Monday, January 5, 2009

Sign up for Shamrock

Photo originally posted on the Shamrock Shuffle's photo gallery.

Have your sights set on kicking off the 2009 running season in Chicago sooner rather than later? Get a jump start on the crowd and sign up for the perennial favorite, the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, today. With race day set for March 29, there's still plenty of time to break out of winter hibernation or lace up running shoes for the first time and start training.

Registration for this 8K opened on Jan. 1 at, and if years past are any indication, all 30,000 slots for this race will sell out before race weekend. Last year, the race closed before the end of January. The race kicks off at 9:30 a.m.--the 5K fitness walk that accompanies the 8K starts at 10 a.m.--in Grant Park. If you're thinking about tackling the Chicago Marathon later in the year, this is a great prep course because the Shuffle follows portions of the marathon course, notably the first two miles and the last climb to the finish line (see the course map).

The Shuffle draws elite speed racers plus your average Joes/Janes and newbie runners--I'm hoping to get some of my non-running friends out there this year. You'll even spot a fair amount of runners who bring out the St. Patrick's Day garb (like the guys above who stood out among the pictures in the Shamrock Shuffle photo gallery). Then everyone gathers in Grant Park for a post-race party: beer and music.

I missed the 2008 race because I was too slow to sign up, but I still need some prodding for this year after my vow in December to take a break from running. Anyone want to push me to register? Posted by Kate

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