CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The March 29, 2015 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle will host its seventh annual Elite Club 8K Competition, featuring men’s and women’s USATF-member racing teams from across the country vying for a $20,000 prize purse.
Last year’s competition attracted more than 200 national and local elite runners from nine states and more than 40 clubs.
For the third year in a row, runners from the Michigan-based Hansons-Brooks Distance Project won both the men’s and women’s elite individual titles, but the Playmakers Elite from Lansing, Mich., stole the show on the men’s side, outpacing a competitive field and winning the team title. The Hansons-Brooks Distance project captured the women’s title, led by overall first-place finisher, Katie Kellner.
“The Elite Club Competition continues the event’s tradition of hosting some of the nation’s best runners on the flat and fast streets of downtown Chicago,” said Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “Hosting the Club Competition gives us a unique opportunity to foster a competitive spirit among our top runners, and to thank our national running clubs for supporting the development of U.S. distance runners. Our clubs do so much in the running community at both the elite and non-elite levels, and it is important that they continue to thrive.”
The Elite Club 8K Competition is open to all USATF-member running clubs whose members meet the event-required qualifying standards. For qualifying standards, event information and registration details, visit http://www.shamrockshuffle.com/eliteclub.
The return of the “green guys and green girl”
The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is widely recognized as Chicago’s classic kickoff to a new spring running season, and a way to keep the St. Patrick’s Day spirit alive. It’s considered a 4.97-mile celebratory event through the city’s Loop for runners of all abilities – from the elite athlete to the recreational runner – to gather as one united community.
The return of the “green guys and green girl” will capture the fun, festive atmosphere of that the Shamrock Shuffle has evoked for 36 years: celebrating the “heart and sole” of running while having a good time.
The “green guys” debuted at the Shamrock Shuffle in 2008. The original two members, John Atchison and Ryan Giuliano, painted themselves green from head to toe, donning fancy green wigs and a pair of race shorts. Spectators and runners repeatedly referred to them as the “green guys” and the name stuck. Over the past seven years, they have become synonymous with the Shamrock Shuffle, and this year’s crew will consist of one original member, John Atchison, Atchison’s fiancée – the first ever “green girl” – Brittany Sorensen, and Oscar Muñoz and R.J. Puoci.
Atchison, 30, a physical education teacher at James Otis Elementary School in Chicago, believes that the green guys and green girl embody the camaraderie and fun of Chicago’s running community.
“All of us realize that runners are a completely different breed of human,” he said. “No matter if they are racing competitively or helping someone get in shape, they are the nicest community I have ever been a part of. I like running PRs, but for the Shuffle, I wave my arms in the air to get people cheering. We find the fun in running.”
About the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K
Long recognized as an annual rite of spring, a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and the kickoff to the outdoor running season in Chicago, the 36th 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 29, and will conclude with live music at the traditional Post-Race Party in Grant Park. In advance of the event, the two-day Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle Health & Fitness Expo will take place at McCormick Place on Friday, March 27, and Saturday, March 28, 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 www.shamrockshuffle.com.
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