Latest reviews by Tim Murphy
So - my review is a bit skewed, but I'll explain my rationale.
The year I did the Shamrock Shuffle was freezing. Actually, it was not cold enough to be snow, so that meant rain, which made it feel even colder. It was like 30 degrees and raining, so there was ice everywhere. I know this is totally not the race's fault - but man, it was cold. That beer at the end I was so looking forward to? Wanted nothing to do with it - couldn't feel my hands.
So - given that my experience was SOMEWHAT anomalous (it's March in Chicago, this race is almost always going to be pretty cold), here's why I wouldn't recommend this race. Because of the weather, when I did it, there were only like 15K participants. It felt crowded, but manageable.
There are usually 30,000+ runners in this race. That's CRAZY.
For an 8K, where the field doesn't have that much distance to disperse, it is just too big and it stays crowded the whole way. They let too many people run and the race suffers. I don't recommend.
I did this race way back in 2007 and, simply put, it's how I became a marathoner. I signed up for the race when living in DC because my roommate was going to do it. Before the MCM 10K, I'd never run six miles, so everything about running was new to me.
Race day was sunny but windy. And in 2007, they started the 10K at the same place they started the MCM 26.2 - at the Pentagon! That was really cool and inspiring. It's also where I noticed a few badass women in their 60s wearing their Marathon bibs while I paced around in my 10K bib. Right then and there, I knew that I had to do a marathon. No more of this aiming low crap - if those women could bang out a marathon, so could I. The next year I signed up for my first marathon, and that was that.
The 10K course was nice but I think they've changed the route so I don't want to comment too much on that. I do remember being constantly inspired by all of the active Marines who work the aid stations, each time thinking about how lucky we all are for their service.
What I know they have NOT changed is the finish, and that is truly amazing. It's a tough climb up to the top of the Marine Corps War Memorial (AKA the Iwo Jima Memorial) stands. You're tired and the hill is steep and winding, but it so inspiring - I get chills just thinking about it.
This is an awesome 10K and someday I still want to do the full MCM 26.2. Highly recommend the 10K!