2016 Shamrock Shuffle 8k Race Recap

This past Sunday, I joined tens of thousands of other runners and ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8k.


This song was stuck in my head for the majority of the race...
This song was stuck in my head for the majority of the race…


This was my first year running the Shamrock Shuffle and it was WAY bigger than I expected!  There were over 23,000 participants, so it was not quite as small and intimate as the Ramble was.  The expo was bigger than some marathon expos I’ve been to! I went on the Saturday prior to the race, and getting to the expo was a trek through all four seasons in a two-hour time window: rain, flurries, sunshine, and insanely strong winds.


The last 8k I ran was the Rudolph Ramble in December 2015.  It was warmer that day than it was for the Shuffle!  In December, the temperature was 60 degrees, humid and rainy. During the Shamrock Shuffle, the temperature was in the 30s during the race and there was substantial southwest wind.  However, by the end of the day, the temperature had skyrocketed to 72 degrees! Pull it together, Chicago!


The race grounds
The race grounds


I was able to check my gear at the Nike + Run tent and am glad I didn’t have to deal with all the crowds pre- and post- race.  Did a mile and a half warmup plus Bob’s typical drills and strides then headed into the corral.  I was in Wave 1, Corral A and was lucky enough to see Hayley, Lynton, Brendan, and Annabelle before the gun went off.

Ready to get our shuffle on!
The Course

Runners start at the same place the Chicago Marathon begins, on Columbus and Monroe, and actually runs the same first two and a half miles as the marathon- up Columbus to Grand, west to State street, south to Jackson and back north along Lasalle.  The blue tangent line from the marathon was still slightly visible as we twisted through the city.

The Shamrock Shuffle stops following the course and has runners turn onto Randolph and then immediately onto Franklin to bring us back south.  We weave our way over east to Michigan Avenue, and head south to Roosevelt (“Mount Roosevelt” seems a lot bigger when you are coming from the opposite direction as the marathon).  The 8k finishes up at the south end of Grant Park.


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Mile by Mile

My GPS did not like running in the city.  I don’t remember it being that off during the marathon; my overall distance came out to nearly 6 miles, and Strava believes that I ran a 2:44 minute mile.  Ha!

The race flew by for me, so I don’t really remember the mile by mile like I used to.  I remember seeing my brother cheering on the side around mile 2- of course I spotted him before he saw me- and then I saw him again at mile 4.  November Project also had a giant cheer station at mile 4, which was a great target to aim for and a mental landmark because from there on I only had .97 to go! Shout out to my brother for snapping a picture:



I spy fellow BRC member, Mischa, ahead…



In the last 400m I was able to sprint by at least 5 girls as well as a few men, so I hope that is a sign of things to come at the Boston Marathon in two weeks!

I wish I had better split information, but according to the results page I was pretty consistent, and it was a 26 second PR for me!

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This was my first time running as part of a team- Bootleg Runners Coalition- and we didn’t do too shabby! Second place!! #GherkinBeanAmazing!


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After party

Kaitlyn had organized an after party for NP as well as Rogue at Jimmy Green’s on State, but it didn’t open until 11.  Since we were all finished running by about 9, we decided to hang around the beer tent and enjoy our free beer.  It was SO cold though that we quickly decided to finish the beer and find a coffee shop to wait at before our bar opened.

When the bar eventually did open, I had fun laughing and talking with a mix of all my favorite people: November Project friends, Fleet Feet running buddies, and fellow Bootleggers.  I may or may not have verbaled for a few different races in the near future… can’t wait!  Unfortunately my phone died at this point so there are no more pictures to chronicle the shenanigans.


The swag. LOVE the shirt!
The swag. LOVE the shirt!


Overall the Shamrock Shuffle 8k is a great way to start the racing season in Chicago (although mine hadn’t really ever stopped…).  It’s a fun time, even if the weather is crazy, and I would recommend it for anyone interested in a short springtime race.



Happy running,


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Pete B

Congrats on the speedy finish and PR! Go BRC!