- 5 miles/8K
- Road Race
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I've run the Shamrock Shuffle a few times and it's always a fun race. It's crowded and chaotic and yet, it's a good way to spend a Sunday. Since I live here in Chicago and my condo is at mile 1, I won't write a long-winded review but merely some observations.
Expo: All race expos are depressing and sad, and this is no different. One thing that is done very well is the logistics - you scan your barcode and get your bib and then get your shirt and bag of stuff. This year we got the standard Nike drifit shirt and a stocking cap.
The race: Having done runs on 6 continents, one thing that I'm constantly amazed at is how well the Shamrock Shuffle does big crowds. For pushing 20,000 people across the start, it went off flawlessly. This is a well oiled machine.
The course. Running around the Chicago loop isn't that exciting. The course is flat and you get to experience the first 1.5 miles and the last .25 miles of the Chicago marathon. Aid stations were gatorade/water and the crowd support was ok but minimal music and festivities - but that's due to city ordinance.
Overall this is a pageant, not a race. It's hard to really use this as a PR type experience but instead, dial it down a bit and have fun.