Overall Rating
Overall Rating (65 Reviews)
4.6
(65 Ratings)  (65 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.8
SCENERY
3.6
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.7
Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend, a St. Paddy’s Day tradition, has a race distance for every goal: Marathon, Half Marathon, 8K, and challenges. No matter the distance, you’ll experience the best of Coastal Virginia on our flat, fast, and scenic course before you cross the finish line overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Mar 16):
  2024 2023 2022 2021 2020
 
H (°F)  63  57  69  50  49
L (°F)  51  38  49  38  45
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Recent reviews

    alexissherwin FIRST-TIMER '24

    Wear a hat if sunny. Mostly flat only a few hills. Not enough porta potty in starting area. Long lines just at the beginning of the race. Good sags. Good … MORE

    Wear a hat if sunny. Mostly flat only a few hills. Not enough porta potty in starting area. Long lines just at the beginning of the race. Good sags. Good after race event. Good food, music and beers. Hotels should have some kind of transportation for runners staying more than a mile away from starting point. Good expo with nice booths. Plenty of water and food when you finish the race. Police did a great job with traffic. Many parking options. Great support from local people.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    A lot of runners and walkers for this race. Open corrals so a lot of dodging and weaving in first miles or so Great party, swag and along oceanfront! MORE

    A lot of runners and walkers for this race. Open corrals so a lot of dodging and weaving in first miles or so
    Great party, swag and along oceanfront!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    carolynrunstheusa REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Lots of good swag and great party! Would have liked a better food option for my meal ticket vs four beets. Bite size Bundt cake didn’t seem “meal-like” MORE

    Lots of good swag and great party!
    Would have liked a better food option for my meal ticket vs four beets. Bite size Bundt cake didn’t seem “meal-like”

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    kevin_g_reed FIRST-TIMER '24

    - Loved the pacing group I ran with for a majority of the race. Both pacers were great at encouraging water and fuel. Kept the pace very consistent and helped … MORE

    – Loved the pacing group I ran with for a majority of the race. Both pacers were great at encouraging water and fuel. Kept the pace very consistent and helped get us up the tough bridge twice.
    – I thought it was pretty cool to run through the beach front and see the military base. Also seeing the lighthouse was one of the highlights.
    – I really enjoyed running down the pier at the end and then the party at the beach was pretty fun.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    I loved this race! From start to finish - everything was great! * easy to fly into Norfolk * once in Virginia Beach - everything was within walking distance (I … MORE

    I loved this race! From start to finish – everything was great!
    * easy to fly into Norfolk
    * once in Virginia Beach – everything was within walking distance (I didn’t need a car)
    * great expo – lots of choices of race merch to purchase. About a mile walk from my hotel
    * lots of choices for food
    * start time was 7:30 – walked about 1 mile from my hotel
    * coarse was kinda boring in parts. ran through a military base. didn’t see the ocean until the very end.
    * after party – best of my 40 half marathons
    * swag – at the end they just continued to give us stuff – blanket, hat, bag, food
    * crowd support was amazing.
    So glad I chose this for Virginia!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    RunBillie FIRST-TIMER '24

    Nice big Expo, great course and course support. Port o potties and aid ststions were plentiful. There was plenty of race swag. There was a huge post race party. I … MORE

    Nice big Expo, great course and course support. Port o potties and aid ststions were plentiful. There was plenty of race swag. There was a huge post race party.
    I highly recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    grimesdee FIRST-TIMER '24

    Expo is average size. Quick and easy in and out if needed. It was raining and parking can be quite a walk. Every busy Friday evening. We stayed at a … MORE

    Expo is average size. Quick and easy in and out if needed. It was raining and parking can be quite a walk. Every busy Friday evening.
    We stayed at a hotel right near the start. So we waited until the last minute to head to corrals. They were not keeping spectators away from corrals or making sure people were in the correct corral. The first half of the race is great. Lots of energy and people. Even on the military base section they had a great group out to cheer for the runners. Although this section is a bit more narrow than those on the roads. Around mile 12.5 you split from the half and head out toward the 2nd half. The 2nd half doesn’t really have the energy or crowds the first half does. There is just a turn around before 19. Then at 20-21 you have to go around some military housing. It was boring and the sun was in full force. There is a bridge you have to cross twice that is quite steep. Once you get back to the board walk you start to see more people again. I loved the crowd once we got back to the street. There are lots of people to cheer you into the finish from 25-26.2. The post race party was fun however the meal ticket did not exactly provide any food. Basically a small sample of some cake. That was disappointing. We enjoyed the party on the beach because it is very loud under the tent.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    dolphinlvr REPEAT RUNNER '24

    The race was great as it was the previous year. I love turning the corner and seeing the ocean! It's very straight. Seeing Neptune statue is always great to feel … MORE

    The race was great as it was the previous year. I love turning the corner and seeing the ocean! It’s very straight. Seeing Neptune statue is always great to feel like I’m getting closer. This time I knew we turned and go up to the next street and go past the statue and then turn again to come back to the Neptune statue. That was a nice push for me to finish! This year the weather was wonderful!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Vendsweet FIRST-TIMER '23

    The weather was cold, the route was flat, the wind was tough. I was surprised by the race... I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. … MORE

    The weather was cold, the route was flat, the wind was tough. I was surprised by the race… I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I especially appreciated the fact they allowed me to pick up my race packet on the morning of the race!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    kimmie90 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This was my second time running this race. This year was extra special. My granddaughter ran a race, too. The post events were great!! This race isn't hard at all. … MORE

    This was my second time running this race. This year was extra special. My granddaughter ran a race, too. The post events were great!! This race isn’t hard at all. The scenery could be a little better. But overall, I would definitely do it again!!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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    sawyerpatillia FIRST-TIMER '23

    You could tell the race producers cared about the race participants. The race course was beautiful and they had plenty of water available on the course. The swag was nice … MORE

    You could tell the race producers cared about the race participants. The race course was beautiful and they had plenty of water available on the course. The swag was nice and I loved the Peloton instructor meet and greet. Meeting Bart Yasso was awesome because of his talk i am thinking about international races. The after-party was so much fun that was the first time I stayed to an after race party till the end!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    The Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon marked State #9 for me on my 50 states journey. The event was celebrating its 51st year on the morning of March 19, 2023. It … MORE

    The Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon marked State #9 for me on my 50 states journey. The event was celebrating its 51st year on the morning of March 19, 2023. It was 44° F at the start of the race, and actually cooled down to about 40° F by the finish. The wind remained a consistent 15 – 17 mph throughout the duration of the event, and felt even chillier the closer we got to the water.

    The starting line was on 42nd & Atlantic Avenue, which was approximately a 1.3 mile walk from my hotel. All of the roads in the surrounding area that intersected with – or directly involved – the race course were shut down, so driving to the start was not an option. Spectators waved to us from their condo balconies and front porches as we passed their homes and colorful apartment buildings, which flanked both sides of the residential street.
    There were aid stations approximately every 1.5 miles, with volunteers offering water and electrolyte mix.

    In addition to these sanctioned aid stations, there were also “dehydration stations,” where Virginia Beach residents offered runners beer and other adult beverages on the go. Some runners enthusiastically took them up on the offer, sloshing beer along the course. The flat, scenic coastal course took us north up Atlantic Avenue for about two miles, and the course then shifted left onto Shore Drive, where we looped around the historic Fort Story for about 6 miles. We actually did have to enter the military installation’s gates, and everyone who had a visible race bib was waved through. While on Fort Story, we passed by the site where John Smith, Christopher Newport, John Rolfe and the other Jamestown colonists first landed in America in 1607, and also passed by the Cape Henry Lighthouse – the oldest standing lighthouse in the United States.

    There were active duty service members who were doubling as race volunteers, and they made sure we felt welcome while we passed through Fort Story. Fort Story was significantly windier than the rest of the race course, and I felt the temperature drop slightly as we exited the base and headed back onto Atlantic Avenue, where we now faced a slightly offensive headwind. I could see King Neptune looming in the distance at mile 12, only a mile away. The absolute longest mile.

    We sprinted down the boardwalk to the tune of hundreds of spectators cheering on either side for the finishers, as the announcer called out our names. The Finisher’s Tent had live music playing, and friendly volunteers cheerfully served cups of Murphy’s Irish Stew and Yuengling Beer.

    On a final note, packet pick-up was at the Shamrock Sports & Fitness Expo at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The Expo had an abundance of vendors and some pretty fun photo opportunities, and the swag we received for registering for the race and finishing the race was exceptional. Finishers received a unique, soft finisher’s blanket, and a moisture-wicking Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon baseball cap, which were both handed to us after we collected our medals. Each participant got a technical long sleeved T-shirt, which I proudly wore on my way home.

    10/10 would recommend this exceptionally fun race with an exciting beach finish on the boardwalk. I definitely plan to do this one again sometime in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    LiLoKo FIRST-TIMER '23

    After weeks and weeks of googling "best first marathon", I picked Shamrock as my first race, and I'm so glad I did. The atmosphere was so encouraging and lively, and … MORE

    After weeks and weeks of googling “best first marathon”, I picked Shamrock as my first race, and I’m so glad I did. The atmosphere was so encouraging and lively, and everyone (staff, runners, spectators) was enthusiastic. There was music playing at certain spots along the course, a couple of signs with some excellent/terrible puns, and Gel packets, water and Nuun were consistently plentiful, predictably spaced and very efficiently handed out. Fair warning, the bathrooms tend to have a bit of a line (even early on in the course) and involve some stopping to wait.

    As a wannabe runner with a pace of “slow but steady still gets the medal at the end”, it was really nice to have a celebration at the finish line regardless of finishing time – people still hanging out cheering for you to finish and the announcer calling out as you come in. And everyone handing you swag left and right! A comfortable, nice quality shirt, a versatile hat, a soft colorful blanket, and a bag to put it all in – what more could you ask for? (But if you are asking – bananas, chips, etc. were also offered up).

    The course is genuinely, sincerely, as flat as a pancake. As someone who complains at the slightest incline and googled “flattest marathons” before picking one, I could not have asked for a flatter course (except, of course, for the one bridge that you cross in both directions – startling if you, like me, read the map wrong until two days before the race, but in reality, a very short not-that-big up and down.) What was more difficult for me was temperature changes – between stretches of no shade along the military bases and the wild headwinds along the boardwalk, I alternated between too hot and a little bit freezing at points. The wind was the hardest part of the course for me. That, and watching the half marathoners split off, while simultaneously watching the fast marathoners coming in to finish as well, while you’re just heading out to run the second 13.1 stretch, is a bit disheartening. Not that either of these things reflect poorly on the race or organization – just something I’ll be prepared for next time.

    Locals come out for a huge portion of the race with signs and extra beverages – even a bloody mary if that happens to be your mid-race fuel of choice – which really helped with keeping energy up. And again, as a slow runner, I really appreciated the groups who hung out along the course to cheer even though the majority of runners had already passed. The military base stretches and overall the second half of the run are much more deserted and we missed the crowds there. For people bringing friends and family to watch, we were able to see our friends at four different points because of the course layout, which was great (near the start, near the half, near the 25, and at the finish).

    I’ve heard that some races feel very unfriendly to runners not going at Boston-speeds (ie. water tables taken down early, finish line disassembled, no medals left). None of that was the case here. All in all, really glad I chose this one!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    jkelling Jan 19, 2024 at 1:05pm

    Congrats on your first marathon! And thanks for a great review. Here's your "follow"...also always earned, never given.

    Congrats on your first marathon! And thanks for a great review. Here's your "follow"...also always earned, never given.

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    JARandom17 FIRST-TIMER '23

    The location and organization of this race are great. Lots of information before the race, a good expo, plenty of hotels to stay in near the course. The course was … MORE

    The location and organization of this race are great. Lots of information before the race, a good expo, plenty of hotels to stay in near the course.

    The course was super flat and consisted of loop and an out-and-back. The only noticable hill was on the bridge going over Rudee Inlet and that was a short hill. I was told there was another hill early in the race, but I didn’t notice it. The course offers a lot of variety, including — residential areas full of spectators, a wooded road, a huge lighthouse, two military bases, and the “board walk” along the ocean.

    The start was incredibly well organized. Corrals of 200-300 people starting every two minutes. There was plenty of room to run the whole race. Water stops (with porta potties) every 1.5 miles in the course. The dry bag drop off and pickup lines were short and moved quickly.

    There was a good amount of food for the runners in the chute after the finish line. The after party was the best after party I have been to. A good cover band and each entry came with 4 beer tickets. I was told that you could buy more if you wanted, but I didn’t need any more.

    I got a 2 minute 15 second PR, even with the wind, but I could have run a few minutes faster without the wind. Due to aging up this year, my time was 15+ minutes under my BQ time.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    buytaerts FIRST-TIMER '23

    Just a well run race. The whole town was getting ready for it. Loved the 8k distance. Easy packet pick up. Course was nice and flat. Weather great this time … MORE

    Just a well run race. The whole town was getting ready for it.
    Loved the 8k distance.
    Easy packet pick up.
    Course was nice and flat.
    Weather great this time of year to run in but a little chilly for Spring Break😜

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    cdefonso FIRST-TIMER '23

    From pre-race communication and packet pick up at the expo, to the starting line and post-race party, the Shamrock Marathon produces an amazing event! We received a race guide with … MORE

    From pre-race communication and packet pick up at the expo, to the starting line and post-race party, the Shamrock Marathon produces an amazing event! We received a race guide with plenty of information a week before the race in an email. The packet pick up at the VA Beach Convention Center was fun and very well organized. Swag included a long sleeve technical shirt. Other Shamrock merchandise was available too, along with free samples of Yuengling beer. The race on Sunday combined both marathoners and half marathoners in 10 corrals. Each corral went off every 60-90 seconds. The course winds though a residential neighborhood and then First Landing state park to the lighthouse and then back to boardwalk, passing the Neptune statue. Water stops were plentiful that also included sports drinks and gel. The medals were really nice and post-race goodies at the finish line were plentiful, including snacks, water, hat, beach blanket, and a draw-string bag. But the post-race party was hands down the best! There are 4 drink tickets included with your bib and the party in the very large tent was super fun! Never had to wait in line for a beer and the band was incredible! Very thankful we were in a tent as it turned out to be a windy and chilly day in VA Beach (sunny though) so being “indoors” certainly helped. I would highly recommend this race to anyone. There is definitely a reason why this won the best half marathon in Virginia!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    drrobert909 FIRST-TIMER '23

    This is a relatively flat course with just a slight up hill during mile 16 and again at 23 when crossing an overpass. The toughest part of this course were … MORE

    This is a relatively flat course with just a slight up hill during mile 16 and again at 23 when crossing an overpass. The toughest part of this course were the headwinds but that is to be expected for a marathon by the ocean.

    The first half of the race is run with the half marathon group which is fine as it keeps the race lively. The second half thinned out but it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

    There were plenty of aid stations with water and NUUN and beer stops during the first half.
    For those who like their photos, there are plenty of photographers from start to finish. I had over 100 photos.

    The after party is a fun time, live band that plays till the end. It’s nice to see an after party that caters to the marathoners and not just the half marathoners.

    The expo was decent and there was plenty of swag including a finishers hat and towel/blanket.

    A little surprised there were no heat blankets at the finish on a cooler windy day but the after party tent was pretty well heated I guess.

    Overall, if you’re looking for a Virginia Marathon that is not the Marine Corps Marathon, this is the one.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    DonutShark FIRST-TIMER '23

    In no particular order… Pre-Race Commmunication — The event does a thorough job sharing tons of information in the weeks leading up to the run. Multiple emails, detailed website, active … MORE

    In no particular order…

    Pre-Race Commmunication — The event does a thorough job sharing tons of information in the weeks leading up to the run. Multiple emails, detailed website, active social media presence.

    Expo – Actually one of the better expos I’ve been to lately. Apparel for sale was not too impressive (and 90% womens apparel), but that’s my only complaint. Chatted with several exhibitors and got some decent goodies…chocolate milk, smoothie samples, cake samples, beer samples, and some decent branding collateral from vendors I liked.

    Race Day Traffic/Parking – This was probably the worst part of the event, but whatcha gonna do. Took us 30 minutes to drive less than two miles to the start area. Had to jump out of the car and leave the wife to find her own parking. Another half hour later and she still hadn’t made it to a parking spot. She missed the start of the race. Better traffic control by local law enforcement would have helped.

    Porta Potties – Didn’t wait in line before the race, but there seemed to be plenty of them. There were several throughout the race, too. I got in and out in under 60 seconds right around mile 13.

    Course – For a seaside town, it was…okay. Lots of straight line running…that’s good if you like a fast run. Don’t be fooled: You won’t have an ocean view for most of the race. Still, running on the military base, past the lighthouses, and a few miles beside the beach made for a pleasant run.

    Crowd Support – 5 stars. Not the biggest crowd I’ve run seen, but it was up there. I really felt like the community came out to support runners. Lots of neighbors were handing out water, beer (yep, I partook), and other goodies. They had good energy, too.

    Finish Line/Post-Race – One of the best post-race celebrations I’ve encountered. I like that it lived up to that ambitious claim. A steady stream of volunteers after the finish line handing you food, swag, medal, etc. Huge tent on the beach with a damn good band (and I don’t even like live bands that much). Four drink tickets for Yuengling. The Irish stew was a PERFECT post-race dish on a cold day (tasty, too!). Even the food vendors outside the tent on the beach were cool.

    All told, this was a great event. If I had to run a Virginia marathon again, there are other parts of the state I’d rather explore and other races that get more love from fellow 50-staters, but that doesn’t take anything away from this event. The Shamrock Marathon was a fun time and 100% worth a trip to the beach on a cold, windy St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    laurawelch4 FIRST-TIMER '23

    Really nice race. Expo was fun and well organized. Race production was good. Course was nice because we were able to run near the waves. Aid stations were fantastic and … MORE

    Really nice race. Expo was fun and well organized. Race production was good. Course was nice because we were able to run near the waves. Aid stations were fantastic and plentiful, I enjoyed the cookies. As many beer stops as water stops. 🤣🤣🤣

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    seagroves87 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    I had done this race in 2021 but it was modified and an open course due to covid. I was impressed with what the race company J&A racing was able … MORE

    I had done this race in 2021 but it was modified and an open course due to covid. I was impressed with what the race company J&A racing was able to do during covid so I wanted to come back during a normal year for the full experience. I drove down to Virginia Beach after RnR DC on Saturday. They do have the option to have your packet mailed early or race day packet pick-up but it is a hefty fee and I think was $40. I did opt to have my packet mailed as I wanted no stress getting to VB. Packet included bib and a nice long-sleeved, very green tech shirt. Packet pick-up goes until 5pm on Saturday. I arrived in VB right about 5pm but I stayed and enjoyed the after party in DC and stopped for gas and Dunkins on the drive down so you definitely could make it in time for packet pick-up if doing both if you are either a fast runner or leave right after you cross the finish line if you don’t want to pay to have bib mailed or picked up race day. I again stayed in the Ramada. It is right by the finish. One thing I did not account for is Atlantic Ave is closed until 3:30pm on race day so if you wanted to leave before 3:30pm you could not park in the Ramada’s parking structure. Luckily I found street parking 2 blocks away on Arctic Ave but if I were to do the race again and drive home right after I would stay at a hotel a few blocks inland not right at the beach as I’d prefer not to do street parking. If you are staying Sunday night or leaving after 3:30pm the Ramada is very convenient. The race starts about 3/4 mile from the finish. This race was basically the opposite of RnR DC in that everything at the start was super organized except there was not nearly enough porta potties. It was kind of a cold morning. Although there was a snow storm in Rochester last week so I thought the weather was pleasant but I didn’t want to hang at the start line too long so did not have time to wait in the porta potty lines. I was feeling pretty awful from being sick 1.5 weeks ago and my glutes were on fire from the DC race so I knew I wasn’t having a fast time and was not worried about losing a few minutes using the porta potty during the race. However the corral system was extremely organized, efficient and spaced everyone out perfectly. The race was also great. It is a party atmosphere type of race with a ton of participants and lots of slower runners as well. I was a little disappointed in course scenery as I was hoping for more beach scenes and I found the modified course from 2021 to be a bit more scenic with the boardwalk. However the course is very flat. The first part is a few miles through a nice neighborhood with a ton of spectators which is fun. The next few miles are probably the worst of the course. They are a very slight incline through some woods. Not many spectators and scenery a bit repetitive here. However it is the perfect place for an incline. After you have gotten into your groove but before you are too tired too notice and the second half is slightly downhill so it would be a fast course if you didn’t feel like crap. Around mile 6 you enter Fort Story a military base. This is pretty cool since normally it is off limit for the public but there are less spectators. The first part of this section is a bit boring but the second part has a cool lighthouse and some beach views. You then go back through the neighborhood and then turn onto the beach boardwalk for maybe half a mile and finish at the King Neptune statue. Course is well supported with plenty of aid stations. While there were lots of porta potties on the course the lines were very long since so many runners couldn’t go before the race. Otherwise production was pretty much perfect. At the finish line you get your medal which is nice and has a design of the King Neptune statue and then volunteers keep handing you stuff. It seemed like the swag and goodies never ended. You got a blanket, hat, water bottles, recovery drink, tons of snack items and luckily a drawstring bag. On the beach there is also a tent with a post race party with beef stew and beer or if you are meat and alcohol free like me veggie stew and pepsi. Overall this was a great race. I do wish the scenery was a little more beachy but it’s a flat course with great production and festive atmosphere. I enjoyed it so much I decide to sign up for another half with J&A racing this Fall. This is definitely a very good choice for Virginia and worked really well as a double with RnR DC.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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