Road to Olympics Runs through the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K for U.S. Marathoner Abdi Abdirahman
Two-Time Champion Tera Moody Returns to Hometown Race; New Start Wave Process and "Mike and Joe" to Headline Post-Race Party in Grant Park
Posted Thursday, 16 February, 2012
CHICAGO - The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K today announced that 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team member Abdi Abdirahman will take part in Chicago's annual kick off to the running season on Sunday, March 25. He will lead the way for 40,000 runners at the 33rd annual event that runs through downtown Chicago. Abdirahman is preparing to represent Team USA in the marathon at this summer's Olympic Games and will use the Shamrock Shuffle as a launch pad for his training after recovering from the U.S. Olympic Trials in January. The Shamrock Shuffle factors in as a fun, flat and fast competition in a city that has been instrumental in launching his marathon career.
"The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is first and foremost a tradition for Chicagoans to put on their running shoes after a long winter and celebrate the arrival of spring, but we're also proud of the event's legacy of elite level racing, which continues with the addition of Abdi to this year's field," said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "Abdi has world-class track credentials and is a three-time Olympian in the 10,000 meters, so it will be fun to watch him put his leg speed to the test on our flat and fast 8K course."
Abdirahman qualified for this fourth U.S. Olympic team with a third place finish at the Olympic Trials Marathon on January 14. He previously competed in the 10,000 meters at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Games. At the 2006 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Abdirahman finished fourth overall in a personal best 2:08:56. After visiting Chicago to help kick off registration for the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on February 1, Abdirahman, who resides in Tucson, Ariz., is rapidly becoming a fan favorite among the local running community.
"The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will be my first competitive race since the Olympic Trials, and I can't wait to put my racing flats back on and get my season started along with 40,000 other runners in Chicago," said Abdirahman. "I really enjoyed my time here earlier in the month and got to meet many of the local runners. I definitely feel the enthusiasm and support of the Chicago running community and that is something I am going to soak up at the Shamrock Shuffle and take with me all the way to the Olympic Games. I love racing and am ready to go head-to-head again after recovering from the Trials."
Joining Abdirahman on the start line will be two-time Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K champion Tera Moody of Colorado Springs, Colo. Originally from St. Charles, Ill., Moody was a star performer at St. Charles High School and a two-time Illinois state champion in the 1,600 meters. Moody, who placed 10th at the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in a personal best 2:30:53, is on the comeback trail from an injury that held her out of the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in January. She has twice represented the U.S. at the World Championships Marathon, leading the American squad with a 17th place finish last summer in Daegu, South Korea.
New Start Wave and Start Corral Process
The 2012 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will feature a new Start Wave and Start Corral process to facilitate a smoother start to the race for all participants. The race will feature separate start times and Gear Check facilities for the two Start Waves-Wave 1 and Wave 2. This will allow participants to check their gear and access their assigned Start Corral closer to their start time.
The start time for participants in Wave 1-those assigned to the Elite Corral and Corrals A, B, C and D-will be 8:30 a.m. The start time for participants in Wave 2-those assigned to Corrals E, F, G and H-will be 9:15 a.m. Access to Start Corrals will close 15 minutes prior to each wave's respective start time.
"We are excited about the changes we have made to the start process for this year's race and the positive impact it will have on the participants," said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "Our goal each year is to maximize the race day experience for everyone involved. We are always listening to feedback from our participants and looking for ways to make continual improvements. Having a defined start time and Start Corral process for each wave will be a positive step forward that our participants will notice and appreciate."
Local Favorites "Mike and Joe" to Headline Post-Race Party
Local favorites "Mike and Joe" will perform live music starting from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the traditional Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Post-Race Party at Buckingham Fountain. The Post-Race Party is free and all participants, friends and family members are welcome to attend the spring celebration. Participants age 21 and over can redeem the tear-off portion of their bib number for a complimentary Michelob ULTRA beer. Additional food and drinks will be available for purchase.
About the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K
Long recognized as an annual rite of spring and the kick-off to the outdoor running season in Chicago, the 33rd annual Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K takes runners on a scenic tour of downtown Chicago, starting and finishing in Grant Park. The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 25, and will conclude with live musical entertainment by "Mike and Joe" at the traditional Post-Race Party in Grant Park. In advance of the event, the two-day Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Health & Fitness Expo will take place at Navy Pier on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, featuring more than 80 industry-related exhibitors. The Health & Fitness Expo is free and open to the public. For more information about the event and how to get involved, go to shamrockshuffle.com.