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Shamrock Shuffle attracts 23000 participants

shamrock shuffle

CHICAGO – Approximately 23,000 runners participated in the 36th annual Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. With unusually cool temperatures and windy conditions participants donned festive running gear while making their way through Chicago’s Loop. Breaking the tape first was Stephen Sambu, 26, of Tucson, Ariz., in 23:03. The women’s winner was Alexi Pappas, 25, of Eugene, Ore., in 26:32.

“The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle is an annual celebration of Chicago’s running community,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “Rain or shine, nothing can stop Chicago runners from coming out and kicking off the outdoor running season.”

Today, Sambu made his Chicago racing debut and led the pack the entire race, finishing with a time of 23:03. It was the fastest Shamrock Shuffle time since 2002 and the 12th fastest time in the event’s history. Coming in second was last year’s winner Jacob Riley, Rochester Hills, Mich., with a time of 23:10. Rounding out the top three was 2013 winner Phillip Reid, San Luis Obispo, Calif., with a time of 23:19.

“It was my first time running in Chicago and I had a fantastic time,” said Sambu. “The best part of the race was all the cheering along the course. I want to thank Carey Pinkowski and Bank of America for inviting me.”

This was the second time women’s winner Alexi Pappas has run the streets of Chicago, following her time as an official pacer for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Part of the Nike Oregon Track Club, she won today’s Shamrock Shuffle on the 10th anniversary of Deena Kastor’s American 8K record. Pappas counts Kastor among her mentors, who has given her road-racing advice in the past. Finishing in second place was Megan Goethals, Rochester Hills, Mich., with a time of 26:43, followed by Kristen Heckert, Bollingbrook, Ill., in third with a time of 27:19.

“I turned 25 yesterday and my birthday wish came true,” said Pappas after winning the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. “Following the race Stephen [Sambu] and I ran a cool down through the streets to ‘The Bean.’ On our way back we got to see the rest of the participants finishing. Chicago is a great city.”

With back-to-back wins, Kendall Gretsch from Madison, Wis., won the Shamrock Shuffle 8K wheelchair competition in 24:30, beating her time from the 2014 Shamrock Shuffle by over two minutes.

The 2015 Shamrock Shuffle 8K included the seventh annual elite club competition, featuring 55 elite USATF-member club teams from around the country. Both the men and women’s Hansons-Brooks Distance Project teams took home the elite titles. It’s the fourth consecutive win for the women’s team, scoring three runners, with a combined time of 1:22:08 and the fourth win overall for the men’s team, scoring four runners, with a combined time of 1:34:35. The women’s team was led by Megan Goethals, while Jacob Riley led the men’s.

Rounding out the top three teams in the men’s team competition were the Asics Aggies from San Luis Obispo, Calif., (1:35:45) and Movin’ Shoes Race Team from Madison, Wisc. (1:36:29). In the women’s team competition, Cleveland Elite Development (1:22:53) and New Balance Chicago (1:23:27) were second and third, respectively.

To access photos from today’s event, go to

Top 10 Male Finishers
1. Stephen Sambu, Tucson, Ariz., 23:03
2. Jacob Riley, Rochester, Mich., 23:10
3. Phillip Reid, San Luis Obispo, Calif., 23:19
4. Brendan Gregg, Davis, Calif., 23:21
5. Mo Hrezi, Rochester, Mich., 23:26
6. Kevin Havel, Chicago, Ill., 23:29
7. Ben Sathre, Chaska, Minn., 23:43
8. Nick Holmes, Iowa City, Iowa, 23:45
9. Tyler Mueller, Madison, Wisc., 23:52
10. Gordon Sturgess, Paso Robles, Calif., 23:55

Top 10 Female Finishers
1. Alexi Pappas, Eugene, Ore., 26:32
2. Megan Goethals, Rochester Hills, Mich., 26:43
3. Kristen Heckert, Bolingbrook, Ill., 27:19
4. Danna Kelly Herrick, Urbandale, Iowa, 27:28
5. Kelsi Nutter, Painesville, Ohio, 27:30
6. Jessica Watychowicz, Racine, Wisc., 27:33
7. Danielle Miller, Rochester, Mich., 27:37
8. Jessica Odercic, Madison, Ohio, 27:38
9. Ellie Hess, Chesterland, Ohio, 27:45
10. Dot McMahan, Oakland Township, Mich., 27:48