2015 Shamrock Marathon Weekend Expo

Shamrock Marathon Weekend kicked off this past Friday.  I took Friday off from work in order to still fit in an appointment with the chiropractor before getting on the road to Virginia Beach.  Kathleen also flew into DC Friday morning, so after my appointment and a couple of other errands, including dropping Riley off for boarding, I picked her up from the airport.  Our goal had been to get on the road for Virginia Beach by 1:00 p.m. in the hopes of getting down I-95 before rush hour traffic got bad, but Preston got stuck at work.  We finally got on the road around 1:45 p.m., thinking that traffic driving south wouldn’t be terrible yet.  Boy were we wrong!

Between an accident on I-95 near Stafford followed by a four mile backup on I-64 in Hampton Roads, what should have been just over a three hour drive turned into a nearly five hour drive.  We finally arrived at the expo around 6:00 p.m., which was held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center (the same place where Rock ‘n’ Roll holds their race expo).

The entrance to the expo

The entrance to the expo

Our first stop at the expo was packet pickup, which was well organized.  Kathleen, Preston, and I quickly picked up our bibs, and Kathleen was easily able to change her corral for the 8k.

There werent any lines for bib pick up!

There weren’t any lines for bib pick up!

Having some fun at the expo

Having some fun at the expo

My shirts and bibs for the 8k and half marathon

My shirts and bibs for the 8k and half marathon

After passing by a fun setup of cardboard leprechauns and other props, we picked up our race shirts and packets.  We were then led into the official merchandise area.  Although I had been excited to browse the merchandise, I was a bit disappointed in what was available for purchase, and we only wound up purchasing a pint glass to add to our collection, as well as a Dolphin Challenge magnet for me.

The few items we purchased at the expo

The few items we purchased at the expo

The expo itself was a bit underwhelming.  There were a smaller number of vendors than I was expecting, and most of them were the same usual vendors that I’ve seen at other DC and Virginia races.  The only expo purchase I made was a Shamrock themed Sweaty Bands to wear during the half marathon on Sunday.  While walking around, we did make sure to stop at the J&A Racing booth (J&A is the organization that puts on Shamrock) to say hi to Jenny (she’s a J&A Ambassador), and to discuss where we wanted to meet up prior to the 8k the next morning.  After spending less than an hour at the expo Kathleen, Preston, and I agreed that we were ready to go.

Jenny, Kathleen, and I

Jenny, Kathleen, and I

Kathleen and I ready to run the Dolphin Challenge, and Preston ready to run the half marathon

Kathleen and I ready to run the Dolphin Challenge, and Preston ready to run the half marathon

After the expo we headed to dinner at Hot Tuna, a seafood place that Preston and I had eaten at during our Rock ‘n’ Roll trip last August.  After being seated, I was excited to see the “Runners’ Specials”, and opted to order the Tuna Three Ways.  It also came with a side of pasta, which was a bit random and I didn’t even eat, but we took it to go and it was a great snack after the 8k on Saturday.

My dinner did look delicious, I just wish I would have enjoyed it more

My Tuna Three Ways

I had high hopes of enjoying my dinner, but a horrible migraine that came on during our drive to Virginia Beach had other plans for me that evening.  I almost got sick several times both in the car and at dinner (but thankfully never did), but it was difficult for me to enjoy dinner.  I was worried about Saturday’s race, but thankfully I had planned to take the 8k really easy.  I mentioned to Kathleen that if I was still feeling miserable in the morning that I might just walk the entire race, and since we had planned to run the 8k together and take it easy since we were both striving for a PR at the half on Sunday, she said that she would walk the race with me if need be.

After dinner, we made a stop at a grocery store to pick up a couple of things, including bananas for breakfast and some ginger ale for me to drink to help with my nausea, and then we headed to our hotel to check in.  Upon arrival at our hotel, we found Sarah checking in just ahead of us, and I was so happy to see her since we had hoped to make it to the expo in time to see her while she was working the J&A booth (she’s also a J&A Ambassador).  I had read in Sarah’s Shamrock recap from 2014 that the Holiday Inn in Norfolk had taken great care of runners, offering late check out and a shuttle bus to the half marathon on Sunday, so when I saw that they were offering runners the same amenities this year we decided to take advantage of it.  The cost of staying at the Holiday Inn was about a third of the price of staying at one of the oceanfront hotels, and we decided that staying slightly further away was well worth it.

Check in wasn’t the smoothest process (Preston and I were assigned to an incorrect room based on what we had reserved), but it was eventually straightened out and we were finally headed to bed around 11:00 p.m.  With a cold compress on my head, I went to sleep in hopes that I’d feel better for the 8k the next morning.

QOTD: Have you ever gotten sick the night before a race?

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56 Responses to 2015 Shamrock Marathon Weekend Expo

  1. Pam says:

    The oceanfront hotels in VA Beach increase their prices based on what they consider big weekends at the beach. It makes it tough on runners but hopefully the Holiday Inn worked out well for you. Hot Tuna is a restaurant that was less than 2 miles from our home when we lived at the beach…..we always enjoyed meals there! Sorry you felt so terrible but I know your weekend turned out great. Look forward to the half recap and your big PR!

  2. I haven’t gotten sick the night before a race…but my nerves certainly make me ill!

  3. That tuna 3 ways looked delish! The expo looked like a ton of fun! Sucks you weren’t feeling so great but woohoo on that PR though 🙂 Something went right!

  4. Oh girl! I hate you had a migraine! Those are awful! But your tuna looks delicious! Wish you could have enjoyed it more!

  5. oh no sorry you weren’t feeling well. That really sucks the day before a race.

  6. Migraines are the worst! I don’t like to take medicine, but when a migraine that bad hits, I take one Excedrin Migraine…have you ever tried that?

  7. NutriFitMama says:

    It is NOT fun to be sick the day before a race! That is too bad! I have heard so many great things about this Shamrock race, I need to look into it next year 🙂

  8. katemovingforward1234 says:

    Ooh I’m so sorry you weren’t feeling well. Once I had to drop out of a race before hand because I had a bacterial infection that I actually had to go to the ER for–but that was a little different because it wasn’t really debatable whether I could run or not. It wasn’t happening. It was very sad to pick up my packet and know I wouldn’t be racing. I love shopping expos!

  9. Knock on wood, I haven’t been sick before a race. That’s a terrible feeling

  10. Lesley says:

    I’m sure the stress of the drive didn’t help but you got to the expo. I also feel underwhelmed with a lot of expos. After Disney, it’s tough not to compare.

  11. Elle says:

    Sounds like a rough start!

  12. I was there last weekend too. I also ended up waking up with a really bad migraine around midnight. Thankfully my prescriptions helped and I was fine for the 8k the next day, though my IT band had a different plan in mind for me.

  13. I’m so sorry you were sick 😦 I haven’t gotten sick before a race, but I’ve had tons of nerves that almost made me sick!! I hope you were feeling better on race morning.

  14. Chaitali says:

    Yuck, I’m sorry you started out the weekend with getting stuck in traffic and a migraine. That sucks. I ended up getting sick before a holiday 8k last year but it was local and free so I didn’t feel bad about skipping it.

  15. sorry you weren’t feeling well and bummer about traffic being so bad but at least it sounds like you got a good hotel deal!

  16. Okay–your boots are so cute! Where did you get them?

  17. Farrah says:

    Hot Tuna sounds like a place I would love. :O I’m sorry that you got a migraine and almost got sick (glad that you didn’t though)!

  18. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    OH no!! Such a bummer about the migraine, those are awful. Knock on wood, I’ve never been sick before a race! Here’s hoping it stays that way. I remember the expo last year actually being really good, bummed to hear it wasn’t that way this year!

  19. oh no!!! You’re a brave soul to order fish after a nauseous car ride. I hope everything settled overnight and you felt better in the morning! Also sorry the expo wasn’t all that thrilling – but that pint glass is great! 🙂

  20. Kelsey says:

    what a cool expo!!!

  21. Jennifer says:

    Great pictures – thanks for stopping by (both days). Aww sorry I had no idea you had a migraine the night before the 8K (or even 8K day). Right now I am battling a cold, hopefully that will be gone by Sunday. Thanks for linking up! Looking forward to more 🙂

  22. Ah, sorry you weren’t feeling well! Looks like a fun expo, even though it was small. I always get a themed sweaty band to “go” with whatever race I happen to be running, too! Haha. Can’t wait to read your race(s) recaps!

  23. GinaB says:

    My first race I was a bit sick from nerves.

  24. Bummer about the expo! I ran this race back in 2007 and I remember the expo being MASSIVE. But then again, I was new to running and had a baby in a stroller, so it might have been smaller than I remember, haha! I hope you ended up feeling better for the race!!!

  25. Sorry to hear that you weren’t feeling the greatest. I love that Hot tuna restaurant. I like your dolphin sticker. I didn’t see those last yr there.

  26. bemomstrong says:

    I did this race last weekend… we really lucked out on the weather huh?! The expo was big, but I just went to the Monument Ave 10K expo and it was very small compared to usual… I got a sparkly sweaty band at the expo too!
    emma @ http://www.bemomstrong.com

  27. Unfortunately I have gotten sick the night before a race, way too many times. The worst was once I came down with the flu, I probably shouldn’t of run the next day, it was miserable but life happens people get sick!
    Looks like a fun expo, I always like to buy a keychain at each race I visit, I get bummed if they don’t have them at the expo’s, LOL

  28. Pingback: 2015 Shamrock 8k Recap | From Dancing to Running

  29. KimberlyB says:

    Wow, I have to share this funny coincidence with you. I stumbled upon your blog while searching “Key West Half Marathon recaps” today. I noticed that you had run Shamrock this year so I read your recap (my husband, my friend, and myself also ran it). Imagine my surprise when I saw a picture of my friend and I on your blog (the picture of the expo lines). What are the odds that I would find that while looking for info on the Key West Half Marathon?!? Feeling like I should play the lotto today – lol!

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