Advice From a Runner: 10 Things to Know Before Running the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

2015 shamrock shuffle 6
Celia Johnson

Opening Day for outdoor running season in Chicago is here. 

Thousands will join the sea of green Sunday at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. For some participants the thrill of making it to the other side of yet another bitter winter is reason enough to hit the pavement. 

But, runners know mother nature is the queen of spontaneity and while it may be dry, as of now, a cold day appears to be in store, meaning runners will want to dress appropriately. 

Take a look at this list of things to remember as you prepare for race day - from one runner to another:

1. Headphones on or off. Some like the sound of runners doing what they came for, running. Some need to vibe out with a favorite song. Which one are you? 

2. Gear. Check the weather and dress appropriately. I usually wear basic running tights, the shamrock tee and a wind breaker (I can tie it around my waist if needed). An extra a hoodie and old pants over my gear has served me well, too. You can always throw unwanted layers in the popup piles at the start of the course. 

3. Shoes. I don’t recommend new shoes. Stick to the shoe you have already broken in. Post race, reward yourself with a new pair. Trophy.

4. Packet pickup. Stop by McCormick Place Friday and Saturday, to checkout all things fitness and running. Grab your race packet with everything you need to know for the big day. 

5. Emails. Pay attention to important email updates regarding race day from Shamrock Shuffle organizers.

6. Shakeout run. People like to run the day before just for a warm up or to make a day of it...run, feast, expo. Groups like the Nike Running Club at the Bucktown location will meet at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday to shake it out. 

7. Transportation. CTA is the best way to get to Grant Park. Plan travel time, squeezing through the entrance and walking to your corral. 

8. Your crew. Make signs, bring the bells and whistles. Let your friend know where you plan to cheer. Reserve a table for the crew to brunch after. 

9. The Roosevelt hill. What’s life without the unexpected. The hill at the end of the route is your glory moment to the finish line. Knees up, chest out and power through. 

10. Most of all it’s a celebration. Embrace the moment, the views, the endorphin high and the adrenaline rush. 

Happy running season and see you on race day!

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