Race Report: Blue Diamond Shamrock’n Half Marathon

This is the race that sometimes I love to hate … I remember when it was a smaller race, then it has become a big race full of all the glitz and glamor of other races. I have had some great moments when it comes to the Shamrock’n Half, from running with friends, setting a personal best of 1:24:40 to seeing other friends run personal best and pacing a few friends along the way, not to mention some epic photos taken at this race. Each year I say, I’ll sit this race out, but somehow it always ends up on my race calendar.

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This year, I knew it was going to be a special year for the Shamrock’n Half Marathon. With about 12 members of 9RUN6 attending this race it would be the first race that would be pretty well represented, also a race where most of the members had been training for this day to run a personal best or run their first half marathon. I had to honor of providing many of the members a workout plan and passing along my experience of training for a race to them.

For each person their Shamrock’n weekend started on different days as members picked up their swag at the Downtown Fleet Feet store during the week.

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the swag pick up at fleet feet

Once Sunday March 15 rolled around it was time to head to Raley Field … I met up with my fellow 9RUN6’er runBMC (yes Brian M. Crilly), since we were on 9RUN6 pacing duties, we met a little early to tack on a few extra miles pre race. We also opted to pull some pre race photo antics while making our way from the Crocker to Raley Field …

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hey dude the Nuun car … take a photo of me next to it …

The the group starting to gather at the main entrance to Raley Field it was time for a group photo before the Wave 1 start time of 7:45AM … the group gave it’s good lucks to one another and it was about to go down!

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With the race making it’s final announcements runBMC, Alexia, and I made our way to the start line. Today would be a day for helping other people reach their goals of personal best, since I haven’t been training for a particular race since CIM, this would be a good time to enjoy other people’s goals before I start training in two weeks for my goal race this summer. Alexia would have the goal of a 1:45:00 (previous best of 1:54:xx).

IMG_2614Boom and we were off … it would be all about pace, running comfortable but still hammering to get Alexia in and under her goal of 1:45:00. We started off a little hot with the mile splits of the first 3 miles, but at the 5k mark Alexia was feeling good, while Brian and I were talking strategy for the race.

As we moved toward the 10k mark Alexia said she was feeling good but had a little issue going in with her shin, so we looked for ways to change her gait to take the stress off of shin, it seemed to have worked. Moving into the mid way point we dropped a few seconds but still had some time in the bank as we crossed the half way mark with about 2 minutes and 2 seconds in the bank for the 1:45:00 finish.

Not it was time to get moving a bit and focus on what the course had to offer, this is about reading runners when pacing. Having paced groups and individuals before I knew some runners liked to be pushed others liked to be pulled. Around mile 8 or 9 I realized that Brian and I would serve as better pacers if we pulled Alexia rather than pushing her, meaning that we would try to keep in front of her and make her stay with us.

Just before hitting mile 10, I knew these miles would be a bit mentally fatiguing so I told Alexia to turn her watch over to Brian and just run with us. This would force her to just run! No more looking at the watch, just trust the training and trust us with pacing.

We passed mile 11 and 12 signs, and we knew that the final go over the Tower Bridge would be epic … We started to kick a little bit and made Alexia continue to chase us as we entered West Sacramento, as we turned into Raley Field, she worked her way past us and boom there it was … crushing the 1:45:00 goal time with an official time of 1:40:59! Brian had an official time of 1:40:57 and yes he officially beat me as I crossed at 1:40:58 … I guess that is a bit of payback from a few years back when he and I “raced” the final 10 feet of the course haha…

So many awesome moments at Shamrock’n … check out other 9RUN6 members tweets and post …

 

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