VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Everyone is buzzing at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront as the Shamrock Marathon and St. Patrick’s Day weekend gets underway.
J&A Racing co-owner Amy Frostick said several thousand runners will pack the resort area over the next few days.
“It’s big. We have about 22,000 runners coming in town,” Frostick said. “It’s a big economic impact for the city.”
Racers kicked things off Friday, picking up packets, shirts and taking a spin around the health expo.
Some are lacing up for Sunday's big half and full marathon races.
“This is my first one, my sister does a lot of them,” said marathon runner Randy Hawkins. “So, we are joining her this year, we will be running together, just looking to finish and not die.”
“It is my first half in 25 years. So, I quit running and now I am running again thanks to my friends,” said runner Dawn Genovese.
Many Oceanfront business owners said this festive event is also the unofficial kick-off to the tourist season.
Murphy’s Irish pub opened at 9 a.m. and quickly had a packed house. People said they are excited to see the crowds return.
“Supposed to be expecting warmer weather coming up, and especially with St. Pats being today, definitely seeing that Virginia Beach has picked up,” said David McMurrey.
Shorter races kick off Saturday morning like the 8K and kids races. The health expo opens again on Saturday from noon to five. But organizers said there is no race packet pick up on Sunday.
Marathon Runners will cross the finish line on Sunday by the King Neptune Statue, and that’s where the Shamrock post-race party celebration begins.