Shamrock Spotlight: Rozalyn O’Toole


We are so excited to be bringing you the “Shamrock Spotlight Series” on our blogs! The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, 8k Races bring thousands of runners, of all ages, abilities and locations, to the Virginia Beach oceanfront every year! As J&A Racing Live Love Run Ambassadors, we decided we wanted to celebrate these races, J&A Racing, and our community by doing a series that highlights participants, both local and out of town, on their journey to this years’ races.

We were incredibly fortunate to get the response we did when asking for volunteers to be spotlighted, and are grateful for the opportunity to share their stories with you!

Kristy and Lesleyanne



Age: 29 but the big 3-0 on race day

Current City: Virginia Beach

Training for the Shamrock Marathon

I’m married to my wonderful husband, Mike.  We have a 3 year old, Jameson.  When I’m not balancing family life and work (Radiation Oncology RN), I love running, being outdoors, or sweating in a hot yoga class.

Why you are running a Shamrock race in 2014?  I decided to run the Shamrock Marathon 2 weeks after I lost my dad to
cancer.  He and I talked about me running a marathon the year I turned 30.  I never really took the idea seriously but I thought it would be such a great way to honor him.  He always believed I could do anything I put my mind to.  I will be running my first 26.2 with Team LiveSTRONG and will be carrying the memories of my dad and all of the patients I have lost to cancer.

When did you start running?  I started running when our son, Jameson, was about 6 months old.  I still had baby weight to lose and figured that I would try the Couch to 5K program.  In the beginning, I could barely make it a quarter mile without getting really short of breath.  Eventually the weight started flying off and I fell in love with running.

How many races have you done and what’s your favorite? I’ve run several 5Ks and 10Ks, a 10 miler, and 2 half marathons.  My favorite race in Virginia Beach is the Wicked 10K.  My favorite race experience was when I ran with Team in Training at the Inaugural Nike Women’s Half in DC.

Where do you prefer to run?  I am lucky enough to live at the Oceanfront.  My favorite route is out my door down to the end of the road in First Landing, to 1st street on the boardwalk, and back.  The scenery is great and running by the ocean is so peaceful.

What’s the longest distance you’ve run? Currently at 14 miles in my training plan.

What is the one thing you DON’T like about running? It’s hard to think of something I don’t like about running but I can’t
stand the frequent trips to the kitchen after a long run.

Favorite post-run indulgence? I love a big glass of chocolate milk followed by something salty.

Favorite running shoe? I just switched to Saucony Omni 12s.  My husband says they look like ”geriatric” shoes.  I don’t care, though… I’m running on clouds!

Favorite song to run to?  My current favorites are “Brave” by Sara Bareilles and “Roar” by Katy Perry but on every running playlist you will find “Baba O’Riley” by The Who (random, I know!).

Favorite website to waste time on?  Facebook and Instagram

Favorite running moment?  Wicked 10K 2013:  My husband left me at mile 2 and at mile 6 I caught a glimpse of his back.  I picked up the pace and crossed the finish line 3 seconds before him.  He later said, “If I knew you were going to run like that, I would have stayed with you!”  It was my 10K PR and the only time I’ve ever beat my husband.

If you could pick one celebrity to run with, who would it be? Krysten from The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail– not really a celebrity but I love her blog and can really relate to her story.



You can follow Rozalyn’s journey to Shamrock on Instagram  and Facebook.


Published by Kristy

Storyteller. Copywriter. Connector. Documenting the inhales and exhales of daily live.

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