As you can probably tell from my surname, I always look forward to the Shamrock'n Half Marathon in West Sacramento. Given that the race (to be run March 14) sold out weeks ago, I'm sure I'm not alone.
But there is one thing I miss from earlier Shamrock'n races -- the beer glass (see photo above) given to all finishers. Instead, the race organizers now give out medals, just like nearly every other half marathon on the planet. I still use my Shamrock'n glass from 2007 and was hoping to add to my collection.
I'm not sure why the Shamrock'n switched to medals. I certainly hope it wasn't because the beer glasses, ahem, promotes alcohol use and sends a bad message to the youth of Sacramento. Puh-leeze. St. Patrick's Day is all about the cliched green beer. As someone of Irish ancestry, I don't take offense; it's kind of funny.
For comparison's sake, I took a look at a few of the plethora of St. Patrick's Day-themed runs across America and what they give as swag.
Here are 9 other races:
- Shamrock Run 15K, 8K, 5K, Portland (Ore.): bottle-opener medallons for all 15K finishers, backpacks for all age group winners.
- Kelly St. Patrick's Day Shamrock 5K, Baltimore: Free beer, post-race
- Washington, D.C. St. Patrick's Day 8K: bagpipers and Irish dancers, post-race
- Manhattan (KS) 10K: Starts at 1:15 p.m., after a parade, free barbecue afterward
- St. Patrick's Day 10K, Yorktown, N.Y.: raffle prize is two airplane tickets to Ireland
- The Original St. Patrick's Day Race 10K, Calgary, Canada: win your weight in beer raffle
- Biloxi (Miss.) 5K St. Patrick's Day Race: Free beer
- San Diego St. Patrick's Day 10K: Domino's pizza and beer
- Shamrock Marathon and Half Marathon, Virginia Beach, (Va.): beer and Irish stew, post-race.