March 17, 2015

2015 KELLY Shamrock 5K Race Recap

After running Rock 'n' Roll DC this past Saturday (recap to come) I ran the annual KELLY Shamrock 5K in Baltimore. Since it's Saint Patrick's Day, it seemed appropriate to recap this festive 5K that I have run the past three years.  


It's really great but after doing a double header last year, I was not sure if I'd do it again. Of course, it was part of the Charm City Run B3 Race Package which included two other races I was planning on running so I figured why not!  

The KELLY Shamrock 5K is a big race that sells out every year and marks the start of spring racing in Baltimore. It is Charm City Run's largest race with 5200 runners but is always well-organized. The 5K happens right before the Baltimore Saint Patrick's Day Parade so it's awesome having everyone already lined up for the parade to cheer for the runners.Everyone is very festive and decked out in everything green!

After a night of drinking and a big Irish dinner, I got back from Washington D.C., with an hour to spare before the race started. I drank some water and Nuun since I was clearly dehydrated and got ready for the race. Partying the night before a race is not recommended! I was not as sore as I expected to be aside from some nagging calf tightness and a sore knot on my right hamstring.  

The weather was beautiful and sunny (unlike the previous day) but some strong winds had me wearing a jacket on top and shorts on the bottom.  The race ends at PowerPlant Live! so I wanted my jacket with me at the end of the race and decided just to run with it on, even though I'd probably be a little warm during the race.  


I walked a few blocks to the start and squeezed into the sea of green-clad runners.  


With a race this large, if you are not at the very front you get stuck behind tons of people for the first half of a mile or so. This plus the first mile being so fast and downhill, I always go out fastest for the first mile of this 5K. It's really hard for me not too when I am trying to get to the pace I want to settle in at but can't because people are in front of me.  I wish people would take self-seeding more seriously because it can be dangerous! 

The first mile was fast, but my legs felt okay. The second mile as we came down Key Highway moved quickly, and I cheered as I saw speedy Sarah running after the turnaround. After the turnaround I was running into the wind which felt awful. I felt like I was having to work a lot harder to move forward. Thank goodness I had my iPod with some music to help me push through it.  

Mile 2 was the worst, and I totally felt unprepared to try to run a speedier 5K.  A big reminder that I need more speed workouts in my life. As we came back down toward the Inner Harbor I felt better and tried to finish strong. I gave it everything I had at the end as the race flew by. I ended up finishing in 21:58 with an average of 7:05 min/mile. I felt great because that time is just a little over a minute off my PR and close to my faster finishes in this race.  I finished 12th in my division which isn't bad either. 


I finished, caught my breath and quickly grabbed a banana. My next move was to get in line to grab a free beer of course. I went with the Blue Moon peach beer which was refreshing (and way better than the alternative-Coors Light). 

It's a nice post-race atmosphere because most people hang out afterwards and grab food & beer. They had a live band playing 90s cover songs, which for some reason always makes me thing of spring. I always felt like it was spring when I could drive with the windows down and play some upbeat music I love so maybe it comes from that. 

Soon after the whole area was really crowded so my boyfriend and I decided to go take a walk around Baltimore and eventually met up with Sarah, her boyfriend, and some friends. 


Overall I think this race is a great event. It's a fast course, well-organized, and always has a nice after-race party.  It's pretty big for Baltimore which makes the start hectic, especially with the parade going on shortly after.  

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! 

Also I saw this on RER today and had to share because I have seen many a green smoothie on social media today! 

In honor of a bit of Irish in me, I'll be having a beer or two tonight! 

Have you ever run a Saint Patrick's-themed race? Do you go out too fast on 5Ks? Are you drinking green beer tonight? 

16 comments:

  1. that's so much green all in one place. looks like a nice day to run, and you are super speedy girl!

    i'm a big shame, i had a green smoothie for breakfast!

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    1. Haha allllllll the green. Thanks so much!

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  2. This race was so much fun and you guys weren't kidding when you said it was fast! I can't believe you ran that time the day after a night out AND a half marathon. Seriously impressive. See you tomorrowwww :)

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    1. Supaaaa fast. I surprise myself sometimes, haha.

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  3. Blue moon as a free race beer? NICE! You did so well considering what you did the day before. I would have been dying out there. Glad you had a good time!

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    1. I know, right-what a great surprise! Thanks so much!

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  4. Congratulations on finishing 12 in your division. Sounds like a great race but very busy and crowded. Guess you know its a good one when they are like that. -L

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    1. Thanks so much! It sells out every year so people definitely love it!

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  5. Nice time! 5Ks are always fun to run because you can really just push yourself. It's only three miles, right?! Looking forward to joining you on the Momentum Ambassador journey! So excited to be one, too.

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    1. Exactly, short, fast, and sometimes sweet! Looking forward to following you too!

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  6. I love St Patty's day races. I usually do one in San Diego every year. But this year we travel;ed home on the day the race was held. I was bummed as it's such a fun event. But the kiddos were tired and I wasn't about to have them stand around for an hour to watch me race. Great recap. It looks like it was a fun one.

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    1. Holiday races are always really fun! Hopefully you can run that race next year!

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  7. Way to go speedy!! I'm always so impressed! Looks like an awesome race though. I completely agree with self-seeding though, people definitely don't always get in the right spot and it can really screw up the race!

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    1. Thanks so much! Self-seeding drives me crazy sometimes!

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  8. Congrats on your placement. I haven't run this race in years.. maybe I'll come back in 2016! Too bad about the self seeding.

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    1. Thanks so much. It's super fun, besides the crowding at the beginning.

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