One of the ten largest races in America, the Shamrock Shuffle 8K will get a running start in Grant Park on Sunday with nearly 40,000 runners.
Sponsored by the Bank of America, the 35th annual marathon will kick off Chicago’s running season on March 30 at 8:20 a.m. The course starts in the north part of Grant Park, winds through the streets of downtown, the Loop and River North, and ends on south side of Grant Park. This year’s turnout so far has been outstanding, with 2,100 runners participating to raise money and 72 corporate teams, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. They are expecting a projected 60,000 spectators.
The 8K (4.97-mile) race welcomes participants from beginners to veterans who want to get involved in health and fitness. The age of the oldest runner is 88, while the youngest runner is a mere 8 years old. There are 44 runners in the 8-9 year age group.
Also worth nothing is that for the second year in a row, the Shamrock Shuffle is hosting the USA Track and Field elite club teams. The runner who takes first place will win a $20,000 prize purse, according to NBC Chicago. In last year’s championship, more than 200 athletes from nine states competed, with the Michigan club Hansons-Brooks Distance Project taking home both the men’s and women’s titles.
The Weather Channel predicts a forecast of 43 to 54 degrees on race day, so runners can feel an even deeper sense of accomplishment when they finally make it to the finish line. At 9:30 a.m., organizers will host a post-race party in Grant Park that is free and open to the public featuring live music, food and drinks.
If you’re not a runner or you have family and friends running in the marathon, you can track them and watch the race live online at NBCChicago.com.
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