CHICAGO (WLS) -- The return of the Shamrock Shuffle kicks off the running season on the first day of spring, and more than 20,000 runners were decked out in green Sunday to run down the heart of Chicago.
"It's really nice to be in a big crowd, running and with all the people, all the spectators cheering on," said Annie, who was running in the race.
"I feel like it's a whole new year, a whole new season," added fellow runner, Mark McHugh.
The pandemic impacted this annual race for the last two years after being canceled in 2020 and going virtual last year.
But now, the tradition is back, including the green guys who were covered from head to toe in green paint. Something John Atchison and his crew have been doing since 2008.
"It's one of those traditions that every year in March, I'm like, I got the Shamrock Shuffle to get ready for so start hitting the gym, and you know, I'll get pumped because every year is just one of those things I look forward to," Atchison said.
They said it takes at least five showers to get all that green off.
Along with those traditions, many newcomers are also joining in on the action. That includes two familiar faces to Bachelor fans, Clay Harbor and Joe Amabile.
"Joe lives a sedentary lifestyle, so I like to get him up and get him some exercise. So I hit him up, like this Shamrock Shuffle is a great Chicago event. One of my favorites," Harbor said. "It's my first time but I've watched it before."
"This guy was in the NFL for 10 years. I beat him by eight minutes," Amabile interjected.
That competitive spirit is what makes this race so special, and it's topped off by that St Patrick's Day atmosphere.
"It's really cool after, like, St. Patrick's Day. Everyone's really festive," added young runner, Callie.
There was also a post-race party in Grant Park when everything wrapped up, so it made for a special day in the city.
Shamrock Shuffle Results:
Men's 8K Run
1st: Tai Dinger (Bib 304) Time: 22:56
2nd: Zach Panning (Bib 185) Time: 22:56
3rd: Johnny Crain (Bib 230) Time: 22:57
Women's 8K Run
1st: Natosha Rogers (Bib 179) Time: 25:30
2nd: Amy Davis (Bib 117) Time: 26:21
3rd: Olivia Pratt (Bib 178) Time: 26:48