[Race Report] 2024 Shamrock Shuffle 8K

3 minute read

Date: March 24, 2024
Location: Chicago, IL

This was my 9th running race since I started running in April 2022, and second time running the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago. This event is one of the three races that make up the Chicago Distance Series. I registered to run this year’s edition immediately after finishing the last year’s edition.


After running the Madison Marathon in November 2023, I started ramping up the mileage slowly and added some 400-meter interval workouts to my program. In the last 9 weeks prior to the race, I averaged ~60 km/week with two interval workouts, one long run and the rest as easy runs. The last two weeks were tapering: 36 km and 32 km.

My preparation was not special though, because this race was not one of my primary goals for 2024. I trained as I was training for another marathon (more on this later, when the time comes), with moderate mileage. I thought the 400-meter interval workouts would be sufficient for the goal of this race.


Until 4 weeks out from the race, my goal was to run 31:59, meaning 4:00/km pace. However, 29:59 seemed elusive and I thought I could maybe run 3:45/km as well. I knew that changing the goal not far from the race day is a bad idea, but I wanted to do it anyway.

Goal Time Achieved
Primary 31:59 Yes
Secondary 29:59 No


I woke up at 5:45am and drank one cup of water, half cup of coffee and ate a banana. In the last few months I noticed my morning runs started particularly slow, possibly because my body was not able to wake up. Hence the coffee before a race for the first time.

After a 30-minute commute by bus, we had to walk ~1.5 km to the race start as the roads were being closed to traffic. 10 minutes before the start, I did a 0.6 km warm-up run. I wanted to do a 2 km warm-up but I should have arrived slightly earlier for that.



KM Time Avg HR
1 4:07 171
2 3:48 185
3 3:47 191
4 3:32 194
5 3:36 195
6 3:33 195
7 3:49 194
8 3:57 194

They started the race after playing the Chicago Bulls Theme Song. I started with 3:45/km pace in the first few meters by accident, but quickly realized this and slowed down. The adrenaline and the racing felt amazing once again.

My plan was to run the first 3 kilometers with 4:00, 3:50 and 3:45 pace respectively, and the rest with 3:40 for my secondary goal. If I felt it was too fast for me, I could slow down and still achieve the primary goal.

After the first kilometer, I increased the pace as you can see from the splits. Passing people felt nice. The turns were sharp and everybody overloaded the shortest path. Had to zigzag my way out sometimes.

After kilometer 5, I knew I was on route to achieving the secondary goal as well, but I felt weakness in my legs. I tried to hold on, it was tough. There was a 7-meter-high climb before the last straight, and it killed me, like it did in 2023. On the last straight, I must have sweated so much and been breathing so heavily that my heart rate monitor chest strap slid down to my waist.

Looking back now, I think I should have been slightly conservative after the first 3 kilometers. I also felt the lack of hill climb and long interval workouts. If I run again next year, I think 28:59 should be possible.


Official time: 31:15
194 / 2136 Male 25-29
555 / 10361 Male
677 / 21380 Overall

2023 results for comparison:
Official time: 35:41
128 / 682 Male 20-24
1137 / 9395 Male
1384 / 19521 Overall

Achieved my primary goal.
Halved my ranking as a result of 4:26 improvement compared to last edition.
The field grew almost by 10%! Indeed, I saw many people from the neighbor states.


Water, banana and bars. Reviewed my running program for hill climb and longer interval workouts.


According to my watch I broke 4 PRs in this race, which sounds weird.

Distance Time
1K 3:27
1 mile 5:37
5K 18:10
8K 31:15

Here is a picture from the race:

Inspired by this race report template.
Last edited: Mar 27, 2024.