Stephen Sambu ran his way to an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory and Colorado's Laura Thweatt earned her first-place finish in the 2018 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.
Defending champion Sambu set a record for the most consecutive Shamrock Shuffle wins following last year's "hat trick" finish. He finished with an unofficial time of 23:10.
"The last 400 meters was tough," Sambu said, noting that winds were a challenge during this year's event.
Even though the finish was close, Sambu said he knew he was going to win.
"I focused. Always when I come here I’m coming to win," he told NBC 5 after crossing the finish line. "All the time I was like, 'I’m going to win.' I believe it and I do it."
Thweatt, who had an unofficial time of 26:02, was among the favorites to take home a victory in the elite field, despite the Shuffle being her first race coming off an injury. She hadn't raced in 11 months prior to the Chicago 8K, she said.
"This was just to get one on the board and kind of see where I’m at so I’m really happy with it," she said.
University of Illinois' Brian Siemann and defending women's champ Amanda McGrory both took home victories in the wheelchair races as well.
McGrory, who had an unofficual time of 23 minutes, thanked the crowd for their support during the race.
"It was a little bit slower than I was hoping for but man it is windy out there today," she said.
For Siemann, 2018 marked his first Shamrock Shuffle appearance and for him, "it did not disappoint."
"It was great being out there in Chicago. Great way to start the season and just a good day," he said after crossing the finish line.
The 2018 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k stepped off Sunday morning with thousands of runners hitting Chicago's streets for the unofficial kickoff to outdoor running season in the city.