INDIANAPOLIS – The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and USA Track & Field (USATF) today announced that the first-ever USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships will be held as part of Chicago’s popular 40,000-participant road race on Sunday, April 7, 2013. The Shamrock Shuffle, the world’s largest 8K road race, is the traditional kick-off to the outdoor running season in Chicago for recreational and veteran runners alike. The introduction of the USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships elevates the elite-level competition, attracting competitive club teams and athletes from across the country to vie for a national title and a share of the $20,000 prize purse.
The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K has been home to several top national and international performances over its 34-year history, including Deena Kastor’s 8K American record and course record 24:36 set in 2005, and Kenyan James Kariuki’s course record 22:35 set in 1998. However, this is the first time the event will host a national championship. The lightning-fast 8K (4.97-mile) course in downtown Chicago mirrors segments of the world-renowned Bank of America Chicago Marathon course, including the start and finish in Grant Park and a mile-long stretch on famed State Street.
In 2009, the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K introduced—in additional to its Open and Corporate team divisions—a division for men’s and women’s elite USATF-member running clubs. Although not a certified national championship at the time, the division was popular among local and regional running clubs as a unique opportunity to compete as a team at one of the nation’s premier road races. By 2012, the competition grew to include 30 teams from nine states, with the winning men’s and women’s teams hailing from Michigan’s Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, one of the USA’s leading running clubs.
“Running clubs are the fabric of the running community at all levels of the sport, and we’re excited to welcome the country’s top clubs to Chicago to vie for a national title,” said Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “This partnership between the Shamrock Shuffle and USA Track & Field provides a high-profile opportunity for athletes representing their respective clubs to compete at the national level in a world-class city. It’s also a special opportunity for local running clubs and athletes to race against their peers from around the country.”
“With hundreds of USATF running clubs across the country serving as the backbone of our sport, it is important that we create more competitive opportunities at the club level,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is always a great event, and we look forward to our clubs enjoying a first-rate championship event.”
For more competition and registration details for the USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships, go to www.shamrockshuffle.com/USATFChampionships
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 34th annual Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K takes runners on a scenic tour of downtown Chicago, starting and finishing in Grant Park. New in 2013, the event will host the USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships for elite-level USATF-member running clubs from across the country. The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 7, 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 Navy Pier on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, 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