By David Rogers. March 18, 2018. VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — Blowing Rock ran away with women’s division of the Shamrock Half Marathon on Sunday, sweeping the top two spots on the leaderboard.
COVER IMAGE: Nicole Dimercurio (left) and Joanna Thompson, both of Blowing Rock-based ZAP Fitness/Reebok elite running team, compare notes after finishing Sunday’s Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. Photographic image courtesy of Pete Rea, head coach of ZAP Fitness/Reebok.
ZAP Fitness/Reebok teammates Nicole Dimercurio and Joanna Thompson finished 1-2 in the 13.1 mile race just off the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Dimercurio came away with the win and a course record in 1:13.15 — and knocked almost a full minute off her own personal best for the event of 1:14 set in the fall of 2017.
Thompson, a former North Carolina State University All-American, ran 1:16.20 for the runner-up spot.
More than 30,000 male and female runners run the streets of Virginia Beach each year as part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, including the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, the Anthem Half Marathon, and the TowneBank 8k. The course for the half marathon features an elevation change of only 20 feet over the course of the race. From the starting line at Pacific Avenue and 42nd St., near Cavalier Park, runners head north along Atlantic Avenue for the first few miles, then make their way into Fort Story, which is now known as the U.S. Navy’s Joint Expeditionary Base East. They complete a couple of loops along Atlantic Ave. and Shore Drive. The runners then head south on Atlantic Ave. to 37th Street, where they head east toward the beach and turn onto Virginia Beach Boardwalk for the home stretch to the finish line at Neptune’s Park.
The course is located on Cape Henry, near the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. The Shamrock Half Marathon is limited to the first 10,000 entrants and the course time is limited to four hours — implying a mile pace of 18 minutes, 19 seconds. Dimercurio’s winning time implies a mile pace of approximately 5 minutes, 35 seconds.
Both Dimercurio and Thompson will next compete in April’s Boston Marathon.