Boise & Garden City

Boise’s Shamrock Shuffle re-routes course so runners won’t need snorkels, flippers

Boise River at flood stage creeps up on Eagle

Flood water from ponds and the Boise River partially cover parking lots in Eagle near Bardenay Restaurant and Hilton Garden Inn by Eagle Road. Federal dam managers may be forced to raise the river above flood level coming out of Lucky Peak Reservo
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Flood water from ponds and the Boise River partially cover parking lots in Eagle near Bardenay Restaurant and Hilton Garden Inn by Eagle Road. Federal dam managers may be forced to raise the river above flood level coming out of Lucky Peak Reservo

People who do fun runs in March expect to get a little wet — but this Saturday’s Shamrock Shuffle has to deal with more than an early spring sprinkle.

Don’t worry: The Shuffle will go on.

Course routes have been altered so that participants won’t have to splash through deep floodwater on the Greenbelt, race organizers say.

The Boise River is running fast and high, and sections of the Greenbelt are flooded —creating a real challenge for the sixth-annual Shamrock Shuffle, which starts at Reid Merrill Park in Eagle at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The race is usually held in Caldwell.

“Water flow levels are increasing on Friday from Lucky Peak again,” race organizers said on Facebook Wednesday. “We are cut off from heading east from where we often have aid station 1 when we are in Eagle ... It’s only about a foot deep at that foot bridge right now but with the increase coming again it’s not realistic to have everyone run through a 20 ft stretch of water that could be 2 ft deep again on race day.”

All three course routes had to be changed. The 10K and half marathon courses will be on the altered 5K course. That means two or more laps for those running the longer distances. Here’s the link to the new course maps.

There’s good news in the forecast: No chance of rain on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures in the morning will be around 40, with highs reaching about 60 by Saturday afternoon. That’s about 7 degrees above normal for this time of year.

Some Shamrock participants expressed disappointment at the course changes. but avid runner Kevin Richert thanked race organizers for not canceling the race.

“You guys have a thankless job this week,” Richert wrote on the Shamrock Shuffle Facebook page. “So I’m going to do something about that. Thank you for making this race happen under trying conditions. It’s going to be different for everybody, and we’re all going to have to improvise, but I still plan on having fun!”

One runner asked about the race surface(s) so she could decide which shoes to wear.

“There is a section that is kind of dirt trail and another section that is dirt with a little gravel. Still mostly paved. If you have more of a neutral shoe (could be used on roads or trail) I would go with that,” race organizers said on Facebook. They assured another runner that the race won’t go through puddles.

Some of the rewards of finishing this run/walk: Sockeye green beer (21 and older), fruit, cookies and partying with fit people dressed like leprechauns.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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