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Shamrock Shuffle 8K, Chicago IL As they like to call themselves, this is the world's biggest 8K. They cap the runners at 25,000, and this year over 20,000 finished. Somehow by a respectable half-thon split at last year's Chicago Marathon, I got a classification (!) of Preferred II. There are three levels above most runners in this race: Competitve, Preferred I, and Preferred II. I walked into the corral with different thoughts. If it wasn't "Shoot, Retriever, you're getting near the big leagues here - what the hell are you doing here?", it was, "You belong here, you worked for this. Now prove this was no fluke." Temperature at the start was 44. But with winds coming off the lake at 12-14 mph, the wind chill was a charming 37. I stood around for two hours getting that useful bit of info out of my head. The race seemed to really go by quickly - it does feature part of the course of the Marathon, but really doesn't get out of the business areas of the city. It's generally in the Loop and surrounding areas. Crowds were rather small compared to last year, but the weather was definitely a factor. Didn't feel like I was burned out or nothing. I guessed at the times at the mile markers - I had a watch, but the only times I looked at it were at 5K and the home stretch - and was thinking I had a real good chance of beating last year's 42:44. And if I was very good, maybe a chance at 40 minutes. In the last mile, which the first 3/4 is south on Michigan Avenue, I felt a little slow for a moment. Saw the turn on Roosevelt, where you go over commuter train tracks toward the lake (this is the 'hill' people complain about at the Marathon), one last left turn and a downhill run to the finish. People were really not letting go here, but I did find a kick with about 300 meters to go. I didn't stay long as I had to do the rest of my miles. But this is what the site posted. First, last year: Time: 42:44 (8:35.90) Overall: 5056 of 18733 Males: 3714 of 9147 AG: 257 of 653 This year: Time: 38:39 (7:46.60 - my watch time was 38:40.79, so it's good) Overall: 2704 of 20408 (may be more) Males: 2189 of 9706 AG: 90 of 446 8O Two PRs as well - old 8K was 41:54 in Madison in '04. And my 5K split today was 24:23 (old time was 24:25). And based on the standards, I bump up a level to Preferred I next year. And I'm still asking what the hell I'm doing there.

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You need better titles to your Race Reports! I just had a f ing stroke! :x :o Very well done Steve! Preferred I! :cheers: :bowdown:
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Holy crapola! Now THAT's what I call improvement! Great job, Steve! :thumbsup:
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Most excellent! :thumbsup:
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That is freekin' awesome!!!! Wow!!!
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Hopefully a Pref.1 corral will cut some time off that 2-hour stand around, gadzooks.
Good goin' Dawg. PR's fallin' like crazy sez you're doing something right. Keep it up :thumbsup:
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:thumbsup:
GREAT RACE!!
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AWESOME RACE and improvement! :banana:

i want what he's having NOW!
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8O Wow!

Awesome job!!
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WOW!! Wow a great improvement--you've worked really hard for it too. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
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You rock! :thumbsup:
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Congratulations and nice Job!
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Great Job!!

:thumbsup:
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:( i want a 4 minute PR


congrats Steve that is so awesome.....no, it's freaking amazing....WOW!!!
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Woooooooo


Hooooooo!!!



Great Job, G-Dawg!!!


And why am I spacing everything out?
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