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Thousands of runners take off for 51st annual Shamrock Marathon Weekend

Event organizers say the big weekend pulls in more than $20 million for city of Virginia Beach.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend is back in Virginia Beach for its 51st year.

On both Saturday and Sunday morning, thousands of runners took over the Virginia Beach oceanfront. It’s an event that draws runners from all over the country and the world, according to J&A Racing Co-Race Director Amy Frostick.

“We have 50 states and then 9 countries. I actually yesterday helped a man that traveled all the way from Japan to run the marathon," Frostick said.

Frostick said this is one of the biggest events of the year for the city. Some 20 thousand runners are participating in the races -- it’s not only a lot of fun but also a big economic boost for Virginia Beach. 

“The economic impact for Virginia Beach. It’s about 24 million," she said. “We’ve talked to a lot of restaurant owners and hotel owners, they all say this is the kickoff to their season. They hire for this weekend.” 

Frostick says over the weekend -- runners stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, and shop at local stores. 

The event kicked off on Friday with a sports and fitness expo at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Saturday morning, thousands of people took part in the 8K race and the Leprechaun Dash and file mile – shorter run for children.

By Sunday morning, the rest of the registered runners lined up at dawn for the headliner runs.

More than anything, Frostick said this weekend is a chance for the running community to come together and celebrate.

"It’s great. I love to see all the smiles and people reaching their goals," Frostick said. "It’s just such a fun weekend for Virginia Beach.”

This morning’s races will end with a big party on the beach at 28th street. Runners got to enjoy a pint of Yuengling and a bowl of Irish Stew.

The unofficial winner of the full marathon was Langston Gash from Middle River, MD. The unofficial winner of the half-marathon was Samuel Sheldon from Baltimore, MD. The highest placing woman was Madeleine King from Virginia Beach, who finished 8th overall.

You can find the full results for the 2023 Shamrock Marathon HERE.

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