Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon Race Recap

By: Rachel Gibson

So...why did I run VA Beach as my 2nd marathon of the year? 

Simple: My friends made me.  For real. 


They didn't twist my arm or anything, but as a writer for the Publix Georgia Marathon (check out my goods if you're ever bored on the interweb here) I felt obligated to run in Atlanta on March 18, 2012.  But due to the prodding by the people who have made Huntington really feel like home over the past 11 months of living here, I signed up for Shamrock much to the shame of the GA editors. 


But the more important question is...why am I glad that I ran VA Beach? 


1.  Because I love free stuff.  Of course at the expo we got our long sleeve tech tees and even a cool lime green drawstring bag, which now seem to be standard with every race.  I dig.  But at the finish after placing the medal around our necks, they handed us a sweet tech hat....and THEN proceeded to give us a finisher hoodie!  So much swag, makes my heart happy!  Freebies galore!


2.  Because witnessing someone run their very first marathon is awesome.  That's right; despite running even more than 26.2 at the Kanahwa Trace last summer, Zeke had never run a marathon.  He killed it too, even when the leg cramps started and the heat bore down the last several miles.  The wave of emotion after finishing might be the most entertaining thing in the world.  Case in point:  upon finishing, I'm pretty sure Zeke's first words were "That was the MOST PAIN I'VE EVER BEEN IN!".  That rant lasted no more than a minute and a half before he was sitting on the beach, happy, smiling, enjoying a yeungling and celebrating the fact that he had just ran a marathon.  So impressed, you're no longer a newbie, Zeke!


3.  Because running with people that are much faster than you get you hyped up.  I admit that prior to moving to Huntington I was quite enjoying my perch--the people I ran races or trained with were always on or a little behind my pace.  Competitve by nature, it seemed better for me to have a lil' ego boost than to be pushed.  And then I met Bethany.  She's one of those people who's just a natural.  A low key runner just like myself, there's no incessant garmin timing or insane training plans, she just goes out every race and runs as fast as she can push herself.  And...dang, that's way faster than me!  She tore this race up without even trying.  And now I've got a fire under me to get faster.  Maybe not during a spring race, but look out, Chicago Marathon, I'm gonna' do all I can to follow her lead 'cause she's an inspiration. 


4.  Because there are no hills.  Atlanta marathon?  It's like Charleston Distance Run--for 26 miles, and perhaps even more hilly, if that's possible.  You earn your medal there, that's for sure.  But Shamrock was a very easy course, which, with St. Patty's the day before, was nice to have a little more forgiveness from the green beer(s).  Not the most exciting course, but definitely flat.  Hooray.


5.  Because running someplace new is exciting.  I've never been to Virginia Beach, and let me tell you, I can't imagine a better way to experience that place than after finishing 26.2, sitting with your amazing friends, drinking a beer on a beach while the sun shines down on a beautiful 80 degree day.  Fantastic.


So that's the race recap for marathon #2 of 2012.  Now I get a little bit of a break (not gonna' do Athens, I'll save that one for next year)...marathon #3 isn't until April 28!




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