Over the past 18 years, I have participated in the J&A Shamrock weekend as a runner. This year, for the first time, in addition to running the 8k, I volunteered my time at the Shamrock Expo. I had such a blast as 1 of many volunteers that helped over the weekend. Approximately 2,000 volunteers are made up by police, rescue, clubs, schools, military, and more.
The energy from the nearly 30,000 runners was contagious. 8k, 1/2, or full, all runners were pumped and excited to embark on their journey. Some of which have trained weeks or even months for their individual races. Some runners embarking on their first race and others adding to their current medal collection.
Working at the Crawlin Crab Race table gave me the opportunity to interact with all different types of runners. It also placed me at the perfect spot to enjoy the first year of the Shamrock Speaker Series. Experts and running professionals spoke on topics from nutrition to training, including Virginia Beach’s own Leprechaun Bob.
Also during the day, I met some amazing runners and heard some interesting one liners that got me thinking.
One woman came by and was chatting about the challenge she had pledging to run 13 different races this year. This woman was a new runner and obviously had caught the fever!!! Her story was very exciting!
Another group I talked to traveled for the past 5 years in a row from New York to run the Shamrock! They looked forward to this weekend together every year!
I had one person ask me why all races are sponsored by beer companies…ummm…WHAT!!!
She didn’t get it! I think she was lost 😊
One of my favorite quotes was from an Irish runner gal who told me she had an “O’Wicked” good time at the Wicked 10k. Loved it!!!
I even loved seeing the group from the Great Bridge Running Club. This is where I began running on a team oh so many years ago!!!!
I encourage any of you to take some time to volunteer at any of the upcoming races! It was such an amazing experience. If you don’t already, you will develop a deep appreciation for what goes into planning a race of this magnitude. 30,000 registered runners is no small task! Announcing the runners at the finish line, t-shirts, swag bags, and medals are valuable items at many J&A race. Register to run or volunteer for your next race today!