My Favorite Race: member Andrea Herrmann- Shamrock Anthem Half Marathon

We asked our members to submit their stories of their favorite half marathons for a club blog series called "My Favorite Race."

This week's story is from our webmaster Andrea Herrmann, who will hit lifetime half marathon #250 this year.

Andrea's favorite half marathon is the Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon, part of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon weekend in Virginia Beach, VA.

Andrea writes:
"This beautiful half marathon is offered every March on a flat and fast course in Virginia Beach.  The race directors, J&A Racing, are excellent race organizers, known for offering high-quality events.

There are many reasons I love and recommend this half marathon.  Their course time limit of four hours is very generous and supports race walkers. The race is beautiful and scenic, with generous course entertainment and plenty of aide stations, and the roads are almost all entirely closed.  The corraled start helps keep down road congestion. 

This race has been in existence since 1973 and is truly a community-welcomed and celebrated event.  The spectators and local residents are very supportive, and the city really welcomes you.   The race has a very large expo with great vendors, and easy parking.  Also, with the race being held in March, hotel rooms in Virginia Beach are reasonably priced, and it's easy to stay within a brief walking distance to both the start and finish.

The shirts and medals are excellent. There is a Dolphin Challenge medal you can get if you do the 8K race on the day before the half marathon.  Plus, the race offers a unique finisher's gift every year that you get after you cross the finish line!  You truly get your money's worth with the race entry fee. 

The 8K, half marathon, marathon, and kids' races have a wonderful finish line down the boardwalk next to the ocean.  After the races, finishers go into a heated tent on the beach and enjoy beer and Irish stew.

This race is excellent every year, and the race directors do an amazing job managing multiple races all weekend. This is a great race for first-timers, for those going for a PR, and for those trying to race in all 50 states.