DiCrescenzo Joins Shamrock Shuffle 8K Field

Delilah DiCrescenzo, who hails from Chicago, has been added to the Shamrock Shuffle field. Photo: PhotoRun.net

The Chicago-area native will return to her home turf.

From: Running USA

CHICAGO — The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K has announced that Chicago area native Delilah DiCrescenzo will be among those competing for the women’s title at the 33rd edition on Sunday, March 25. DiCrescenzo made her mark as a local high school standout before becoming a star runner on the national and international levels.

The event also announced that Olympian Diane Nukuri-Johnson will take part in Chicago’s popular kick-off to the spring running season as she prepares for the opportunity to compete in this summer’s Olympic Games. The men’s elite field will be headlined by 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team member Abdi Abdirahman, while three-time Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Liliya Shobukhova has withdrawn from the race due to injury.

“We’re excited to welcome Delilah and Diane to this year’s Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K as they gear up for the summer racing season with an eye on the Olympic Games,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “This is Delilah’s first premier race in Chicago since she was a star at the high school level. We’re proud to showcase such an impressive athlete with local roots and Chicago is always supportive of its hometown heroes.”

DiCrescenzo was a five-time All-State honoree in cross country and track at Queen of Peace High School in Burbank, IL. Now a resident of New York City, she was an NCAA All-American and a three-time Ivy League champion in the 3000 meter steeplechase for Columbia University and continues to be one of the country’s top steeplechase runners, earning a spot on the U.S. team at the 2011 World Track & Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea (she withdrew from the competition due to injury).

DiCrescenzo aims to qualify for her first Olympic team at this summer’s London Games and will compete at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in June. In addition to her running prowess, DiCrescenzo is well known as the inspiration for the hit song “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s, which was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2008 and reached #1 on the Billboard charts in 2007. While in Chicago, DiCrescenzo will be inducted into the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on March 18 for her running accomplishments at Queen of Peace High School.

Nukuri-Johnson returns to Chicago after running her debut marathon at the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, finishing 23rd in 2:39:09. At age 16, she represented her native Burundi in the 5000 meters at the 2000 Olympic Games. She was a three-time All-American in cross country and track at the University of Iowa before graduating to longer distances. In 2011, she ran a personal best and Burundian national record of 2:33:47 at the Los Angeles Marathon.

Elite Club Competition to Showcase Top National Racing Teams
In its fourth year, the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Elite Club Competition will bring together several of the top USA Track & Field-member racing teams from the Midwest and beyond. Men’s and women’s elite teams will compete for a $20,000 prize purse. This year’s field includes 30 teams representing nine states. These teams feature several top local and national runners who train with and are supported by their respective clubs as they aspire to one day reach the Olympic level.

The Elite Club Competition welcomes back defending men’s team champion Wisconsin Runner Racing Team (Racine, WI), and defending women’s team champion Runablaze Iowa (Des Moines, IA). New additions to this year’s field include the New Balance Silicon Valley team from California, Team Indiana Elite from Bloomington and Team Nebraska from Omaha. Also, returning to the competition for the first time since 2009 is the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, one of the most successful post-collegiate running clubs in the country, led by star performers Melissa White (2:32:55 marathon personal best run at the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon) and Mike Morgan (2:14:22 marathon personal best run at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Houston).

Locally, returning teams include 2011 men’s runner-up Fleet Feet / Nike Racing Team of Chicago and women’s third place finisherDick Pond Athletics / Fast Track Racing Team of Carol Stream, IL.

To view the complete Elite Club Competition field and team rosters, go to: www.shamrockshuffle.com/ecc

Long recognized as an annual rite of spring and the kick-off to the outdoor running season in Chicago, the 33rd Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K takes runners on a scenic tour of downtown Chicago, starting and finishing in Grant Park. The race will begin at 8:30am on Sunday, March 25, and will conclude with live music by “Mike and Joe” at the traditional Post-Race Party in Grant Park. In advance of the event, the two-day Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Health & Fitness Expo will take place at Navy Pier on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, featuring more than 80 industry-related exhibitors. The Health & Fitness Expo is free and open to the public.

For more information about the event and how to get involved, visit: www.shamrockshuffle.com

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