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Posted: March 2, 2009  :

(RWire) Athletics: 30th Shamrock Shuffle 8K Introduces Elite Club Competition

CHICAGO - (February 26, 2009) - The 30th Shamrock Shuffle 8K - set for Sunday, March 29 - introduces the inaugural Elite Club Competition. The Elite Club Competition will feature the top local and regional USATF member running clubs and racing teams competing head-to-head for $10,000 in prize money.

The Chicago area and greater Midwest boasts some of the finest distance runners in the country, many of whom train and race with the support of clubs and teammates. The Elite Club Competition is an opportunity for regional clubs to come together in a spirited team competition on the lightning-fast streets of Chicago. After a hard winter of training, lace up your racing flats and measure your team against the best in the Midwest at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.

The Elite Club Competition will be held in conjunction with Chicago's popular kick-off to the spring running season. The 8K route is a flat and fast tour of downtown Chicago and has been the site of numerous world class performances, including Deena Kastor's U.S. record of 24 minutes, 36 seconds in 2005, and James Kariuki's course record of 22:35 from 1998.

Divisions and Scoring:
Elite Clubs will compete in two separate divisions (men's and women's) and can enter a maximum of five (5) runners per team. Men's teams must enter a minimum of four (4) runners, and women's teams must enter a minimum of three (3) runners. In the men's division, the top four (4) finishers will count toward team scoring; in the women's division, the top three (3) finishers will count toward team scoring. The teams with the lowest combined finish time among their scoring runners will be declared the winning teams. Clock time (gun time) will be the official recorded time for all Elite Club participants.

Prize money will be awarded to the top five (5) men's and women's teams as follows. A trophy will be presented to the overall team champions.

Team Prize Money*
1st = $1500; 2nd = $1250; 3rd = $1000; 4th = $750 and 5th = $500
*Prize money will be paid to the club/organization.

Qualifications and Eligibility:
Eligibility for the Elite Club Competition is based on USATF Club Rules. All participating clubs must be registered with USATF for 2009, and all athletes entering as part of a club must be affiliated with that club as part of their current USATF membership. For questions regarding USATF membership or to purchase / renew a membership, go to USATF.org or contact your local USATF association.

In order to be considered an Elite Club, team members must meet the "Top 100" qualifying standards set forth by the event. Exceptions can be made for one or more team members at the discretion of the event.

Top 100 qualifying standards*
DIST Men Women
5K 16:30 19:30
8K 27:00 32:00
10K 34:00 40:30

*Participants will be asked to verify their qualifying times prior to registration by sending an e-mail link to an official race result.

If a club or individual does not meet the qualifications for the Elite Club Competition, they can participate in the general Team Competition or as an individual. Only teams in the Elite Club Competition will be eligible for prize money.

Registration:
Club members can register individually or together as a team. All club members must pay the standard $40 registration fee. There is no additional cost to participate in the Elite Club Competition. Open registration for the Shamrock Shuffle closed when it hit its 32,500 participant capacity on Jan. 29. However, Elite Clubs are granted an extended registration deadline of Friday, March 13. Entries for the Elite Club Competition will not be accepted and cannot be altered after March 13.

To register your club, please contact Jeremy Borling at jeremy.borling@bankofamerica.com or (312) 992-6614. Upon acceptance into the Elite Club Competition, your club will be provided with a unique Active.com registration link to register your team members online.

Additional Amenities:
All Elite Club participants will receive a "Top 100" start position at the front of the field. In addition, clubs will have access to a secure tented area in close proximity to the start / finish area with secure gear check, restroom facilities, water and Gatorade.

Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director
(805) 696-6232; Fax = (805) 659-0016
Ryan@RunningUSA.org
www.RunningUSA.org.

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