First race - Shamrock Shuffle 2015
Image source: Maria Patterson

First race - Shamrock Shuffle 2015

The 2015 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k was my first race. It was just under 5 miles on the Sunday before the Chi-town Half Marathon, so it fit in pretty well with the Nike+ Running Coach half marathon training schedule and was a good opportunity to go through the race experience at an easier distance before the half.


2015 Shamrock Shuffle Nike dri-fit shirt (I got a Womens' small, fits well), gaiter, and medal (with pin).

We picked up our race packets at the fitness expo Friday night before the race. The race registration cost was $50 (plus another $10 for parking at the McCormick expo). Gear included a Nike dri-fit green short sleeved shirt and a “gaiter” scarf thing (awesome). The expo also had free Michelob Ultra beers. We didn’t stay too long, but I signed up for several more races (got some good discount codes/coupons) and grabbed some extra swag- highlights were Magnificent Mile sunglasses and a headband sweatband thing.


This year there were 22,877 people who finished the race, 12,847 of whom were women (56%). Given the large number of entrants, the race was organized into two waves with a 45 minute separation in start time.
I had registered in the 11:30’ pace corral (second wave) but decided to try and go for a 10:30’ pace finish.

Shamrock course map.

I finished with a 10:26’ finish (10:34’ ave) for a time of 52:29, right at my goal. This put me at

  • Overall: 13,605 of 22,877 (40.5%);
  • Gender: 6,176 of 12,847 (51.9%);
  • Age/gender group: 1,752 of 3,060 (42.7%);
  • 5k split: 33:03 time (10:39’ pace)

After party

The weather held for the race but started to turn pretty ugly (cold and rainy with a little bit of hail- got immediately sick with a cold afterwards), and so we didn’t stay long at the post-race party. We did take advantage of our free Michelob Ultra beers and other snacks- Sun Chips, bananas, etc. Best of the snacks were definitely the Home Run Inn pizza slices.

In short

Really fun for a first race! Was great to run through the streets of Chicago. The medal is more of a bottle opener on a lanyard (doesn’t even have the year on it so maybe they’ll use them again next year), but I’ve already made good use of the shirt and gaiter. 8k seems like a great distance to race (for me)- would do it again but prefer a Saturday run to have a day to recover before the work week.