Friday, March 16, 2012

More Fast Feet Commit to Shamrock Shuffle

Credit: Uwe Hermann at Flickr
And I thought this year's Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle was going to be plenty exciting with Abdi Abdirahman running it. But it's even better than a runner could imagine--and at 33 years young, it's not even a special anniversary for Shamrock like the Chicago Marathon will be when it turns 35 in October. Liliya Shobukhova, the fast female who has won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon the last three years, signed on. And then the female field only got faster and more competitive.

Who are some of those runners? Take a read:
  • Tera Moody. Originally from St. Charles, Ill., Moody is returning to the Windy City from Colorado Springs, Colo., to run the Shamrock Shuffle 8K. Moody is no stranger to the race--she's won it twice. She was also a star performer at St. Charles High School, a two-time Illinois state champion in the 1,600 meters, and placed 10th at the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a personal best 2:30:53. Moody unfortunately missed January's U.S. Olympic Trials due to injury, but she's on the comeback trail and could find herself becoming a three-time Shuffle champion.
  • Delilah DiCrescenzo. Remember the Plain White T's and their hit song "Hey There Delilah"? That song was in reference to DiCrescenzo. But she's equally as well-known for her running success, especially if you talk to a runner. DiCrescenzo attended Queen of Peace High School in Burbank, Ill., before moving to New York City to attend Columbia University--and she racked up running honors at the high school, national and international levels. In high school, she was a five-time All-State honoree in cross country and track. In college, she was an NCAA All-American and a three-time Ivy League champion in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Now she's hoping to qualify for her first Olympic team at the London Games and will be competing at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in June--she's one of the country's top steeplechase runners.
  • Diane Nukuri-Johnson. Similar to many runners who use the Shamrock Shuffle to kick off their running season, Olympian Nukuri-Johnson is using the race to help her prepare for the opportunity to compete in the Olympics this summer. When she was 16, she represented her native Burundi in the 5,000 meters at the 2000 Olympic Games. Nukuri-Johnson is no stranger to Chicago--she debuted at the marathon distance in the Windy City at the 2010 Chicago Marathon. And last year she ran a personal best of 2:33:47 at the Los Angeles Marathon, which also set the Burundian national record. 
The field would have included Liliya Shobukhova, but the marathon maven had to pull out due to injury. However, that's not stopping Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski from getting excited about the competition that's unfolding.

"We're excited to welcome Delilah and Diane to this year's Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K as they gear up for the summer racing season with an eye on the Olympic Games," said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "This is Delilah's first premier race in Chicago since she was a star at the high school level. We're proud to showcase such an impressive athlete with local roots and Chicago is always supportive of its hometown heroes."

And not to be forgotten is the elite club competition, which features top talent from running clubs around the country like the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project and the Fleet Feet/Nike Racing Team. Whether you're planning to run or watch, you're guaranteed to have a reason to come out.

For more details about March 25's Shamrock Shuffle, check out its website.

Photo grabbed from Uwe Hermann at flickr.

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