Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run

Hills, hills and more hills! Four miles of them!  This was my first race with REAL hills.  I have been in a running group now since early fall and have made a lot of progress in my running.  While I could have probably run the race faster than I did, I admit I was hesitant for fear of messing up my knee again.  So, I resolved to at least run the entire thing, hills and all at a slow and comfortable pace.  My time was 54 minutes and 41 seconds.  Keep in mind too, I stopped a few times – long enough to take pictures, once to run a bit with my friend Susan and another to re-tie my sneaker/adjust my knee strap.  Other than that, I’m very proud to say I ran the whole thing.

Here’s a link to the course map, with elevation information:


Another interesting note, this race kicks off the start of the 2011 Syrathon Event series.  Six races totaling 29.2 miles.

It’s quite the challenge and I think I’m just crazy enough to give it a go…I like the idea of being a “Syrathoner”.  Here is another link with more information:


But where was I? Oh yeah! Tipperary Hill Shamrock run.  I wonderfully hilly four miles, through an area predominately settled by Irish immigrants.  It has quite the history – from the upside down traffic light (Green on top, for the Irish!) and streets named after famous poets.  My city may be struggling – but its my city and I love it.  It has a rich history and I believe, a vibrant future.

Several friends of mine, also signed up to do the race – running and walking.  I had intended to stay with my friend Steph during the race.  However, we underestimated how hard it would be to find each other at the start (she didn’t bring her cell, due to rainy conditions) and didn’t meet up until after the race.  She beat me by 40 seconds – very proud!  Right up until the race began, I was trying to find her…the gun went off and off we went.  My friends Erin and Debbie were walking the race, due to injuries – thankfully, they were very supportive of my goal to run.  We wished each other a good time as we started the course.

The first part of the run was down hill…and a very steep down hill at that! I had to hold back on that part.  Down hill is very hard, when you have issues with patellar tendonitis.  So, I babied my knee going down the hill – I was tempted to just lay down and roll to the bottom, but I wasn’t confident I’d be able to stop without crashing into a very hard and inanimate object.

There was one older gentleman, who I pretty much was with the entire time…I think he smoked me at the end, since I lost him.  It’s always humbling when the AARP generation smokes you in a hilly road race. I met up with my friend Susan midway through and ran/chatted with her a bit before moving ahead.  I was so happy to see here there!

I felt really good until after the 3 mile mark, when I started feeling a bit dizzy (should have had more water), so I slowed it down a bit more and regained my equilibrium.  I have to say, one of the best parts about this race were all the musicians along the course – my  hometown has some fantastic bands. My favorite, where the group of older gentlemen, singing traditional Irish ballads. I am extremely proud to be an American Mutt – half Scots-Irish, half Mexican American.  But today and St. Patrick’s Day…I’m 100% Irish – Erin Go Bragh!

As I came back into the park where we started, I saw my husband waiting for me.  This was the first race we’ve done “together.” Quotations, because he smoked me, finishing his 4 mile in 33 minutes.  He finds his pace and sticks to it – I’m very proud of him!

My knee felt really good the entire race, but my left foot was bothering me – its definitely the sneakers.  Can you say “shoe shopping?” I knew that you could.  This race is making me really consider Syrathon. I know I can do it, but can I afford it? Stay tuned!


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