Shamrock Weekend

What are the Shamrock race distance options? 

We will offer 8k and half marathon training plans and group runs. Additional race distances available include full marathon and marathon relay. The “Dolphin Challenge” is the 8k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. The “Whale Challenge” is the 8k on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. 

How do I register for the Shamrock race? 

Register for the Shamrock distance of your choice at 

Where does the team stay Shamrock weekend? 

We reserve a block of rooms at a reduced rate at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel. 

What can I expect Shamrock weekend? 

Shamrock weekend is a celebration of all your months of training, and of your impact on CKG’s progress in its work to destigmatize teen depression and anxiety. We will be supporting our team members who race in the 8k on Saturday, March 16, 2019. That evening, our annual Shamrock team celebration dinner will be held at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel. Sunday, March 17, the half marathon and marathon races are held, and the SpeakUp Race Team will have a meet up area under the main J&A finish tent on the beach.    


Kickoff and Training

What can I expect at the Shamrock Kickoff brunch? 

Shamrock Kickoff brunch is December 1, at 11:00 am at Tang and Biscuit in Scott’s Addition. It’s an opportunity to meet your coaches and team members, learn about CKG, and what to expect from the Shamrock season. We hope you’ll stick around to play a little shuffleboard! Our first group training run will be the following Saturday, December 8th.  Please RSVP at 

When are the group training runs? 

Our team’s group 8k and half marathon training runs will be on Saturday mornings, December 8th - March 9th, taking off from the Panera in Carytown.  An early morning intermediate week day option will also be offered in the near west end.  Exact day/time TBD.

All about Race Team

Why Does SpeakUp Race Team return to Shamrock every year? 

Cameron had a goal of running 13.1 miles in 2014, and she accomplished this goal through hard work and dedication. Together we will make a team goal of finishing our race, not only during the race weekend but in our daily lives, as well. 

How do I join the team? 

Join SpeakUp Race Team at  

What is included in Race Team membership? 

There is a $50 team registration fee. In return, you receive: the SpeakUp Race Team shirt, group training runs, training plans, fundraising platform and support, team dinner, workshops, and family-friendly social activities. 

Why a fundraising commitment? 

The Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation provides FREE in-school programs which raise awareness and provide education regarding depression and anxiety in teenagers.  Funds raised go directly towards this programming, which along with our community outreach, help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.  Over the course of the year-long membership, SpeakUp Race Team members commit to raise funds which go directly to supporting these programs  

In 2017, we reached over 17,500 students and their advocates in 19 schools across the Greater Richmond area.  Additionally, over 2,000 teens and adults benefitted from CKG’s mindfulness education.  

The money you raise allows CKG to continue to deliver these tools at no cost to educate and advocate for those in need.  We offer one-on-one fundraising support to help you reach your goal, and we encourage creativity and fun in your fundraising approach, keeping in touch with Cameron’s spirit. 

The annual Race Team fundraising commitment is $350 for adults and $100 for students.

Meet your 2019 Coaches

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Chris Piper

Chris Piper is a Road Runners Club of America certified running coach. A little over eight years ago, Chris got tired of being out of shape and needed some motivation to quit smoking. Inspired by his marathon-finishing grandfather, he laced up a pair of shoes and decided to go for a run. He has since completed nine marathons and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon for a second time. He is also an official race pacer for the Richmond Marathon, helping others get to the finish at their desired goal time. What Chris really loves is coaching others to success and seeing people accomplish their goals. He knows how one success can often inspire others to take up a lifetime of fitness. Finally, as someone who has dealt with anxiety and seen loved ones battle their own depression, he loves the mission of SpeakUp and all the people working so hard to spread Cameron's message.

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John "Jack" Butler

Jack has over 38 years of running experience. He has completed over 275 races, 6 marathons, and over 50 Half Marathons. He has been a member of Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team for ten years, the last three as a coach. Jack gets up every morning at 4:23 a.m. to run, which explains his license plate: RUN423. If you spot his car, look for the sticker Run 41,184 which is a conservative estimate of the number of total miles he has run over the years. When Jack is not running, you can find him riding the unicycle and juggling (concurrently!), and baking Bundt cakes. He looks forward to coaching SpeakUp Race Team members this year as they train to Race Shamrock with Purpose.