Shamrock Run 15k – Hills, Hills, Hills!

March 18, 2014

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When I signed up for this race in January, I registered for the 8k. Friends ended up registering for the 15k and since it was free to change distances later – and peer pressure of training with friends is more fun – I opted for the 15k version!

Shamrock Run 15k Route

Unlike my first half marathon, in the weeks leading up to the race I was a lot more nervous about my training – or lack there of. I felt like I’d not put in enough distance in my long runs. Most of the weekends that I should have been doing some longer runs were spent hiking, snowshoeing, and then it actually snowed here in Portland. What made me most nervous about this race was that it was hilly. I don’t spend a lot of time running hills, beyond the tiny “hills” in Laurelhurst Park. With 550 feet elevation gain – most of that over a couple of miles up to OHSU and Terwilliger – I was feeling a little intimidated! The course was 2 miles flat, 2 miles slight uphill, 2 miles super upperhill, and then 3 miles downhill.

Race day ended up being perfect weather for March. We got there just in time to use the porta-potties and hop the fence into our pace group. Most of us split up into different pace groups, but my friend Julie and I stuck together. This was also my first race running with someone that I knew, and while we stuck together for about the first mile and a half, I dropped back because I knew the pace was a little too ambitious for me pre-hill! The hill ended up being uncomfortable and tough, but a bit more manageable than I’d built it up to be in my head. I felt like I did a really good job of moderating my pace up front, so by the time I got to the top of the hill, I sped up quite a bit. And now I know for the future that I can push myself a bit more on the hills.

My Shamrock Run Pace – 1:35 (10:13 pace)

  • Mile 1 – 10:03
  • Mile 2 – 9:59
  • Mile 3 – 10:29
  • Mile 4 – 11:07
  • Mile 5 – 11:28
  • Mile 6 – 10:14
  • Mile 7 – 9:27
  • Mile 8 – 9:12
  • Mile 9 – 9:06
  • Mile 9.5 – 

I also did a bit better at running the course more efficiently than I did with my half. Nike+ ended at 9.5 (15k is 9.32 miles) so a 10:03 pace unofficially.

What are you looking at?

Shamrock Race Swag/Perks:

  • lime green Adidas t-shirt – these shirts were ridiculously small. Since I had to go swap out my 8k bib for the 15k, I exchanged my shirt for a large, (and it’s still tiny!)
  • 15k Finisher bottle opener medal – how fun!
  • 1 Widmer Brothers beer at the finish
  • Free race photos! Many events charge for photos, while others don’t even offer them, so it was great being able to see a few photos of the race without the giant watermark across your face. :) My eyes are actually open in most of the pics, and I’ve been laughing at my “What are you looking at” face in this one. >>

What: Adidas Shamrock Run 15k
When: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Where: Waterfront Park to Terwilliger – Portland, Oregon
Price: $36.87

Overall, I really enjoyed the Shamrock Run. It was a really well done event, and a fun way to kick off the new year to have something to train for. And for the price, it was also a good value. I can see myself running this one again.

Shamrock Run also coincided with my one year running anniversary. I’m amazed at how much I’ve improved in the last year. I went from run/walking 12 minute miles to cutting about 2 minutes/mile off my pace for this hilly 15k. What a difference a year makes, when you’re a beginner!

Check out my Running page for more info on races and how I started running.