Stephen Sambu Wins Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle Fourth Year in a Row


On Sunday, Stephen Sambu became the first person in the 39 years of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k to win four consecutive times. Sambu, 29, of Tucson, Ariz., finished in 23:10; Sambu also holds the 8k world record of 22:01.1.

“This morning was beautiful,” said Sambu, according to a press release from the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. “I love running in Chicago and look forward to racing here again in October at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”

While Sambu was first, Isiah Koech of Kenya and Ian La Mere of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project were very close behind; all three men share the finish time of 23:10.

Laura Thweatt, 29, of Boulder, Colo., was the women’s winner on Sunday. Thweatt finished with a time of 26:02, propelling her and her Boulder Track Club teammates to victory of the 10th annual Deloitte Elite Club Competition.

“Today was a great day,” said Thweatt. “I’m coming off a pretty big injury and it was my first time racing in 11 months. All in all, it was a fun environment and a great reminder of what I love about racing.”

Her Boulder Track Club teammate Janelle Lincks finished in second place at 26:46. In third was Anne-Marie Blaney at 26:48.

Champaign, Ill., residents and University of Illinois teammates Amanda McGrory and Brian Siemann took first place for the women’s and men’s wheelchair competition, respectively. McGrory, Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion, came in at 23:00, and Siemann finished at 21:41.

Executive race director Carey Pinkowski also took to the streets of Chicago on Sunday, running for his first time since 1988 with the American Cancer Society Team DetermiNation. Pinkowski raised $20,226 for the cause.

“As the saying goes, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day—a week later in Chicago, that mantra still holds true as runners showed us their Shamrock spirit and speed on race day,” said executive race director Carey Pinkowski in the press release.

“This 39-year-old tradition celebrates everything I love about Windy City running—from those decked out head to toe in green, to the pros leading the charge—and I had so much fun today joining them on the roads. This is the beginning step for many on their journey to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. There’s no better way to kick off the outdoor running season than the Shamrock Shuffle 8K.”

Top 10 Male Finishers

1. Stephen Sambu, 23:10
2. Isiah Koech, 23:10
3. Ian La Mere, 23:10
4. Andrew Colley, 23:25
5. Zach Zarda, 23:48
6. Joe Moore, 23:49
7. Brogan Austin, 23:50
8. Evan Landes, 23:51
9. Aaron Easker, 23:53
10. Oscar Medina, 23:54

Top 10 Female Finishers

  1. Laura Thweatt, 26:02
  2. Janelle Lincks, 26:46
  3. Anne-Marie Blaney, 26:48
  4.  Olivia Pratt, 26:55
  5. Kristen Heckert, 26:58
  6. Alyssa Schneider, 26:58
  7. Maggie Callahan, 27:00
  8. Danna Herrick, 27:31
  9. Gabi Anzalone, 27:34
  10.  Kyle Blakeslee, 27:35


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Holly's running career began in high school; after being bummed about not making the volleyball team her sophomore year, she decided to join some of her middle school friends on the cross country team. She also did track in the fall, where the 1600 m race was her niche. Since then, she has run many distance races, and is going for her first marathon at the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon this October. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism, and is working towards her Master in Arts in New Media and Marketing.


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