CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago running season kicked off Sunday with the 40th annual Shamrock Shuffle.
Thousands of runners, walkers and shufflers took off from Grant Park. The 8K race and 2-mile walk was routed through the park and the downtown Chicago.
Some runners even flexed their creative muscles, donning costumes for the big day.
The event also featured several charity partners, raising money for organizations like Special Olympics Chicago.
"We really want to make sure that we are portraying that same image of inclusion and they can do it and we can help them and help raise funds for them so that we can host other races that they are able to participate in," said Heather Kundert, executive director of Special Olympics Chicago.
Seasoned runners say this race is not about how fast you go, it's more about finally getting outside and exercising after the long dormant winter season.
"It's just a good time and everybody that has been thinking about it, you really need to do this. It's not about the time, it's about having a good time," said runner Lena Duda.
The winner on the men's race was Joe Moore with a time of 23 minutes and 18 seconds. Olivia Platt won the women's race with a time of 26 minutes and 26 seconds.