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Yuengling Shamrock Marathon
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This is an interesting event in that the companion half marathon begins at 7:00 and heads north, covering the second half of the marathon course. The marathon begins at 8:30 with a south-bound out and back first half. My hotel was right at the start of the half marathon so I went outside to see the start. It was cold, low 40s, humid, and windy. The elite racers in the half must have been cold in their singlets and shorts. Since the race was delayed 15 minutes due to a construction crew working late on the course there were a few unhappy campers in that group. Later I walked to the start of the full marathon, which was delayed 5 minutes so the fastest marathoners wouldn't run into too many half marathoners. (There were a lot of walkers in the half.) The first 10 miles weren't too bad, the temperatures had increased a bit and we changed direction often enough the wind wasn't too bad. But then we hit a long stretch along the beach which was pretty bad. The second half was bad as temperatures began to drop and we frequently ran into a stiff wind. Some of the course was on the grounds of Fort Story, which is right on the ocean, and thus prone to being windy. I was really happy to finish and get inside the beer tent. Unfortunately the tent wasn't as warm as I hoped and I had to decline my final free beer as I was just too cold to drink anymore. The only thing that saved me from turning into a block of ice was the blanket (cloth, not plastic) which I received upon finishing the race.

This is a nice event. It is large enough (more than 11,000 in the full and half combined) to be a big event, without being overwhelming. The course is generally flat with some good scenery. When the weather cooperates fully the race is fantastic; even with the wind I still enjoyed the race. The post-race party is very enjoyable if you aren't busy trying not to freeze to death.
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