Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: special events

Today was the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle.
Sure, it’s not even close to St. Patrick’s Day… but who’s counting?!
What it is for many of us is the kick-off of the outdoor sporting season.
But for me, it was actually my very first outdoor run this year!!! No real training for me!

My friends Chris & Nancy met me at my condo, and the three of us took the El train downtown. Not knowing what kind of weather was in store for us, we all brought a few extra options. So after layering it on, we took our “extras” to Gear Check and prepared for the run. Yeah, me and thirty-thousand other runners!!!

Chris and I were finally all bundled up with layers of moisture-wicking clothes, tights, pants, windbreakers, hats, gloves, socks… and then more of the same… ready for the run ahead of us. Feeling a little “thick” from all the layers… but I’d rather be “thick” than freezing cold!!!

I also ran into Jeff… husband of my friend & college Little Sister Pam.
Surprising, that out of thirty thousand runners, we just happen to be in the same area. It was Jeff that recognized Chris & I as we were in Corral E waiting for our chance to start. It’s a lot of waiting & standing around for those of us in Wave Two… starting at 9:15am.

The Shamrock Shuffle is a really fun race that takes you through a lot of the downtown area. It was quite windy in several sections. Especially in the cross-street areas where it would catch you off guard… and then the wind would SLAM you from the side!!!

I, of course, could not resist a quick photo-op with the Nesquik Chocolate Bunny!!!

Thousands of people flooding through the Finish Line…
each thrilled to be done with their first race of the season!

We all met up after the race at Buckingham Fountain. Including my friend Tracy who had us all sign-up on her team “Step In Time.” Sure, it’s too early in the season for the fountain to be working yet, but still… it’s kind of a tradition. Tracy and I have a very similar photo from our marathon finishes two years ago. Unfortunately, the winds were picking up, the temperatures were dropping and you could tell that some rain & sleet were imminent. So we only hung out for a little while, then walked back to the El for a train ride home.

It felt great to be back home… finally warm & dry after a nice hot shower.
A couple snacks, some more water and feeling good.

And so begins another season… running, biking, racing, Tri’s, whatever… bring it on!!!

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