Shamrock Shuffle – 2017

Shiverin’ Shamrocks!

BRRR! The 2017 Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle was a cold one!. The race always takes place around mid March and usually it’s a seasonably decent temperature, but since mother nature is drunk, temps were around 20 degrees this year.

Gear: Rainbow Sparkle Athletic Skirt, XX2i France2 sunglasses, plantronics headphones, Survivor BUFF, Nike Turtleneck, Previous Shamrock Shuffle Race Shirt, Zensah Compression sleeves, Garmin Fenix 3, Brooks Ghost 9, Spi-belt. ( I changed the hat to a BOCO Louisanna Marathon stocking hat and Road Runner Sports Capris)


I mention the weather, because not only was I running the race. I was volunteering. This meant I arrived at the race location 2 hours before the event. While I was able to park close enough, to use my car to keep warm…. there is no shelter or place to stay warm.

must keep warm! BUFF and France2 frames to protect my face.


Pre-race volunteers continued to roll in, as well as trucks with race day supplies. We unloaded the trucks and set up things on the park. Tents, tables, bananas, sound system, etc.

The race takes place at College Green Park, so race day things are set up in the center of the park, while the race is start/finish is out on the street.

Before we knew it, participants were showing up to get their bibs, and my feet were freezing.


I helped out where I was needed, and ended up falling in with bib pick up. There were three of us and we had the system down! A runner gave us a name (as you could pick up anyone’s bib, no ID required), we looked up a bib number, handed them a bib, and a chip. I only ripped 2 bibs, oops!

I really needed to use the bathroom, and there were two port-o-potties near the start, but the line was long and the race was going to start, so I joined the others near the starting arch.


The race is a fun St. Patrick’s theme, including the distance of 3.17km, which is just around 2 miles. New, for this year, you could run the loop twice, for a 6.34km run. Of course, I chose this option, automatic PR!!

There were some announcements and then the race started. Gah, I was really cold, and I could feel it in my legs. The entire first loop, they just felt strange, like they were thawing out, or I could feel the muscles warming up. While the course had one big hill near the finish, they were not feeling the fatigue from that.


In that first loop, I caught up with Monty, again…. if we keep meeting at races, people are going to talk, LOL. I kid, it’s nice to see your runner friends out there!

By the second loop, my legs felt normal again, and I motored through the course again. It was all on pavement, and in typical Iowa winter fashion it’s when the potholes make their appearance, so I made sure to steer clear of them a second time. I thanked all the volunteers on the course, and climbed that hill one more time.

I crossed the finish line, and I was warm. I didn’t need my coat. Since I was signed up to then help volunteer post race, I stayed at the finish line and helped Dan take chips off shoes.

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When the majority of the runners had finished, I helped where needed, loading cars, taking down tents, the usual volunteering work. Hey guys, it’s really pretty easy…so help out if you can, nice to give back to your local running clubs… ha!

There were the bananas I mentioned earlier, and bottles of water at the center of the park, and cups of water near the finish, as it doubled as an aid station for the course.

The post race party was a few blocks away at Micky’s Irish Pub. There was an option when you registered to get a $5 brunch, or pay at the door. They would also be having beer specials, and hosting the awards ceremony here. You could also grab your pint glass, which was given instead of a t-shirt.


It is spring break in Iowa City when this race is held, but parking downtown can always be a problem, and to park close you have to pay. Lucky for me, I found a super close parking spot, swiped my card for $1.50 for one hour of time.

The party was happening. I did not pay for the brunch, as the last time I did this, the option was corned beef and cabbage, and I realized I do not care for it. I also don’t have $5 extra at this time… womp, womp, poor ol Angie… I did pack a Nugo Bar…lol.

I stuck around, watched the awards. The first person in each 10 year AG got a cool prize and the overall winners for each distance scored $50. WHOA, I need to get faster!

The morning ended chatting with some other runners, and realizing I should probably get home to let the dogs out, and oops my car was only paid to park at the meter for one hour!

I got to my car and saw the slip of paper flapping under the windshield…. but there was no fee, I owed $0.00. WEIRD! Why print the paper, what a waste!  I was happy I didn’t owe a fine.

When I got home, and got my data all loaded to Strava… you know if you don’t post a picture on Instagram and get that data loaded, I am not sure it even happened…. I realized I ran sub 9 minute miles, for 4 miles!!! WAHOOO. I am super happy about this, 2016 I spent running for endurance and distance. I did 0 speedwork, so I was happy to feel a little speed return. This is fast for me, so I’ll take it, maybe someday I will score a $50 winner’s prize!

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Race photos were posted to FB, and online album, free to download

This is a nice short race, with a nice challenging hill, and a fun post race party. If I am around next year, I will run it and volunteer again.

For my official race review, check bibrave.com

 

 

Red Shamrock Trail Race

Saturday April 11, 2015. Iowa City, IA. Sunny 55 degrees.

www.redshamrock.org

Registration: Available online starting around $20 and increasing until race day. Could register on race day for $30, t-shirts were not guaranteed. Included with registration, bib, timing chip, tech shirt (if registered early), post race snacks.

There was no packet pick up or expo. Grabbed your bib and shirt before the race. Small local race, maybe 150 entrants.

Pre-race: Check in, registration and packet pick up as runners milled about. Plenty of parking behind Regina High School. 2 port-o-potties available. Participants lined up behind the blue timing mats, a small chat about the red flags that marked the course. No National Anthem, just a loud “GO”

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Race/Course: The race starts on the Regina High School track, which is in desperate need of resurfacing. After a partial lap the course winds to Hickory Hill Park. This park is within city limits, but consists of trail running. Roots, hills, mud, wash out, bridges, wood chips, rocks; all kinds of terrain. Paying attention was key. There were enough wide spots if you needed to pass. The race was also not advertised at a certain length, approx 3.5 miles. After running through the woods, the race looped back to the track where it started.

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There were no mile markers, just followed red flags and green signs with arrows. There were volunteers stationed at the tight turns. No water or food stations. No medics. There was a volunteer on the course taking photos with a cell phone.

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Post race: Finish was marked with a clock and the blue timing mats. Homemade treats, bananas, bagels, grapes, fruit snacks, Gatorade and water were displayed on a table for runners. There was a poster with raffle winners. The times were posted as the results came in. The food area was set up so you could cheer on the racers that were just finishing.

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A small awards ceremony was held, and awards were given to the overall winners as well as the top AG finishers.

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Overall: I will try to run this race if it fits into my calendar. We don’t have many trails to run, let alone trail races. The price is right and it supports a great cause.

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Personal: I enjoy running in my hometown, no hotel fees, no travel fees. I just lace up my shoes and run to and from the race. I am a week out from my 3rd Blue Ridge Marathon, so this was a nice distance to log, it was also nice to add the terrain to my training.  I also enjoy a marked course through Hickory Hill Park, as I would get lost.

My Garmin clocked 3.35 miles, and I had a time of 33:56. The official results had me finishing 8th in my AG of 30-39. Results

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Enjoy my Go Pro video – https://youtu.be/-i_INXkzLmI

As always write and read race reviews at Bibrave.com

UI Doc Dash 5k – 2015

Doc Dash 5k, Saturday March 28, 2015. Iowa City, IA 9 am. Sunny 30 degrees

Small town feel, 5k which supports the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic and the University of Iowa Mobile Clinic.

Registration was available online and on race day. Starting at $20, then up to $30 on race day. Cotton shirts were $6 extra. Chip timing, and a bib included.

Parking available in nearby parking ramp (for a fee), or about 1/4 mile away in Dental lot. Packet pick up the day before and on race day.

I had Josh grab my race number on his way home from work, as he drove right by. They gave him a bag full of flyers. While it’s nice to promote other races, I would appreciate if I could pick the flyers I want, so much paper waste.

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Also held a kids race before the 5k

There was no National Anthem, but some announcements were made. I did not hear anything that was said, a combination of very talkative people and some DJ that didn’t turn off the music. I did hear the siren for the start, and as everyone moved forward, so did I.

Race/course – road and sidewalk, all paved surface. A couple of steep hills. One water stop with tiny paper cups. My Garmin had the course at 3.08. It was a little crowded, but not too bad. No mile markers, but arrows on sidewalk & signs to mark the route, and there was a volunteer at mile 1. One major road intersection with volunteers, no law enforcement.

There was some construction happening on the course, some cement trucks emitting some diesel fuel, so that wasn’t too pleasant. However, it is something you can’t avoid when the weather is nice.

Post race: bananas, bagels, Gatorade, coffee, water. A long line formed to gain access to this, but moved quickly. No award ceremony, as there was a problem with the results and the computer. Raffle prizes given to those who commented on the facebook page.

For the price and challenge of the course, I would recommend this race. Results

Personal: Ahh, a return to racing. I posted one of my worst 5k times in a long time. According to the results though, 8th in my new age group. However 2 weeks post ultra and a week with the flu, I will take it. I coughed the entire time, spitting and snot rockets galore! However I found Shannon & Dave during the race and got to run with them, which made it really enjoyable. Good luck to them on their Warrior Dash tomorrow!

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I also have a hard time passing on a race in my hometown, no hotel fees, etc. So, I laced my shoes and ran the 3 miles across town to the race. I found a dollar on the way and donated it to the race. I chose to run to the race and back as I need some longer miles with the Blue Ridge Marathon coming up, this was an easy way to get the miles, but not push it too hard.

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The race itself was alright, nothing too special about it as far as gimmicks. Just a nice small town feel, easy for any ability to accomplish. The facebook page for the organization was very helpful as well. More organizations need to utilize free social media.

I also had a nice time catching up with some local runners. I love the running community!

Overall: I always try to run this race, money goes to a good cause and it’s in my town.

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On my way home, I stopped to grab some coffee at the shop inside the grocery store, and guess who I ran into.

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2015 Shamrock Shuffle Giveaway – 3rd time’s the charm

That’s right, one more giveaway for the Shamrock Shuffle. Thanks for playing along all week. For this chance I am adding many new options for entry…OHHHH AHHHHH…the link for entry is below.

Still on the fence about entering for your chance to win?

  • Check out my review from last years inaugural event at BibRave.com.
  • Nike shirts!
  • Run in a fun costume
  • Proceeds donated to the United Way of Johnson & Washington County
  • Prizes at the race: Guiness Pint Glasses, Micky’s Gift Certificates, Running Wild Gift Certificates, Micky’s Shirts/Sweathshirts

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SOLD?!?!? you can register at https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=120719

Race Details

Who: You, your family, your friends, your pet

What: Shamrock Shuffle 3.17km (1.969746679 miles)

Where: College Green Park, Iowa City, IA

When: Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 8:30am.

Why: To show off your best green racing attire and have fun!

How: Click the link below, where it says “CLICK TO ENTER” (no worries it’s through rafflecopter)

One day contest, open February 20, 2015. Winner chosen Saturday Feb 21, 2015. One entry is all it takes for a chance to win. Share with your friends. Winner gets a race entry only, which includes the NIKE race shirt, bib and timing chip. The Micky’s Irish Pub post race brunch is not included.

CLICK THIS TO ENTER

Legend of the Fall 2014

Thursday November 27, 2014. Regina High School / Hickory Hill Park, Iowa City, IA. Sunny, windy 15-20 degrees. Aprrox 4 mile trail race.

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*I ran this race the last couple of years, here is last year’s recap

Registration: Available online through get me registered, price increased up to $25. Same day registration. Long sleeve cotton shirts, but no guarantee for race day registrants. Chip timing was also included in fee.

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Pre Race / Packet Pick up: Parking was available at the high school, but first come, first serve. Packet pick up was held in the cafeteria, organized by last name.  Bathrooms available in the school.

Race & Course: Race starts on the track after some brief announcements about the “Legend” Bob Brown, for which the race is named. He was the former track and XC coach for Regina high school who lost a battle with pancreatic cancer, he always preached “nothing but your best.” This year the announcement speaker was too far away from the starting line to hear anything, so there was some mumbling and then a commotion and we all started.

It had snowed the night before, nothing major, just enough to make it slippery after it was packed down from the heard of runners. The terrain was tough, wash out, tree roots, steep inclines: trail! No water stops, no mile markers. Course marked with small yellow flags. Difficult to pass. Even though some runners, trekked across a field off of the course, there was only one marked short cut; it was marked “Spicy” route or “mild” route. The short cut was on unmarked trail to a creek, that hadn’t yet frozen.

Finish was back on the track, after another partial loop, was marked with a timer and a chute where chips were removed.  The finish was crowded and a little close to the runners coming into the track, had to be careful and stay out of their way.

Post Race: Lots of baked goods available in the cafeteria; bars, cookies, breads, etc. Blue sports drink and water. We left before the awards were given out.

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Overall: I enjoy this race, it’s for a great cause and the course is a challenge. I also like that it’s not a typical Turkey Trot, you have to put in some effort to complete the course.

Personal: Josh and I ran to the race, well because we could. We were race day registrants, and did not get a t-shirt unless we wanted a super large size. We arrived with not a lot of time to cool down, but we did have time to snap a picture with some of the #100miles group.

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It was cold, but that is what comes with where we live. We both didn’t have many goals, but to enjoy the course. However when I spoke with Josh after the race, he said he changed his strategy mid course, and tried to “race” as he saw a familiar face he wanted to beat.

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I had an interesting race. I kept one eye to the ground and one eye looking ahead. For trail running this is normal, the terrain was tough. Trying not to trip is hard when it’s icy due to packed snow covering. I was in a group trotting along, when the leading packed cut off course… I said “we follow the yellow flags, right?” So then I was the leader..which is weird as I am never a race leader, I felt alone too.  However I caught back up with some runners near the short cut, as people were piling up around the creek.

I am no stranger to creek crossings, I actually like this style of race. However it was cold, I didn’t want wet feet, as we had yet to run home. Oh well I gave my best effort to jump the not frozen creek…yep one wet foot.  It actually wasn’t too bad, as I believe the water was warmer than the air.

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I did see 2 deer as I came close to the track for the finish.

I met Josh in the cafeteria for some post race treats, we discussed our races, and then didn’t want to cool down too much and made the trek back home.  Always a great way to start Thanksgiving.

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Run for the Schools 2014

Iowa City Road Races, Run for the Schools. Sunday October 19, 2014. Sunny, cool 40 degrees. 9 am. Half Marathon.

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This is my second year running this half marathon as part of Iowa’s Longest Marathon, you can read about my experience last year.

The race hosts many distances. At 8 am there is a half mile fun run, at 8:15 there is a mile run and then at 9 am the 5k, 10k and half marathon all start at the same time.

It’s hard for me to truly enjoy this race as a running event. I run a lot of races, which are more fun, more scenic, with better medals, (if you didn’t run the first part of the “longest marathon” the medal doesn’t mean much, except you finished) but it’s hard to give up on a race in your back yard. Plus, this year I was part of the race organization, I was asked to help with the social media, (facebook & twitter) I was approached to help as a coach or mentor for the Couch to 5k class, and I was an exhibitor at the expo.

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Registration: Was available online until the Wednesday before the race, you could also mail in your entry form. Registration was also open at the expo and on race day. Competitive race pricing, money went to the Iowa City Community School District and Regina Catholic Schools. Included with the fees were chip timing (first year), white cotton shirt, race bib, and many promo flyers.

Expo. The expo was held in the Rec Center the day before the race. Many exhibitors backed out, but there were still plenty of things happening. Running Wild, the local running store had deals on shoes, you could create race signs, or enter a poster contest, sign up for a free week at a cycling studio, learn about the schools, buy some head bands, learn about the Rival Game Relay, and learn about Medals 4 Mettle. I also brought information about Mile 22 bags and BibRave.

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Pre-Race: There was on street parking around the downtown area for free.  If you are not from the area you might have trouble finding a spot.  Many announcements before the race including a message to line up according to pace, very crowded start with three races at once and no corrals.  National anthem was sung.

Race / Course: All the courses are on the streets of Iowa City. Which can be a challenge in itself as many drivers aren’t always aware, but the course was marked well and I didn’t see any mad drivers this year.

  • Each mile was marked, most had a volunteer shouting times based on their clocks – not official
  • Where each course split was well marked and manned with a volunteer
  • Water and Gatorade stops, but in same paper cups; volunteers shouted which drink they had
  • Not many spectators, but the ones on the course were very encouraging
  • There was a bathroom on the course
  • Cement and asphalt surfaces, many crack and potholes, need to be alert
  • A Volunteer took photos
  • All major intersections had a law enforcement official, all intersections had a volunteer
  • No food or gel stops
  • No course entertainment
  • Hills, but nothing steep

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Finish: Clearly marked with a banner over the street and the timing mats, names were announced. Chips were promptly removed from shoes, and the medal was hung around your neck. There were bottles of water, but I had to back track to grab one.  On the next block was the post race food: bananas, oranges, cookies, bagels, sandwiches, water and chocolate milk. There was also free post race massage. Same amount of food for the first finishers as the last.

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Overall: Not my favorite course to run, but I know the course and it’s in my back yard, so if I am around I will run it. However this race always falls on the same weekend as many other races, so we’ll see if I am back next year.

Personal: Where do I begin? I hadn’t been training for this race, aside from running with the Couch to 5k group, which was a lot of fun. I did run the Quad Cities half 2 weeks before. I also have PF, which I have been babying. I was well rested and didn’t have any goals.

I was running with Laura, who was one week removed from a huge PR at the Chicago Marathon, she also did not have any goals for this race.

We started out in the crowd, just enjoying the beautiful fall day, keeping a steady pace. I wasn’t paying too much attention to my watch, but when we hit mile 3, the watch said 30:27, which was an excellent start for me. We kept running and talking.

I believe some where in between mile 9-10 Laura said for me to go ahead, but of course, I was struggling to keep up with her. We kept together for about another mile, I asked her what her PR in the half was, it was around a 2:07. I was doing the math as we ran, I hadn’t been looking at my watch, but was paying attention to the volunteers yelling the times at the mile markers. I knew she was on course to PR…I also knew I was close to breaking 2 hours again.

At Mile 10.5, I picked up the pace, working towards a sub 2 hour half. Laura kept up behind me, but faded a tad. Around mile 11.5 I was running with 2 other women, just before mile 12 a volunteer shouted 1:53, I thought ah hell I can’t run a 7 minute mile, but then at the 12 mile marker the volunteer shouted 1:51. The joys of not having the official time, oh I guess I could have looked at my watch too. I told one woman there was no way I could keep up her pace, so she shuffled ahead. The other woman, was walking and running, so I kept with her up the last hill.

When we got to the top of that last hill, that woman stopped to walk. I could see the finish 3 blocks ahead, I told her to pick up the pace, slow and steady, the finish was just up ahead, so she did, and I couldn’t keep up with her.

I crossed the finish line, checked my watch, 2:01:50 (official 2:01:55) I was ecstatic! It has been a long year of races. This was my 12th half marathon this year, my 23rd overall, and my second fastest. I never thought I would be close to breaking 2 hours again, after a disappointing Chicago RnR.

Then I turned around to see Laura cross the finish line…she had done it, set a new half marathon PR….yes a week after kickin ass in Chicago. (official 2:02:

Josh was also at the finish line after completing a great race too. Joel also came down to cheer us in. Love having running friends, always supportive.

I am also waiting for the official results for Iowa Longest Marathon. I know I didn’t win with the fastest time, but there is an award for most improved time, and I cut mine by about 7 minutes.

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We need to work on our group jump timing, lol

Blue / Gold 5k

Blue / Gold 5k. Saturday May 17, 2014.Regina Schools, Iowa city, IA. 8 am. 40 degrees, sunny

Race background: This was the first year for the race. The race was organized by the newly formed Regina Running Club. The school had participated in the Girls on the Run, but the boys wanted in on the fun. The school organized a group for everyone.

Registration / Packet Pick Up / Pre-Race: Registration was available online for $25 and included a cotton race shirt and optional dye at the finish, you could also sign up on race day. Packets or bibs in this case could be picked up prior to the race on race day. Plenty of parking available in the school parking lot. No port-o-potties, but the school was open. A few announcements were made about the course to the running group. We lined up on the street and someone said “go.”

Race: The race started on the paved street, then quickly followed the paved sidewalk. All surfaces were void of major cracks. Out and back course with a couple of steep hills. Water at the half way, turn around point. Volunteers at every intersection and turn. Volunteers were also the mile markers. Most of the spectators, or parents were stationed near the finish line. The course was marked with colored chalk arrows, one color on the way out and a different on the way back. The finish transferred to the grass, and if you wanted “color” was squirted as you approached the finish line. There was no visible clock, just a volunteer with a watch.

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Overall: Great race for the kids, challenging course. For a first year race it went pretty smooth.

Personal: I had 7 miles on tap for the day, this was my first race of the day. I ran with Laura, or rather she kicked my butt again. I felt good, but guilty as I passed all the kids. My Garmin had a time that was a lot faster than the official results, garmin of 25:40. I received and email with the results and a message that stated “Some times might be slightly off for those who attempted to avoid the color by avoiding the finish shoot.” Yes I avoided the color, but I didn’t walk around another 100 yards for my 26:37, strange, but it was a small race. I did place 3rd overall as a female. Not sure I would run this again, I am not a fan of color runs and I don’t think it’s fair to the kids.

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