Shamrock’n 7 Miler Race Report


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The Green Sock Half Marathon & Shamrock’n Race (including Shamrock’n 7 Miler and 5k) is another TRY Event, like the Chilly Chase Half Marathon I completed in January. The only minor challenge for me was getting to Burnaby on Saturday for package pickup, since we don’t own a car – but I knew this going in, so we made an afternoon of it. Pickup was quick and easy – only one person in line ahead of me. No ‘expo’ – just a table at the local running store – but we did get these groovy shamrock socks!

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I learned a few lessons today:

  • Sleep is essential to good running performance
  • Hydrate sufficiently the days (and week) before a race – not the morning of
  • Not every race can be a PB
  • I should keep doing long runs the day before a race

I stayed up way too late on Friday night. We were having a lot of issues with our computer, requiring a complete disk wipe and refresh. It’s working again – but I got sucked into the void and stayed up until after 1am reading blogs, responding to emails, and enjoying a second well-earned glass of wine. It was supposed to rain mightily on Saturday morning (it didn’t), so I consciously decided to sleep in. Consequently, I didn’t stick to my success ‘plan’ of having a long run the day before a race. Plus, sleeping in never really makes up for staying up way past your bedtime. Saturday night, I couldn’t sleep. I was restless and the cat woke me up twice. I was not feeling refreshed this morning.

The drive to Burnaby Lake was quick, with little traffic on Sunday morning. I got there early, used the washroom (where the stalls had no doors…), and had a quick look around – it was grey, but not yet drizzly.

That’s Burnaby Mountain in the distance

Then met up with Debra, who supplied me with the requisite St. Patrick’s Day GREEN! Also ran into Bob, who was doing the half marathon. Both of them were dressed for success!

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Smack dab in the middle of a field…


…the start line was fairly low-key. In the end, maybe a couple of hundred people out for all three distances, which involved a ‘mass start’ for everyone.

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The course took us around the edge of the sports fields and then into the trails surrounding Burnaby Lake. The lake is kind of a smiley face shape, so we ran up to the left corner of the mouth, across the top lip to the right corner, and back along the bottom lip. Like this:

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The trails are pretty well maintained, mostly gravel, with a few wooden bridges to cross. Due to the mass start, the 5k-ers did an out and back, so I met a few of them on their return. There was also a group of about two dozen people training for the Sun Run who we encountered along the way, along with the odd dog walker or couple out for a morning walk.  Because the path isn’t especially wide, these were minor obstacles – but the race is small so it didn’t really cause any problems.

Eek! Watch for bears!

At the far end of the lake we crossed a dam, requiring us to run up about 8 steps.


My favourite part of the race was near km 9, running along a boardwalk over the marshy ground, with a wonderful view of the lake itself. I didn’t get any photos – but Debra did – including one of my favourite part! My least favourite part was feeling the need to pee starting around 6km, but having to just soldier on to get ‘er done.

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Just before the finish, there is a brief out-and-back, and then the half marathoners went on to complete their second loop. As I headed into the finishing chute, it was just me and one other person (who was wrapping up her 5k). I was high-fived by the race director, who even called me by name! I got my nifty shamrock medal and big smiles from the volunteers, and then grabbed a pancake!

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Before the race, I had some delusions of possibly finishing in the top 3 of my age group – as it turns out, the race is so small that they only give awards for the top 3 overall male and female…and I did not qualify! However, I ended up coming in 11th place overall (8th place for men), so not too shabby. Then, since the rain was starting to fall, made my way home.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this race. The course was well-marked, the socks and medals were fun, and despite not running a best time…I got an automatic PB for this distance. (NOTE: my Garmin tells me I ran 10.68km, which equates to 6.64 miles, not 7 miles. Not exactly sure what to do with this…although it’s pretty close to half of a half marathon, so…)

Final Results:

Chip Time: 56:06
Average Pace: A matter of dispute, given the indeterminate length of the course – but about 5:04 minutes/km
Place overall: 11/125


Do you enjoy running themed races?


    • Aw, thanks Erica! I’m really excited about the race! I guess I skip ahead in time and then back again…does that mean I finish the race before I start? You should come!! We’re almost birthday twins!

    • Ima Mosier

      Okay, I just read the rafflecopter comment prompt. My dream race is actually to spectate the Kona Ironman Championship. I have no desire to actually do it, I just want to be there for it. I can only imagine how amazing it is at the finish line between 11pm and midnight.

  1. Thanks for joining up with us!
    My dream race destination…. Through the years I’ve knocked a lot of marathons off my dream list. Once I am finished with my 50 states marathon goal, I do hope to be able to figure out a way to run one on each continent, so I guess my top two dream list races would be Antartica and Austraila, I am most looking forward to both of those!

    • Also great job on your race! Hydration is very important and ya it can take a week to hydrate properly, but I am sure many runners end up learning that come race day like you did:) So you run a long run the day before a race? I have never heard of that, but if it works for you then go for it!

    • Yes, you’ve done a lot of amazing races and destinations! I’m looking forward to another Hawaii race in 2016 – just don’t know which one yet! And I still want to run a race in Japan…

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