This will be a little different race recap for the Blarney Shamrockin’ Shuffle, because I didn’t run it – I worked with the setup crew! It’s a Run Toledo event – a 3 mile “shuffle” (run/walk) in downtown Toledo. It benefits Toledo Firefighters Local 92 and the Muscular Dystrophy Foundations.

I’ve done several volunteer jobs at various races over the years – packet pickup and course marshal most frequently, but I’ve never helped at race crew. (I’ll apologize in advance for some blurry photos… snapping pictures really quick in the dark apparently isn’t the best circumstances for phone pictures!)

I’d like to say it was a perfect race day, but sadly, it was not.  At least not for race setup! The rain had just started to come down as I made it to the race location.  Luckily I decided last minute to wear my ski jacket with had some water repellent to it because the rain just kept coming!  It wasn’t a torental downpour, but it was consistent and the winds were picking up.

The winds were the tricky part – we were in charge of turning the finish line into a party celebration!  All good parties need lighting, and because this event started at 8pm, we lined the finish line fences with rope lighting.  The banner we attached were also being big pains because the wind knocked them down a few times. Ugh!

With a few minutes until the race started, the normally busy downtown streets were shut down to traffic and we set up the finish area with big tubs full of water bottles and tables full of snacks.  Bananas, trail mix, granola bars, cookies… we had it all!

Finally, right on time, the rain stopped and it was time for the runners line up!  This event is actually a fun run/walk, and given that it’s for St. Patty’s day, everyone is there just to have a good time (a “fun” time, not necessarily a “speedy” time!)

Here’s what the race start looked like…  we even had a “bike bar” with bag pipers playing the national anthem! People were dressed with glow accessories, and some fun costumes. I saw one couple dressed as a rainbow and a cloud, and the other was a pot of gold. Loved it!

Along with the really comfy soft shirts this year, finishers also got medals.  So in addition to setting up, and taking down the finish area, I also handed out medals at the end.  They were really nice looking medals!

I’ve never worked the finish area. It really did exceed my expectations in the amount of happy people I got to see and tell “Great job!!”.  I’m surprised I didn’t lose my voice letting everyone know how proud I was of them 🙂

After we finished packing up the race, we headed straight over to the party tent for some warmth, music and celebrating!

Everyone was having a good time!

We even go to enjoy some of the specialty Sam Adams 26.2 Brew – yep, that beer they serve at the Boston Marathon!

But pretty soon I turned into “that runner” and told everyone I had to go home and sleep because I was running 20 miles in the morning!! What a party pooper. haha!!

Despite the rough start, race day really did turn out to be good. What luck! 🙂


Q: Have you ever seen those “bike bars”??

Everyone sits along the sides and pedals, which makes it move. I’ve never done it but they are always having a blast when I see them. Well, the fact that they are drinking could be part of the reason…

Q: Have you tried the 26.2 Brew?

I had it in Boston. It’s pretty good!

Q: What time to you go to bed on the weekends?

4 thoughts on “Blarney Shamrockin’ Shuffle 2019”
  1. Love the 26.2 Brew – which is why I have a case sitting on the counter. Might not be able to run Boston this year, but I can watch it on TV and drown out my sadness with the beer!

  2. Oh I loved reading this – I wish there were more posts about volunteering at and supporting events as it’s something I’m always interested in (and write about myself, of course). I had to look after a long section of cross-country course on an exposed hill in high winds the other weekend and spent most of my time repairing and retying tape that had got away!

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