Shamrock Shuffle 2024: More than 26K participants kick off Chicago's outdoor running season

Christian Piekos Image
Sunday, March 24, 2024
More than 26K runners participating in Shamrock Shuffle 2024
Chicago street closures are in place for the Shamrock Shuffle 2024.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It is considered a rite of spring in Chicago.

The Shamrock Shuffle is back on Sunday morning.

Runners from across the Midwest and throughout the country are in Chicago for the scenic run through the city that has been kicking off the outdoor running season for more than four decades.

"It's a great launch to running in Chicago," said Shamrock Shuffle Executive Director Carey Pinkowski. "It's getting people moving. We have the whole celebration of St. Patrick's Day, and now, we're moving to a little bit more healthy and active from the parades and all the stuff we do."

The 8K run snakes through downtown started at 8:25 a.m.

SEE ALSO | Full list of street closures for 43rd Annual Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

More than 26,000 runners from Illinois to California to New York descended on Grant Park on Sunday morning, showing how popular the Shamrock Shuffle is.

"This is really the kickoff to the running racing season, so it's great to be out here, great vibe. My favorite part is being able to do this with my daughter," said Brookfield's Zack Fijal.

It is a Chicago tradition that Zack hopes to continue with his daughter, Abby Fijal.

"I like seeing all the buildings and stuff, and all the people cheering is really fun," Abby said.

Others, like 11-year-old Tristan O'Meara, took on the Shamrock Shuffle for the very first time.

"The race went really well for me. It's my first time doing a five mile and I'm really proud of getting this medal," Tristan said. "I felt just amazed, and with my mom and dad and aunt cheering me on, it just gave me so much joy."

There was also a 2-mile walk along the Lakefront Trail and a 1-mile run.