Sunday marked the 40th anniversary of Chicago’s Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k. An event known for both celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and kicking off the Chicago running season, thousands of local runners of all abilities always come out to put their winter training to the test.
While most of the competition is individuals chasing new PRs, the event also hosts the Deloitte Elite Club Competition, where more than 50 elite USATF-member club teams from around the country compete for a $20,000 prize. This year, local elite club Second City Track Club [SCTC] won first on the men’s side; Kevin Havel, Jack Keelan, Dan Kremske and Oscar Medina earned the combined score 1:35:07, beating Playmakers Elite Men by 19 seconds.
Additionally, local runners Hope Hoffman, Kelly McShea and Kristen Heckert led SCTC to the podium in second place for women’s teams with a combined score of 1:21:31, just behind Nomad Track Club from Boulder with the score of 1:21:19.
“We are so incredibly proud of our athletes, not only for the results but mostly for the huge amount of work it takes to make days like Sunday possible,” says Michael Lucchesi, SCTC coach. “This is a huge day for Chicago; the team will continue to do all we can to be our best and help inspire Chicago running to do the same.”
SCTC was not the only local club to place in the elite competition; Fleet Feet/Nike Racing and DWRunning took fourth and fifth in the female competition, respectively.
Daniel Romanchuk, the winner from the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon wheelchair competition, earned his second first-place title in the city at Sunday’s event with a time of 16:29.
“It was great coming back to Chicago, and it was fun to do this race with a team,” said Romanchuk. “The conditions and course were wonderful.”
The first place female winner was Susannah Scaroni, who came in at 19:02 as part of the first place team, A 4ce to be Reckoned With from Champaign. In fact, the top three wheelchair teams all came from the Central Illinios town, including The Romansizzlers, Romanchuk’s team, who got second.
“I felt really good today, and it was great having my teammates out there with me,” said Scaroni. “Daniel and I are prepping for Boston and we did 18 miles [Saturday].”
Race Director Carey Pinkowski raced the 8k event for the second year in a row, raising money for four local youth charities: Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, After School Matters, Special Olympics Chicago and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Pinkowski’s goal was to raise $40,000 in honor of the 40thanniversary, and ended up raising more than $49,000.
“The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle has been celebrating Chicago running and runners for four decades,” said Pinkowski. “I love the legacy of this race; its welcoming energy to new runners and its athletic prowess up front … There’s really no better way to kick off the running season and celebrate our city than with the Shamrock Shuffle.”