Shamrock Shuffle 8k: Snow and cold join 13,714, release, note by Larry Eder

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While the West Coast enjoys warm weather, and Denver is covered with snow, nearly 14,000 tough midwesterners dealt with the snow and cold to run the real beginning of spring in the Windy City: The Shamrock Shuffle.

Emmanuel Korir and Deena Kastor, Kastor in her first race since her injury in Beijing, had slower than normal times on this fast course, but, considering the conditions, both showed their fitness. While 30,000 plus had signed up, 14,000 choose to run and just under that amount finished. Runners used their heads, and bundled up, which was a smart thing to do in those conditions.

Congrats to Carey Pinkowski and his team, who have dealt with hot weather in the marathon, as well as cold, and their email communications with their athletes helped in this case!

Congrats to Deena Kastor, again for getting herself back into shape and running so well in tough conditions.

13,714 Runners Brave the Elements to Tackle 30th Anniversary Shamrock Shuffle 8K, Including Champions Deena Kastor and Emmanuel Korir

CHICAGO (March 29, 2009) - U.S. Olympian Deena Kastor (Calif.) and Emmanuel Korir (Mich.) led a field of 13,714 runners through the snow today at the 30th Anniversary Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. The race continued its storied tradition by ushering in the spring season in true Chicago fashion with temperatures in the low 30s and steady snowfall throughout the morning.

While 30,000 runners registered for the popular race only 13,714 elected to brave the elements. With the vast majority of registrants hailing from the Chicagoland area they were familiar with the conditions Mother Nature can deliver during springtime in Chicago.

"We've been communicating to our participants since mid-week that temperatures were looking to be less than ideal and hovering around freezing," said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "They were still showing up to the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday with tons of enthusiasm and determination to run today. The energy at today's race is a great testament to the strong will of Chicagoans and their love of the sport."

Korir won today's 30th Anniversary Shamrock Shuffle 8K, crossing the finish line in 24:18 while Kastor led the women with a finish time of 27:15 Kastor, the bronze medalist in the 2004 Olympic Marathon, was making her first return to road racing since an injury forced her to drop from the field mid-race of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon. Kastor set the current American women's record in the 8K distance at the 2005 Shamrock Shuffle with a 24:36 finish time.

In the inaugural year of the Elite Club Competition the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project team (Rochester Hills, Mich.) won first place for the men. Team members are Chad Johnson, Nick Arciniaga, Mike Kilburg and Ryan Sheehan. The women's race was won by the Fleet Feet/Nike Racing Team (Chicago) featuring team members Jessica Langford, Colleen Newhart, Jokotade Agunloye, Christina Overbeck and Elizabeth Engel.

Complete race results from today's event are available at www.shamrockshuffle.com.

30th Anniversary Shamrock Shuffle

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle officially ushered in the Chicago running season on Sunday, March 29, 2009 with an 8K run through the city and 5K Fitness Walk along the lakeshore. Beginning and ending in historic Grant Park, the 8K provided an abbreviated preview of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course as it circled the city's stunning downtown architecture. 5K walkers were treated to a scenic stroll along the shores of Lake Michigan in the shadow of the magnificent city skyline. Online registration for both events opened on Thursday, January 1 and closed on January 29 when the 32,500 participant capacity was reached. For more information including race day results, visit shamrockshuffle.com.

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