Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Sun, The Sweat and The 2011 Shamrock Shuffle

Runners head to their start corrals.
Funny how two years ago, I had to label the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle the snow shuffle. In 2009, it snowed, it slushed, it was cold, it was wet. In 2010, race day saw a near-repeat performance from what I remember--but keep in mind that I was out in the suburbs running a half, having to choose between running a new race and running with routine. What a difference a year--or two--makes. With a later start date in 2011 than years past, the Shamrock Shuffle stomped across Chicago to sunshine and sweat, where the only layer you needed was a light one to battle the breezes.

This 8K is known as a rite of spring and kick-off to the Chicago running season. But this year it may have felt more like the start to summer--and an easy way to finish up your workout early to enjoy the unseasonable temperatures. Unless you were injured or never signed up in the first place, you really didn't have an excuse to miss out.  Here are eight highlights from the morning, one for each kilometer of the race:
  • Simon Bairu won the men's race in 23:38, followed by locals Lukas Verzbicas in 23:55 and Kyle Brady in 24:07.
  • Amy Yoder Begley won the women's race in 26:50, followed by Jean Marinangeli in 28:11 and Erin Moeller in 28:23.
  • The race filled when 40,000 registered to run weeks ago and it saw a record 32,427 finishers.
  • It took some runners more than 35 minutes to cross the start line--that means several runners were finished before others even started. Crazy!
  • The Chicago Police Department was out in full force with a nearly 400-member team running in memory of those who lost their lives in the line of duty. You didn't have to be a CPD employee to be a part either--Chicago's media running team showed their support by running with the team, too.
  • Runners showed their Shamrock spirit, sporting green, costumes, spandex suits, old Shamrock Shuffle tees and awesome shamrock-speckled socks.
    Check out those green costumes.
  • The course follows some of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course, a race that will be held nearly six months from the start of the Shamrock Shuffle.
  • The race saw abnormally warm temperatures, so warm that the event alert system went into affect and said race-day conditions would be caution yellow instead of ideal green. But really, it was no different than running on the Lakefront in July.
So Chicago...were you one of the 32,000-plus runners out there today? Check your results by clicking here. Whether it was the start to an even more active day or the only exercise you did all weekend, hopefully you're not sore tomorrow. That goes for the two runners at my house, too.

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