Race Preview: 2015 Shamrock Run Portland (register before 1/15/15 to save!)

When you ask Portland runners about the Shamrock Run, there seem to be two types of answers: Why would I run when there are 33,000 other runners doing the same thing, or Wouldn’t miss it! I go back and forth between the two, but the fact that 2015 will be my 6th consecutive year should tell you how I feel about it! If you are planning to sign up for the 2015 race, do so quickly! Shamrock Run sells out every year, and prices increase on January 15th.

The Shamrock Run offers a variety of race distances: There’s a 5k run, 8k run, 5k walk (called the Shamrock Stride), 1k kids run, 15k run, and new this year is the half marathon. All races start at the waterfront at Naito&Pine, and they end at Naito&Taylor St, about seven blocks south of the start. The 5k and 8k course follow about the same route, only the first turnaround point on Naito Pkwy are at a different spot. The course is mostly flat, but in the final mile there is a ten block long climb (120ft gain) heading south on Broadway and the subsequent downhill towards the finish line. There is one water station on the 5k and two on the 8k.

The 15k Challenge and the Half Marathon also share the same course, making up the distance difference also through different turnaround point on Naito Pkwy. These longer races start with an out-and back along Naito Pkwy to their respective turnaround points, then have the half-mile long climb up Broadway, and after a very brief leveling transition into the Terwilliger climb, which brings the total elevation gain to just about 500ft over the course of two miles. Thankfully the final three miles are a downhill towards the finish, and some years there’s been a non-sanctioned “bacon and PBR” aid station along this stretch.

During the post-race party, Waterfront Park is typically crowded and lines are long. The salmon chowder is delicious, and so is the beer, but since the beergarten is fenced off separately from the rest of the vendors and goodies, it is a separate line to stand in to get ID’s checked and pick up the drink. In past years I did not see the option to see the alcohol monitor before the run to get a wristband, but the race organizers seem to change things up a little bit each year to make it run more smoothly.

This is a big race, and with that many people, you never know how things are going to happen. Sometimes everything goes smoothly and races start on time, sometimes start times are delayed because of the trains, and sometimes there are delays on the course. There’s always something that’s out of the direct control of the race directors. I am definitely looking forward to this year’s run. My bottle opener medal collection can always use another member!

Shamrock Run Details:

When: Sunday, March 15, 2015
Where: Waterfront Park, Portland, OR
What: 5k walk, 5k, 8k, 15k, Half Marathon
Start Times: 15k – 7:30am; Half – 7:45am; 8k – 8:35am; 1k – 9:05am; 5k – 9:30am; 5k walk – 9:45am)
Registration: Online here or print and mail registration form
Registration includes: Event t-shirt (Adidas running lifestyle shirt), chip timed race, cup of salmon chowder, 12oz beer for ages 21 and up, 15k finisher medal, half marathon finisher medal. (Additional t-shirt choices are available for purchase.)
Packet Pickup: Oregon Convention Center, March 13, 11am-7pm; March 14, 9am-3pm; Day of race starting at 6:30am.

Registration cost before Jan 15:
5k, 8k – $39 Adults, $15 children 12 and under
15k – $49
Half Marathon – $75

Sign up as a team to save $5 per person.
Prices increase by $5 ($10 for the half) on January 15th.


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