by David Roy
I was asked how I came to be on the Northeast Team Beef and it really all began at the Boilermaker in the 80’s. I’m a farm boy that grew up in Oneida Co where we raised Hereford cattle. The Boilermaker was our big local race and “NY Team Beef” always had a large presence. I just wanted to be a part of it and it was the first team I ever joined. Today “Northeast Team Beef” is a larger regional team with 40 members from Virginia to Maine and was one of the sponsors of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon. We handed out samples of Beef Jerky, provided information answered questions at the Expo.
This was the first time I’ve run the marathon at Virginia Beach and after 50 years, they have it down to a science. Shamrock really is a weekend event starting with the expo on Friday There are 3 youth events including a final mile program and an 8K on Saturday. There are 2 challenges 1.“The Dolphin Challenge” – 8K on Sat & Half on Sunday. 2. “The Whale Challenge” – 8K & Marathon. If you like to collect hardware that’s 3 different impressive medals (not to mention the shirt, hat, bag & blanket).
Out of the larger races on the east coast from Miami to Boston, I think this one is my “current” favorite. It is not so crowded like NYC, you won’t get boxed if you are racing. It is flat and fast, I showed only 66 ft of elevation gain over the whole course and 2/3’s of that was a bridge on the out and back section in the final 13 miles. I must have hit the perfect year for weather, minimal wind, 57 degrees the whole race, with cloud cover the first half. Regular water stations and volunteers were great!
I think what really impressed me was the post-race party, think “Spring Break” with runners. There was no rush to leave, the largest beer tent I’ve ever seen, the beach surrounding it, and band. Or maybe it was just so many friends in one place.