March 8th, I ran the inaugural Holy Infant Shamrock Shuffle in Ballwin. It was put on by the Holy Infant Parrish. When I registered, the price was $30 and included a unisex Dri-Fit shirt and a finisher’s medal.
Since this was the first time for this race, I went in with a completely open mind. Race communications were a little lacking, other than an email from Fleet Feet the day before packet pickup, you could find out most of the info you needed from their Facebook page. I might be a little spoiled sounding, but I prefer one email with all the details I need, outlined, so that all I have to do is call up that particular message and not have to worry about having good service or a Wi-Fi connection to access the info. But other than that, everything was very detailed.
They offered plenty of parking in three different lots and there was quite a bit of street parking available as well. All at no cost. Which was a major bonus. You did have to walk a little to get to the start line, but there were officers out assisting with traffic flow so crossing street and intersections was pretty simple.
The race was contained within two sub-divisions, which I’m guess was to limit the number of road closures and provide a safer area for the race. I will say that the race volunteers and organizers did their best to keep cars on one side and runners on the other, but there were a few times when a car would creep up on runners/walkers or speed by going the opposite direction. So you definitely needed to be aware of what’s going on around you.
The course was pretty nice. There were obviously some nice houses to look at, and it was a moderately challenging course with some rolling hills and flat portions. It was all on pavement that was well maintained, so no big pot holes or cracks. It was designed as an out and back course.
At the end of the race there was the finish line (obviously!) where they were not only handing out the medals, but they were offering bottled water to runners after they crossed, which was really nice, since I’ve been to a few races where they pretty much either leave you to fend for yourself OR have actually packed up all their stuff even though there are still runners and walkers on the course.
They had a fun little post race party area at the parish, with wine, beer, bloody Marys, food and nonalcoholic drinks available. There were several little activities going on for the whole family and the one mile run started and ended very close to the party area. They also had a DJ and a bag piper, which was really neat to see.
I really enjoyed this race, and will definitely sign up to do it again. I LOVED how family friendly it was, and that they welcomed dogs with runners and even let me have two medals (which was really nice and I was grateful for!), one for me and one for my dog, Kaycee, who ran the race with me. I highly recommend this race if you are looking for a fun family oriented 5k with a moderate course. It went all went very smooth for an inaugural race, so I look forward to it getting even better in the years to come!