The Costumed Runner Blog: 2014 Shamrock Run

Left to Right: Bola Majekobaje, Mel Ortiz (in costume), Grant Knowles (second to right), and Thad Mick (far right) Photographer: Tim Fraser

Left to Right: Bola Majekobaje, Mel Ortiz (in costume), Grant Knowles (second to right), and Thad Mick (far right)
Photographer: Tim Fraser

Pre-Race Planning This year for Shamrock, I knew I wanted to branch out to a new costume.  The last two years I was the lone oversized shamrock running the Shamrock.  I know, I love irony. I scoured the web and came across this unique costume as a box of Lucky Charms cereal.  I bought it immediately and couldn't wait to put it on upon its arrival.  I had a feeling this costume would take some getting used to due to the size.  I did some test runs around the neighborhood at night as to not give away this awesome costume before the day of the race.  It ran well but this was all flat surface with no hills.  I figure whatever comes from the race will have to be.

The Day of the Race
Sunday, March 16th was fairly dry and a little chilly.  I was glad that the 15K run started earlier and kept my fingers crossed that we would avoid the rain until the finish.  Many runners shouted out their love of Lucky Charms when I would walk by and some brave souls came up to ask for a photo of just me or with them next to this costume.  I had to say “Sorry” multiple times at the starting line due to hitting people to the side of me whenever I would turn my body when I would hear my name called.  My crew from work were excited and so was I but started to worry about the dreaded Pill Hill.  Once I heard the Announcer do the count down for our corral we were off.

Left to Right: Mel Ortiz (in costume) and Grant Knowles Photographer: Passing Runner

Left to Right: Mel Ortiz (in costume) and Grant Knowles
Photographer: Passing Runner

Running up Pill Hill wasn’t so bad since I train on it every week but with this costume it felt like a brick wall in front of me.  My running buddy Grant asked if I had a pocket knife handy to cut slits in it to allow air to go through it giving it some aerodynamics.  At that moment, I did wish I had a pocket knife handy.  We made it to the famous Scottish bagpipes and they wanted a photo with us and we happily posed.  This is usually right in front of one of my favorite restaurants Chart House.  We can feel we were close to the turnaround point to head back to the finish line in  downtown Portland.  This is where I started to pick up speed because now the wind was pushing me down and my costume started to act like a sail from a sailboat.  I was clocking about 1 minute faster than my usual race pace.  I am still surprised that I didn’t tumble and fall all the way down to the finish line.

My running buddy and I ran in  strong with all smiles and heard the Shamrock Announcer proclaim my feat of running the whole 15K in this Lucky Charms cereal box.  I couldn’t wait to get my 15K Shamrock Run medal which also doubles as a bottle opener…genius!

I can’t wait for next year’s Shamrock and this time I will be the Lucky Charms box again with a pocket knife handy.

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  1. Announcement! The Portland Shamrock Run Opens Registration on October 1st, 2014 AND Adds a Half Marathon Distance Option | Run Oregon

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