Shamrockin’ with the Elites
We love to run, right? We set goals, right? Of course. But, let’s be honest, the majority of us run for the pure enjoyment and fitness fulfillment we gain from it, not for a chance to win the big bucks. Sure, we might place in our age group and get some cool race swag and maybe even a small cash prize here and there, but how would things change if you were competing for a share of $70,000 – for one race?
Well, that’s the difference in being an “elite”. How about a $1,000 mile bonus paid for the leader at every mile?
The word elite is defined as “the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group orclass of persons.” As runners, we know that they exist in our sport. They are the ones that are in the starting corral of major marathons, half marathons and 10Ks; the ones who finish minutes to hours ahead of us; the ones who make the covers of magazines and newspapers; the ones who win. They are the best. Many of us don’t follow the elites – well, in the literal sense. They are in a different league and because we rarely see them during running events, unless we are spectating or attend their pre-race speaking session. We might be able to name one or two names we can associate with middle distance and endurance running. Think about other sports you follow, you can probably name several stars. Right? Media coverage has a lot to do with it, too. We don’t see many marathons or Monday Night 8Ks being covered in primetime. Maybe the lack of defense and physical contact doesn’t boost ratings, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get to know the front runners in this sport. Read up on them. Learn how they train. Hear them speak. We might take away something that we can apply to our own running – we probably have more in common with them than we think.
Lucky for us, the New Orleans Shamrockin’ 8K is a great race to surround yourself with some elite spirit. On Sunday, March 16, the elite field of runners will actually begin AFTER the general race field has reached Audubon Park. The “Elite Cup” will race three loops around Audubon Park so that everyone attending the post-race party will get to watch and cheer as they compete for those big bucks! This is your chance to get up close and personal with names like Risper Gesabwa and Philip Mosima, last year’s Shamrockin’ champs as well as Leonard Korir of Kenya (2011 10,000 Meter Personal Best 27:29.40; 2013 5,000 Meter Personal Best 13:15.45) and a field of close to 50 international athletes. Remember their names and their strides. You will be able to say you saw them and raced with them. To compare, this might be like watching Drew Brees from the Saints sideline or Derek Jeter from the Yankee dugout or even courtside in Miami watching LeBron James.
Shamrockin’ partner WWL’s Josh Meza quoted race director Bill Burke, “I’m excited about the opportunity this could bring to the sport. “This event will bring the elite road race up close and personal to every athlete and spectator in Audubon Park.” Don’t miss this great experience to run with the best locals and cheer for the best elites out there right in our own backyard. Varsity Sports is honored to be a part of this race for the second time this year and we are looking forward to witnessing the talents and personal record setting of everyone out there.
If you haven’t registered yet, click HERE! There will also be race day registration before the race. Don’t forget that you can be a Varsity Important Person by purchasing $100 in Brooks from any of our three stores and getting a bib sticker to get even closer to the action!
Hope to see you all there!
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