The 2015 winners of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will return this year in hopes of defending their titles.
Stephen Sambu and Alexi Pappas will once again run the streets of downtown Chicago, joining thousands of others as they kick off the spring running season on April 3.
Last year, Sambu, of Tuscan, Arizona, and Pappas, of Eugene, Oregon, made their Shamrock Shuffle debuts, beating out nearly 30,000 runners as the top finishers.
Sambu, the 8K world record holder from Kenya, finished the race in 00:23:03, the fastest time run on the course in more than a decade. Pappas finished the race with a time of 00:26:32 and an average pace of 5:21 minutes per mile.
The pair will both be running the shuffle as part of the 2016 Deloitte Elite Club 8K Competition.
“We’re excited to welcome Stephen and Alexi back to Chicago,” Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “With the Shamrock Shuffle, we strive to create a race that welcomes both Olympic-caliber athletes and first-time runners. The result is one of the best running celebrations in the city.”
Now in its 37th year, the Shamrock Shuffle has traditionally marked the unofficial start to running season in Chicago. The 8K race is also the largest of its kind in the world and the second largest race in Chicago after the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
This year’s race kicks off Sunday, April 3 and takes runners through Chicago’s Loop, starting and finishing at Grant Park.