it is safer to hand out everything at once but it was a little anticlimactic and this is the one thing I wish they figured out how to change. The medals are beautiful and sparkly and are all bottle openers since it is St. Paddy’s day themed and appropriate size for the distance. For the dolphin challenge you get 3 medals and the dolphin one is amazing and my favorite medal besides my Beach city sea turtle medal. I did the half on Sunday morning. The open course made race morning very unstressful. I wanted to start around 7am so I would have time to shower and relax after the race before 11am hotel check out time so I just rolled out of bed put on my running gear and walked to the startline and went. The start is not too exciting but the RD is there to cheer on runners which was appreciated (and allowed it to meet criteria for half fanatics/marathon maniacs during the pandemic – I confirmed with them it will count if anyone wants to know). The course is quite nice. The first 5 miles are an out and back along the boardwalk. It was lovely to be near the ocean. Also the boardwalk is cement not wooden boards so don’t worry it is fast. Weather was absolutely perfect on Sunday and there was not much wind. Course was well marked but one place I was slightly confused and had to stop and look around but quickly saw a course sign. After the boardwalk it is about a mile on the main street of Virginia Beach then an out and back that consists of few miles of pretty neighborhoods and a few miles through a nice and shaded state park where there is a turn around. It was pancake flat until the state park where there were some easy rollers which were actually a nice break to use some different muscles. The out and back nature of this course actual worked great for this race format and you were always with other runners. There were limited aid stations this year but they had 2 set up that you passed twice (four times for marathon) with self served water and Nuun. There were also mile markers on the course. There were a couple road crossings which maybe made me lose 30 to 60 seconds but they did a good job making a course with minimal road crossings. The marathon ended up being 2 loops of the half due to flooding on the initial course. The course this year was similar to the usual course from what I saw online but this year did not go through the military base. After the out and back you turn back on the boardwalk and run to the finish line. It’s a little anticlimatic with no medals at the end but the RD and lucky the leprechaun and a lot of runners are there to cheer you. No issues with the timing mat for my half marathon. My time was actually faster than I meant it to be due to the easy course and encouragement from other runners. I meant to do this at more of a training pace and finish around 2:45 since I’m tapering for my 50K but was closer to my usual goal race time of 2:30. Oh well I had fun and didn’t get injured which was my main goal. There was no post race party this year but several local restaurants and bars had deals for the runners but I chose instead to get some delicious vegan junk food for a post race meal from the Bumbling Bee which is about 5 miles away from the race but worth the drive if you love vegan junk food as much as I do. Overall I thought this was a very fun event and they definitely made the best of a bad situation. It wasn’t perfect and I definitely miss large races but this was definitely better than going fully virtual, deferring to next year, rescheduling to the fall on a date when I’m probably already registered for another race or even worse holding an unsafe event. I am planning to do the NYC Half Marathon next March (I did the virtual half for guaranteed entry in 2022 this year) which usually falls on the same weekend as this race but I absolutely want to come back and do this race again one year to see what it is like without the modifications. If it is this good with all these modifications I’m sure it is amazing without them.

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    5

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 25, 2021 at 8:21pm

    Sounds like J&A did a great job, all things considered! Glad you didn't have to deal with the wind both days, I've been training in crazy wind all winter and… MORE

    Sounds like J&A did a great job, all things considered! Glad you didn't have to deal with the wind both days, I've been training in crazy wind all winter and it's the worst. We're still waiting for California to open up (our last year here has been one... long... taper), but in the meantime it's great to be able to follow along on your own racing adventures. Congrats on the double weekend and thanks for two great reviews! (And count me in on the vegan junk food... anywhere, anytime 😋.) LESS

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    seagroves87 Mar 26, 2021 at 6:01pm

    Yes, they definitely did a great job! I wish more races would consider this format rather than just postponing or cancelling. Also I will be sure to include more vegan… MORE

    Yes, they definitely did a great job! I wish more races would consider this format rather than just postponing or cancelling. Also I will be sure to include more vegan junk food recs whenever I find some for my post race meal :) LESS

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    raispuro FIRST-TIMER '13

    This was my first marathon, and it was perfect! The course was amazing. Miles 16-18 were a bit rough because there weren’t many people, but I learned this is normal … MORE

    This was my first marathon, and it was perfect! The course was amazing. Miles 16-18 were a bit rough because there weren’t many people, but I learned this is normal for marathons. The course took us through a military base, along the beach, by a lighthouse, and through neighborhoods. It was gorgeous. The swag was AMAZING! I would definitely do this again and suggest it for anyone!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Course was ok... two out and backs. We had decent weather. LOVED the fleece blanket at the end!! We stayed close to start/finish which made it so easy to shower … MORE

    Course was ok… two out and backs. We had decent weather. LOVED the fleece blanket at the end!!
    We stayed close to start/finish which made it so easy to shower and return to party with our group of runners!
    The after party with Irish stew and FOUR beers and great music!!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    4
    SCENERY
    3
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    4

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    splante5874 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The 8k is a nice flat course. You run down the Main Street to turn around and come back on the boardwalk. After party is AWESOME! Hosted by Yuengling and … MORE

    The 8k is a nice flat course. You run down the Main Street to turn around and come back on the boardwalk. After party is AWESOME! Hosted by Yuengling and the huge tent is heated. Day I ran was cold but at least I finished before the snow started to fly. The 1/2 and full marathons were not so lucky. But that’s March on the Ocean. Swag was great too!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
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    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    karenmhwells FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race gave awesome swag, the course was flat, and it had a beautiful finish. I also loved the stew at the finish line area. Very unique. The blankets at … MORE

    This race gave awesome swag, the course was flat, and it had a beautiful finish. I also loved the stew at the finish line area. Very unique. The blankets at the end were nice too.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    dbrown FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first marathon. I chose the Shamrock because of its reputation as a flat course and it did not disappoint. The weather was a concern as it was … MORE

    This was my first marathon. I chose the Shamrock because of its reputation as a flat course and it did not disappoint. The weather was a concern as it was windy and looked like it may rain early on while we were getting in the corrals. The weather turned out fine though as it got into the high 40’s and was sunny. The only spot where wind ended up being the slightest problem was in Fort Story. However, the wind was of little concern as I simply took in the sites of the fort. After leaving the fort you are just heading back to the same route towards the boardwalk area. At this juncture the half marathoners and marathoners split (did not see it as abproblem running the two groups together. I liked the crowds of people around for my first marathon and do not think they slowed the faster runners down. The second half of the route takes you along the boardwalk and the ocean in sight is relaxing. The only real hill is crossing the Rudee Inlet Bridge. At mile 15 getting close to Camp Pendleton I realized I was actually going to be able to finish this thing. Finishingnup the race by Poseidon is pretty cool. Swag galore as you cross the line. A small zip bag with the race logo, a runners cap with the race you completed on the back, a blanket, medal, chips, water, gatorade, fruit, protein bars. A small walk to the party although I only stayed a few moments. Expo earlier was fine, long sleeve tech shirt specific to your race was high quality. I jave no real complaints. Of all of the races that I have done I am proud to say the two best overall productions have been in my home state-Anthem in Richmond and this race. I will def be registering for this marathon again next year. In fact I have already reserved hotel rooms on the boardwalk for this coming race. This one I stayed at a cheaper Marriott in Norfolk and had the wife drop me off early, but decided to make it easier on myself this coming year. Also, plenty of water stops and Gatorade stops along the route. Not a ton of spectators, but more on the second half of the route when they are sorely needed.

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    5
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    4
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    5

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    runnermama FIRST-TIMER '19

    Very well planned event from start to finish. Expo had plenty of vendors, corrals were easy to get in, aid stations were well staffed and had everything they claimed to … MORE

    Very well planned event from start to finish. Expo had plenty of vendors, corrals were easy to get in, aid stations were well staffed and had everything they claimed to have, post-race party was good food and good fun. They even had a tent set up race day morning selling gloves, hand warmers, etc. in case you needed it last minute (which I did…sooo happy I bought the shamrock gloves because the start was very chilly!) The city itself has many fantastic restaurants (breakfast at Commune is a MUST!!!), and a beautiful boardwalk for your shakeout run. The only downside is the wind can be bothersome along the coastal portion of the race. All in all I highly recommend this race!

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    5
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    ruateddybear2 FIRST-TIMER '19

    It’s a beautiful course. I’d totally recommend it! It takes you through three different bases, a beautiful park, and of course up and down the beach. It was well ran, … MORE

    It’s a beautiful course. I’d totally recommend it! It takes you through three different bases, a beautiful park, and of course up and down the beach. It was well ran, the volunteers where awesome, and the swag was cool! I didn’t realize I’d get a nice finishers hat and blanket. Love them!

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    Bluebird46360 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I think that this was overall a great race! The course was very flat with a repeat hill about mile 16/22 (bridge) which I felt gave me a chance to … MORE

    I think that this was overall a great race! The course was very flat with a repeat hill about mile 16/22 (bridge) which I felt gave me a chance to stretch out my legs/hips. I was a very windy race (off the ocean), but who can control the weather. J&A Race did an awesome job of production, as this was very well organized race with tons of extra swag (blanket, hat, and a beautiful medal). The after party was great with tons of beer (4 free), and stew. The bands were great, we had a lot of fun doing this race, and will certainly be back again! Considering I was sick all weekend, my time was not too bad…

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    5
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    5

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    RunnerGirlKT FIRST-TIMER '19

    The weather this year was perfect, temperatures around 50 and sunny. The race expo was a little disappointing in size, but probably because I'm used to bigger expos. It was … MORE

    The weather this year was perfect, temperatures around 50 and sunny. The race expo was a little disappointing in size, but probably because I’m used to bigger expos. It was well run, however. There is no race day packet pickup, but a friend can pick up for you if they have the form filled out allowing them to pick up for you.

    I have never seen so much green in a race or so many opportunities for free alcohol. You could get drunk on the race course if you were so inclined. The most scenic part of the race is the first half, taking you through Fort Story and along roads lined with trees. The second half is a little less exciting, though not boring by any means. The course itself is mostly flat, the only real “hills” being the bridge you cross on the marathon course with a slight incline (that you don’t even feel) in the first 5 miles or so. The course contained such amusing things as Leprechaun Lane (with fun facts about Leprechauns and St. Patrick’s Day) and corny Irish jokes in Ft. Pendleton on the marathon course.

    My only goal, especially running the 8k the day before as part of the Whale Challenge, was to finish under 6 hours. This course is perfect for PR’s as long as the weather cooperates.

    The post race swag included 2 awesome medals (the one for 26.2 and the awesome Whale Challenge medal), a running hat, and this year’s finisher item was a nice race branded blanket. There were also plenty of edible items handed out, not including the post race tent. My only complaint was having to walk on sand after running 26.2 miles to get to and from the post race festivities, which was not enjoyable.

    I don’t know that I’d come back for the marathon, half marathons being my preferred distance, but I’d definitely go back for the Dolphin Challenge (8k and 13.1).

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    RunnerGirlKT FIRST-TIMER '19

    The weather this year was perfect, temperatures in the upper 40's to low 50's and sunny. The race expo was a little disappointing in size, but probably because I'm used … MORE

    The weather this year was perfect, temperatures in the upper 40’s to low 50’s and sunny. The race expo was a little disappointing in size, but probably because I’m used to bigger expos. It was well run, however.

    The course itself was a little boring just because it’s pancake flat. The course takes you out on the street and back on the boardwalk (with a small jaunt back on the street). There was plenty of crowd support and the run along the beach is gorgeous. The race (as all weekend races do) finishes right after the King Neptune statue.

    The medal this year was nice (and a bottle opener!) and the finisher “gift” was a cute beer koozie. We also got plenty of edible goodies as well as a race branded draw-string backpack.

    The post race party was hopping, with plenty of beer and Irish stew flowing (with a veggie option) in the tent on the beach. I ran the Whale Challenge this year (8k and 26.2) so this race was more of a shake-out run than a race for me.

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    RunKMacRun FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race offers a challenge medal if you do the 8K on Saturday and any race on Sunday. NO Race day bib pick up so plan ahead. SOOOOO much sway … MORE

    This race offers a challenge medal if you do the 8K on Saturday and any race on Sunday. NO Race day bib pick up so plan ahead. SOOOOO much sway with this race. Medals, 4 beer tickets per bib, hot food, finishers towel/blanket, and a nice tech hat. Also tons of food at the finish line. Great flat and fast course.

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    cassidymegan3 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I won this entry from a Facebook contest so to get a free race on St. Patrick's Day that turns into an unanticipated PR is really frickin' awesome! (This was … MORE

    I won this entry from a Facebook contest so to get a free race on St. Patrick’s Day that turns into an unanticipated PR is really frickin’ awesome! (This was my 30th Marathon, too. Dublin, Ireland was my 20th, so I wanted to be sure that this was #30.)
    ___
    (and forgive me if this review seems a bit out-of-it. I drove back to Orlando, FL after the race and am on about 4 hours’ sleep.)
    __
    This is the 2nd time that I have run the Shamrock Marathon. I ran it in 2016 as part of the Whale Challenge (8k and Marathon) and PR’d my marathon by 7 minutes. I attributed that awesome time solely on the temperature.
    Now, 3 years later, I went in with the hope of simply either maintaining a sub-4 marathon or (at best) shaving off the 41 seconds on my 3:52:41 PR that I set in Indy back in November.
    *** EXPO***
    I arrived on Saturday afternoon to Va. Beach and we got to the expo around 2:00 p.m. Packet pick-up was pretty easy. The shirts for the Marathon and Half marathon were the same design – just one said HALF MARATHON on it. I collected my bib and went to get my ID verified for post-race drinks (just in case.)
    The expo was large and there were many local and mom-and-pop boutiques set up. I have 20/20 vision, but the Lasik people had free sunglasses and I’m a sucker for cheap give-away sunglasses, so I took the survey. It was the only booth that really had anything in which I was interested.
    The line to meet Meb was about 100 feet long so we decided that we would just wave to him if we saw him on the course (he was pacing the half marathon this weekend.)
    ~ this isn’t really about the race, but we went to Murphy’s Irish Pub for lunch. They are the restaurant that provides the stew after the race and I like to support local places. Their steak and potato pie is deeeeeelicous! I recommend it. (And if you went there on Saturday and got a rhinestone sparkly Irish Flag sticker: you’re welcome. Years ago, I fancied myself an entrepreneur and had a bunch made — far too many, so I “donated” them to the staff to give away. **SUPPORT THE LOCAL BUSINESSES – they are the ones who make a lot of our races happen.**
    **REVIEW**
    We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Atlantic Blvd, which put us almost exactly half-way between the start and finish lines. The race started at 7:30, so I set my alarm for 6:45 but woke up before then.
    **PORT-A-POTTIES**
    Since we were really close to the start line, I didn’t have to use them, but when I got to the lobby of my hotel, I realized that I left my water bottle up in my room, so I went back up. There were a few people on the elevator who made note that it would take less time to just go back to their rooms to use the restroom than to wait for the port-a-potties. When I got back down to the street level, I saw why: although there were plenty (and it seemed like they had them on several streets that ran perpendicular to the corral areas) the lines were long.
    **RACE COURSE**
    I lined up by the 3:50 pacer “Speedo Mike” and it was chilly – just the way that I like it. We noticed that the 2:00 half marathon pacers decided to line up in the corral ahead of us. I thought that it would have caused a lot more trouble, but it didn’t.
    The race heads north and it was really windy at some points where hotels and their “skywalks” to their garages created wind-tunnels for us, but it was OK. When I ran this in 2016, we did this part of the race on the 2nd loop, so I was surprised when we were on the leprechaun trail* because that was where Team RWB had given me the delightful PB&J sandwich at mile 17. (*they have little signs with leprechauns on them that have St. Patrick’s Day riddles and facts about Virginia Beach on them).
    From the Leprechaun Trail (a gorgeous tree-lined street, by the way), we head into the 1st military Base: Ft. Story. It is on this base, that we see the 2 lighthouses that are used as course icons. After we leave the base, we head south to where the race started and the half marathon break s away.
    One thing that I debated whether or not I liked about this race was that they had a 4-person marathon relay. In the end, I decided that not being lonely on the course highly outweighed running next to someone who was joyfully frolicking on the course with a fresh pair of legs – so I’ll run my race, they can run theirs and we’ll all be happy. ☺
    **WATER STATIONS **
    Great volunteers!
    The stations were kept very clean considering the volume of people passing through.
    There was one stretch of the course where I really REALLY wish that they had another station in between (it was after the bridge but before the turn-around – which is very vague) but it seemed like a long distance between stops.
    As great as the volunteers were, there were two things that I did not like about the water stations: (1) a fair amount of them were not tangent-friendly (2) some of them only had “left-side” pick-up. I usually accept that a course is not going to be 26.2 miles on the dot due to the tangents and weaving but with every mile, my watch beeped for the mile sooner and sooner each time. At the end of the race, I had 26.37 miles.. my watch time and my official chip time matched exactly, but the average pace looked 5 seconds per mile faster on my watch due to that added length.
    *** SWAG ***
    You get your SWAG after you cross the finish line. You get your medal, a blanket, shamrock cookies, a bag of Lay’s potato chips, water, Gatorade (your choice of colors/”flavors”, too), a banana, granola bars, a tech hat, and then, the nice volunteers helped you to stuff all of that into a nice cinch bag before you make your way to the beach.
    ** after party**
    I made a bee line to the tent to get my Murphy’s Irish Stew (which was more of a soup, but it was 40ºF outside so warm and hearty anything hits the spot.) I met my friend, grabbed a Yuengling Lager and made my way to the PR Bell. I rang that thing like it was dinner time because I shaved 3 minutes and 21 seconds off my best marathon and I grabbed a sticker, too.
    ***OVERALL***
    I love the J&A team that puts on these races. Since I have PR’d this race twice now, this should be my favorite course, but the crowd support is a tittle light. People are out there, but only waiting for their people to pass (and that is OK). It seemed like the runners were hyping up the crowd more than the other way around. … and the water station placements made tangents a little tough. Other than that, I really can’t complain. I told 2 of my friends here in Orlando that I better see that they have signed up for this next year. Miracles happen on this course.
    GOOD LUCK TO YOU IF YOU RUN THIS! (You won’t need it, though. You just need cold weather, Cheez-Its, Gatorade, and Irish food the day before. ☺)
    ♣ Happy running! ♣

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Mar 19, 2019 at 8:39pm

    Dear Sleepless in Central Florida, The secret is out! Well done Megan, congrats on pushing that PR down below 3:50 — sounds like both the luck and talent o' the… MORE

    Dear Sleepless in Central Florida, The secret is out! Well done Megan, congrats on pushing that PR down below 3:50 — sounds like both the luck and talent o' the Irish (with a dash o' Meb mojo) were on your side. Nothing beats a PR bell on the beach! (Even a cold beach). And here I thought I was the only one who liked to hop out of bed less than an hour before the start. Very cool that you continue to have great experiences at this race, though where does that leave us for #40... back to Dublin? 😉 Congrats on another fantastic weekend complete with another free pair of sunglasses 😎, and thanks for the awesome review! LESS

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    cassidymegan3 Mar 20, 2019 at 10:17am

    I think that #40 will either be Dingle or Limerick. ☺ I hear great things about both. Actually, #40 will happen WAY before I can afford another trip back and… MORE

    I think that #40 will either be Dingle or Limerick. ☺ I hear great things about both. Actually, #40 will happen WAY before I can afford another trip back and with the races that I pace, the numbers fill up pretty quickly. Most likely, it will be one of the "Center of the Nations" series in 2020. Thank you for the encouragement! I may have to make this an annual trip. ☺ LESS

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