I ran the 2024 Shamrock Shuffle this past Sunday in downtown Chicago. Although the weather was a little chilly, the opportunity to run through the streets of the Loop made it a memorable experience.

Continuing my pattern of running shorter races without training, I did not train for this event above the base running that I was already doing.

The course snakes 8 km (just a hair short of 5 mi) through downtown Chicago. Normally it’s frustrating-going-on-impossible to run on these streets due to abundant car traffic and traffic lights. The opportunity to run among the skyscrapers was definitely a reason I wanted to run in this race.

Shamrock Shuffle 2024 course map, showing the course starting in Grant Park, winding through River North, the Loop, and South Loop, before returning to Grant Park. The shape of the course has four prongs, vaguely evoking a four-leaf clover.

The course map

The weather on the day of the race was fairly chilly — below 40ºF. I brought a jacket, gloves, a hat, and sweatpants. I decided not to run with the sweatpants, but to wear the rest, which was a good call. The race was short enough and I was working hard enough that the extra warmth on my legs would have worked against me. I didn’t feel cold during the race.

My goal for this race was a 7:15/mi pace. The race was short enough that I was more or less just focusing on my pace as each mile went by, but I tried to look up at my surroundings too! My GPS was struggling due to the aforementioned skyscrapers. It was overcounting my distance pretty significantly, to the tune of 0.18 extra miles by the finish line. This made it hard to know my actual pace. There are apps like Peter’s Race Pacer that help to solve this problem by applying corrections based on splits at mile markers. If I run this race again, I will use something like this to get a better idea of my pace.

I finished with an official time of 34:39, just shy of 7:00/mi pace. I’m pretty happy with this performance, though I think I could have done better if I’d put in the time to train for the race.

Me running across the finish line with a blue jacket and a green knit hat. My tongue is sticking out.

Me crossing the finish line

Here’s a link to my watch recording.

Screenshot of my race recording, which seems to show me floating into various city blocks due to poor GPS reception.