FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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
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
"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.