Race Review: J&A Racing Shamrock 8K

With cold weather and rain plaguing Hampton Roads this weekend, it took more than just the luck of the Irish to encourage me to get out and run!

Luckily, J&A Racing’s Shamrock 8K held the promise of a fun race with a pot of gold waiting at the end (okay, it was a medal and beer…close enough).

I’ve done several J&A races, and I’m never less than amazed by how well they pull the weekend off.

My mom and I headed to the Convention Center Friday for package pickup.  My husband’s work schedule changed, so he decided at last minute he wanted to run.  It was a breeze to sign him up at the package pick up and get everything sorted so he was in the same corral as me the next day.

While it was easy to sign him up the day before the race, I strongly suggest you sign up as early as possible for a race so you’re guaranteed a spot and to ensure you pay early bird pricing!

The pickup was very well organized and we were quickly able to grab everyone’s bibs, the rider bib for my son, our beer bracelets (don’t forget those!) and shirts.  We then wandered through the Expo, checking out the various booths and picking up fun items such as leprechaun hats.

The next morning, we arrived around 7:30 for the race.   J& A Racing kept the corrals moving quickly through the start, so there wasn’t a lot of standing around and waiting, which was great because it was COLD.

The course was smooth and very stroller friendly.   The main drag in Virginia Beach was shut down, so the run was on pavement, which makes pushing a stroller easy.  There was a DJ and a few radio stations along the course, as well as two water stops.  The mile markers were easily visible, which was great (unless of course you don’t want to know how much further you have to go!)

The view wasn’t bad either, with a good bit of the race taking place along the boardwalk.  Seeing the various cargo ships heading out to sea helped keep me focused and made the run more enjoyable.

After finishing the race, you got your medal and several goodies before heading off to the party tent.  Inside the tent, there was a band, beer lines and a soup line.  All the lines moved quite quickly and we were able to collect our delicious soup from Murphy’s (seriously, try their beef stew next time you dine there!) and Yuengling.

If you had your littles with you, there was a play area set up.  Also, the tent was stroller friendly, which was great since we had our double BOB with us.

All in all, it was a great event.  If you are looking for a race to run with your kids (or without!), you won’t be disappointed in the Shamrock run!

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