Already the largest 8 km race in the United States, Chicago's Shamrock Shuffle will introduce an elite club competition for the 30th edition of the event on Sunday, March 29. According to race director Carey Pinkowski, top local and regional USA Track & Field (USATF) clubs will compete head-to-head for a special $10,000 prize money purse.
"The Midwest is host to some of the most talented distance runners in the country and the flat Chicago roadways of the Shamrock Shuffle 8-K course lend to those talents," Pinkowski explained in an e-mail message to Race Results Weekly. "We're excited to offer those caliber athletes who traditionally compete as individuals a unique opportunity to enjoy the spirit of team competition and test their speed skills on a complimentary course."
There will be separate men's and women's divisions. Four men, out of a maximum of five entrants, and three women, out of a maximum of four entrants, will score per team. Team scores will be determined by the total of the official gun times of each scoring team members. Prize money will be paid five-deep, equal for men's and women's teams: $1500-1250-1000-750-500. All participating clubs must be registered with USATF, and and each team member must have an active USATF membership.
Chicago has a harsh winter, and the Shamrock Shuffle is as much a celebration of spring as of running. The race has already reached its capacity of 32,500 athletes. However, elite clubs have been granted an extended registration deadline of Friday, March 13. More information is available at www.shamrockshuffle.com.