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Virginia Beach Hosts 2016 Shamrock Marathon

Marathon Events Will Be Run March 19th and 20th

Years ago there was a popular short story by Alan Sillitoe titled The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.  Then in the ’70s Jim Fixx wrote The Complete Book of Running.  The latter is widely credited with beginning the fitness revolution.  I recommend both books, even for non-runners.  Fixx’s book in particular gives you some insights into what it takes to run long distance races like a marathon.  Now, if you are so inclined, you could run a race somewhere almost any weekend.  The Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach is one of the most popular races since it is the last opportunity to qualify for the Boston Marathon in April and the course is totally flat.  Far from being lonely, long distance races these days are like festival events with bands, DJs, food vendors and beer tents.

For those uninitiated in the running of a marathon, it is a foot race that covers 26 miles, three hundred eighty five yards.  Champions are able to complete the course in just over two hours.  Some runners come in after 6 or more hours.

The Virginia Beach Event Offers Several Different Races

For those who are not up to 26+ miles,  there are a number of other races under the aegis of the Shamrock.  There is a half marathon, an 8k, and for the kids a 1k.  The marquis event, the Yuegling Shamrock Marathon will begin at 8:30 AM on Sunday, March 20th.  The half marathon gets started a bit earlier at 7:00 AM the same day.

The Race Covers a Beautiful Course

The starting line is at 31st street on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.  from there it heads south, over the Rudee Bridge and to a turn around at Prosperity Road.  Then back north up Pacific Avenue, past the Cape Henry Light House and all the way to the west gate of Fort Story before turning back south and finishing at 31st Street.

I am a non-runner (understatement!), but one year I wandered into the midst of the race and found myself mesmerized by the intensity it takes to complete 26+ miles.  I urge you to come on out this weekend and cheer on the runners as they cross the finish line.