The Shamrock Marathon takes place in Virgina Beach the weekend right around St Patrick's Day and was my first ever full marathon. It was also on my 35th birthday last year (2012) so I celebrated by running 26.2 miles! Overall it was a good one to pick for a first full marathon. There were some negatives though, however they were outweighed by all the positives.
Even though the course didn't have many water views, you can't beat the finish area. You do run the last quarter mile down the boardwalk to a huge party on the beach! The have Irish bands playing, with Irish food (bangers and mash, etc), and every finisher gets 4 beers! They had Yuengling on tap with was delicious. Here I am running towards the finish on the boardwalk (both feet off the ground! But I didn't feel like I was flying at this point). The crowd was confined to the near-side of the photo, and they were very supportive at this point even though you can't see them in the picture. It was nice hearing that at the finish. Of course the best crowd support came from my wife and daughter, here they are wishing me off at the start and cheering me on during the race:
|Avery pointing at the King Neptune statue waiting for daddy at the finish line|
|Avery wearing my finisher hat. It is a nice running hat that I use a lot|
Some other things to note, the day before there is an 8k race and a kids marathon. The kids marathon is 26.2 yards, and all the kids get bib numbers and shirts! They break it into groups by age, and the kids get to run across the actual finish line and get a medal!
|Cool bib numbers, every kid is number 1!|
|Nice shirts too!|
|Avery 'warming up' with a binky!|
|Finding her start corral|
|Celebrating with her finisher's medal|
|Trying to get my cool shades on!|
|Look what I made mommy and daddy!|
|It did rain the day after the race and was much cooler out.|
|Colleen wearing my Brooks Shamrock Marathon jacket that I bought at the expo.|
|View from room|