Sunday, March 25, 2012

33rd Shamrock Shuffle a Beauty

Great temps, maybe a tad too much humidity and a fabulous atmosphere greeted what turned out to be 34,352 (latest count) runners who crossed the finish line on Sunday at the 33rd Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, the largest timed 8K in the world. Downtown Chicago and Grant Park were Sham-rockin' as runners took over the streets in a fashion show of fitness. Leading the way in a tight front pack was Abdelaaziz Atmani, 30, of Indianapolis, who won in a spiffy 23:18. Second went to David Adams, 23, of Lincoln, NE, in 23:21, and third went to 2012 Olympic marathoner Abdi Abdirahman, 35, of Tucson, AZ, in 23:30. More top-tier runners were in close pursuit in a very deep field. In the women's race, Julia Lucas, 28, of Eugene, OR, took the title in 25:37. Next was Chicago favorite Delilah Dicrescenzo, 29, of New York City, 23, in 25:49, and third went to Diane Nukuri Johnson, 27, of Iowa City, IA, in 26:11. The women also had a powerful lead pack that went very deep. As for the rest of us, people were generally smiling in the finish area. Some ran faster, some slower (me) that a year ago, but it sure was fun being out there. Another special touch I enjoyed was the National Anthem, which was sung by none other than Wayne Messmer, who has thrilled audiences at Blackhawk and Cubs games for years. His rendition is the best. Enough said. Thanks to all of the wonderful organizers and volunteers who made this Chicago running spectacular very spectacular indeed!

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