Shamrock Marathon tips and events

Whether you’re already entered into a race or you’ve come to support a friend or loved one, our guide to Virginia Beach’s Shamrock Marathon has all the info you need. From each of the races to the many other exciting events going on, check out how you can be best prepared on race weekend.

This year marks the 48th annual Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It’s the oldest continuously running road race in the area and attracts roughly 10,000 racers every year! With a full marathon, a half marathon, an 8k, and even a few youth events, this beachside race has something for every level of experience.

The Matzko family runs the Shamrock

The Matzko family runs the Shamrock

When is the Shamrock Marathon?

The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon will happen on March 22nd, just 5 days after St. Patrick’s Day. First put on in 1973, the Shamrock has attracted runners from all over the world for nearly 5 decades. 

The Shamrock Marathon Races:

Virginia Beach’s Shamrock Marathon is perfect for first-time racers. The course is mostly flat ground with little elevation. The routes for both the half and full marathon begin at the oceanfront on 42nd street. Heading north, the track leads down Shore Drive. Runners will find themselves overlooking the ocean as they make their way back along the boardwalk (could there be a better view?). Half-marathon runners will finish on 30th street. However, those running the full marathon will continue south over the Rudee Inlet bridge. Making a final turnaround at Camp Pendleton, racers will head north again and join the celebration at the 30th street finish line.

half and full marathon map

photo courtesy of

Along the way, racers will have opportunities to stay hydrated. There will be water booths, energy-gel stops, and porta-potties throughout the run. This year, there will even be a handful of DJ’s to keep runners entertained! With mile markers at every mile, runners will know where they are every step on the way. There will also be a medical tent on each side of the race in case of emergencies.

Shamrock Marathon Youth Events

Children and young ones might not be ready to run a long-distance race. If you have some younger supporters who want to get in on the action, the Shamrock Marathon Weekend has two events made especially for them! The Final Mile hosted by local non-profit Operation Smile lets participants run the last mile before the finish line. The 26.2-meter Leprechaun Dash is also available for runners and supporters under the age of 5.

Karen P runs the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon

Karen P (@fancyfontsshop) runs the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon

St. Paddy’s Day Shamrock Beach Party

After the race, runners and supporters can join the Shamrock St. Paddy’s Day beach party and enjoy Yuengling beer, Irish stew, festive music and an amazing view (header photo courtesy of @cbessierun).

While the races will be held on March 22nd, don’t miss out on everything else going on beforehand. Check out the event schedule below and mark your calendars!

event schedule 3/3

photos courtesy of

If you’re registered for the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon, let us know what you’ve been doing to get prepared! If you’re looking for some more training tips, check out the Shamrock Marathon website for more information. Break a leg! Oh, wait… never mind.

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