The Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago has grown to the point of absolute ridiculous proportions. I believe the race director now allows 35,000 people to participant in a 5 mile run. Well, it's not exactly 5 miles but it's pretty close.
I used to run this race in the 90's. Back when the run was on the closest week-end to St. Patrick's Day. It was much smaller back then. Maybe 3,000 people. Maybe. A lot of runners would be up the night before celebrating the Irish holiday. They would re-celebrate during the 1st mile or 2 of the run. Reliving all that they had taken in the night before only during the run it was coming back up in just a matter of seconds. It was never a pretty site. You could be guaranteed to see at least 10 participants hurling on the side of the road. After seeing this several years in a row and having the race grow each year, I stopped running it.
Well, it's 2009 a couple of the pre-school moms asked me to run it with them. I love these guys. They're funny and very down to earth. So, I guess I have a 2 ways to look at this,
1. Run in a race that is so over crowded that I will probably walk the 1st mile and then elbow my way thru the rest of the miles.
2. Go into the city, laugh on the drive down, hang out with 3 people I like being around, and then drive home probably laughing all the way home.
Hmmmm, I still don't know what to do ....