VIRGINIA BEACH – More than 30,000 people will compete in some type of race Saturday and Sunday for the Shamrock Marathon weekend. From children’s races to the big 26.2-miler, and from the runners to their supporters, the events will be bring thousands of people to the Oceanfront. Here’s a look at what’s happening, and what road closures to avoid.
On Saturday, there’s the TowneBank 8k and the ACCESS College Foundation 8k Student Challenge, the Leprechaun Dash and the Operation Smile Final Mile. The 8k starts around 30th and Atlantic Street at 7:45 a.m. and finishes on the Boardwalk. Children ages 6 months to 5 years will tackle 26.2 yards in the Leprechaun Dash at 10:30 a.m., and elementary school students will run the Operation Smile Final Mile at 11 a.m.
Sunday features the two biggest events — the Anthem Half Marathon and the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon. The 13.1-mile half marathon starts at 7 a.m. at 42nd street and Atlantic Avenue and finishes at 30th Street on the Boardwalk. The marathon takes off from 31st Street at 8:30 a.m. Participants will run along the Oceanfront to JEB Fort Story to Rudee Inlet and back to the Murphy’s Finish Line Celebration.
Some racers will take part in the King Neptune Challenge, which involves running the 8k on Saturday and the half marathon and full marathon on Sunday.
More than 70,000 spectators are expected to pack the Oceanfront over the weekend to see the events. Due to the race course and the high volume of spectators, the following roads will be closed:
- Pacific Avenue from 25th Street to 30th Street from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Saturday
- Atlantic Avenue from 22nd to 38th streets from 6 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. and from 2nd Street to 38th Street from 7 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Saturday
- Pacific Avenue (northbound) from 31st Street to 42nd Street from 5 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and (southbound) 47th Street to Laskin Road from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday
- Atlantic Avenue (northbound) from 42nd Street to Shore Drive from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday and (southbound) from 47th Street to Laskin Road from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday
- Atlantic Avenue from 42nd Street to Shore Drive will be closed from 6:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Sunday. Atlantic from 40th Street to 2nd Street will be closed from 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Sunday, and Atlantic from 25th Street to 42nd Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Charities benefiting from the events include Livestrong, Operation Smile, ACCESS College Foundation, the Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and The Noblemen.
There will be pre-race events Saturday at the Convention Center and entertainment Sunday. For a full list of events, click here.