She’s running the New York City and Chicago Marathons.
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
In a joint announcement, the organizers of the NYC Half on March 18, in New York City and the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K on March 25, in Chicago announced that World Marathon Majors champion Liliya Shobukhova would compete in their events–and only their events–prior to the London Olympics. The 34 year-old Russian said she was taking a cautious approach to her racing schedule this year.
“This Olympic year will be the most important of my career, so I am choosing all of my competitions carefully,” Shobukhova said through a statement. “The NYC Half will allow me to test my fitness and compete against some of the same runners I will face in the Olympic Marathon, while going to Chicago for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will allow me to connect with all of the great fans and runners there on a course that feels like home to me in the city where I have had so much success.It’s the perfect trip.”
In New York, Shobukhova will face American Olympic marathoners Desi Davila and Kara Goucher, according to the New York Road Runners, and a strong international field which has yet to be released. Mary Wittenberg, the Road Runners’ president and CEO, said she admired Shobukhova for her string of rock-solid performances which earned her two consecutive World Marathon Majors points titles, including her victory at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last October.
“Consistency is a sign of greatness and nobody has been more consistent than Liliya at the marathon distance the last few years,” said Wittenberg in prepared remarks. “We welcome her back to New York for her first steps on the road to the London Olympics.”
Carey Pinkowski, the executive director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon who also directs the Shamrock Shuffle, was equally pleased to have Shobukhova at his race.
“Liliya has performed at the highest level on the streets of Chicago and we’re excited that her road to the Olympics will once again run through our city,” said Pinkowski through a news release.”The Shamrock Shuffle is an opportunity for Liliya to celebrate the start of a new season alongside the local fans who have supported her and will be rooting for her as one of their own at the Olympic Games.”
Both races will be amongst the largest spring races in the United States. The NYC Half will feature a record 15,000 runners this year, while the Shamrock Shuffle will have nearly 40,000.