Portland Shamrock Run 2018
Who says the reviews section has to be products? I decided moving forward I’m going to review events, races, competitions, and a variety of other items I think might be fun for the readers to hear my opinion on. On Sunday March 18th, 2018 at 8am I took part in the 40th annual Shamrock Run in Portland, OR. I had multiple friends / coworkers take part in a variety of races offered that day as well ranging from the 5K to the 15K. There were over 6K entries for the 5K race.
This was the biggest “fun run” I had ever taken part in. My personal largest complaint about the race itself was people not lining up in their appropriate time slots. I felt like people in front of me weren’t running quick enough so I ended up racing around them. Then again, I was in the 7-8 minute group and wound up doing the first half mile in 3 minutes (which would be a 6 minute mile) meaning I was in the wrong starting group.
I heard additional complaints regarding race times from someone else on my team, with them having to stop to let public transit go by. I personally didn’t experience this issue as the police held up public transit to let us run by, which was pretty cool.
Make sure you keep your bib number visible. You can buy photos after the race and they can only tag you if they can see your bib number. I show up in the lost and found photos a few times as my bag was covering my number when they took the photo. If you cover it up you won’t have any souvenir photos. It’s also worth noting that the bib does indeed have a tracking chip so you know when you started, how long after the gun you started, what place you came in, etc. Those kind of things I think are an added bonus as it removes the need to run with a phone in your hand tracking on something like Strava (although I did that anyways.)
The super racers do show up for this type of event, running sub 5 minute mile times. I went in wave one somewhat near the front, so those guys would have been directly in front of me (and may have been the ones I was trying to catch that first half mile.) But most people are there just to have a good time. I think its more about just showing up, having fun with friends, and doing the run than trying to do some crazy time.
They do offer some bonuses for signing up as well, which was cool. At the end of the race you get free water, a free bowl of potato soup, and a beer. They also throw in a race T-Shirt (I think all events do that these days) so you can add an additional piece of workout clothing to your closet to avoid spending more money at the Nike or Under Armour store.
Should you run the Shamrock Run next year? It depends on what your goals are. If you want to have fun, then yeah. If you’re highly competitive then you should probably get yourself near the very front of the line to enjoy yourself. The family fun groups ignore things like race time positions and will line up their 6 year old kids and multiple children strollers near the front so you end up having to move around them. And yes, I did get passed by a child near the end of the run. I’m cool with that.