Newtown Township, Bucks County, my hometown and home to the Newtown Shamrock Shuffle 5K! I signed up for this race last minute to join my Mom and Aunt on a fun run through our hometown.
The Newton Shamrock Shuffle 5K is hosted by The Green Parrot right on Sycamore Street. The race is limited to 800 participants and sells out fast, so getting registered last minute seemed like a bit of a miracle. Since we (Mom and Dad) live nearby, packet pick-up was a breeze, and the race organizers dedicated the Thursday and Friday before the race to help ease the crowds.
The morning of the race was nice and crisp! A large number of participants meant the entire block outside the Green Parrot was hustling and bustling with people. Even though there was a huge crowd we decided to duck into the Green Parrot and absorb some heat while we still could rather than wait 15 mins in the windy cold weather. Once we felt our fingers again, we headed out. The energy was in the air as we gathered around with our friends near the starting line.
Since rolling my ankle a few days before, I told everyone I wasn’t going out fast and wasn’t looking to set any personal records. As the National Anthem echoed off the surrounding buildings and when I heard the crowd cheering, I guess I forgot to “take it easy”. They yelled “GO!” and the crowd took off! And as the sea of people funneled through the starting arch, I hit the “start” on my Garmin and joined in the fun.
The course is relatively flat, and my Brooks Glycerin’s felt super smooth under my feet which propelled me forward as I started to pass people left and right. In the beginning, the crowd was a bit hard to navigate, but as we progressed down the course the runners started to break up and lines began to open. The air was crisp and cold, it felt wonderful on my face and neck as I gained speed. I could feel my body warming up as we rounded the corner and ran through the quaint little back streets of Newtown.
I was having such a good time, that I almost missed my cousin, a Police Officer with the township. I glanced over and caught him at the last minute, we exchanged an awkward high-five, which I knew I was going to have to remedy after the race. The course doubles back on itself and as I ran past I had to sneak a selfie.
I finished the race just a second over 25 minutes, placing 92 of 840 participants. Not too bad for a guy who said he wasn’t going to push it and “take it easy” on a newly healed sprained ankle.
The race was super fun and I had an awesome time. The afterparty, however, was utter chaos. While I can appreciate a complimentary brew and celebration, I think the venue was way too small for the crowd of 800. The afterparty was confined to a semi-large enclosed tent which was bursting at the seams. The exit was near the stage at the opposite of the tent which meant fighting through a sea of people to just get out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a celebration, but honestly, it was WAY too close for comfort. There was no room to move around and I felt like Fire Marshal Bill waiting for the inevitable to happen… I decided to salvage my sanity and we ducked out.
So where do I stand with the Newtown Shamrock Shuffle? Let’s break it down into the final ratings.
I’m standing on a 4.5 Rating overall, which is pretty awesome. 5 out of 5 rating for the expo, packet pickup, and the venue since those were awesome. I’m a 4 out of 5 rating on the race management just based off the choas from the beginning, I’m a stickler for race corrals and breaking up runners by pace. The race swag (medal and shirt) were pretty awesome and decent quality, 5 out of 5 there no question. The afterparty was a bit of a mess, next year they should explore a bigger tent to house all the participants, but all-in-all people seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Finish Time: 00:25:01
Check out my Bibrave Review: https://www.bibrave.com/races/newtown-shamrock-shuffle-5k-reviews/11760