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2-time Shamrock Shuffle champ Moody can’t run, but she won’t hide


When: Starts 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

What: World’s largest 8K road race.

Where: In Grant Park and the Loop.

Men’s record: 22:35, Kenya’s James Kariuki, 1998.

Women’s record: 24:36 (American 8K record), Deena Kastor, 2005.


Updated: April 3, 2014 11:34PM

Tera Moody was between a rock and Boulder, Colo.

When the 35th Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle begins Sunday in Grant Park, Moody expected to be running for her third Shamrock title. Registration closed Thursday when the 40,000-participant capacity was reached.

But her running was put on hold.

On Friday, while waiting on results from an MRI, she emailed, ‘‘I will definitely be out there helping out and cheering everyone on. I’m bummed out about not racing but looking forward to being part of the event.’’

The Batavia native has had a life, including making the decision to move back to Chicago from the running mecca of Boulder.

‘‘It’s been a big adjustment in terms of running, coming from Colorado to Chicago, but I am very happy with my decision to move back,’’ she emailed earlier in the week. ‘‘I have always loved Chicago and was always looking for an excuse to come back here to visit friends or do races. I thought that I needed to be in Boulder for training purposes, but I kept getting hurt, so I decided to come back after my last major injury. In Colorado, there are a lot of great places to run and a lot of groups to train with.’’

The Shamrock Shuffle is great in its own right, having become the world’s largest 8-kilometer road race. Moody appreciates that.

‘‘I really enjoy the Chicago running community, and everyone has been so supportive and welcoming since I’ve been back,’’ she emailed. ‘‘There are a number of great events all year, but the Marathon and the Shuffle are two of my favorites. They draw such great crowds, and it’s such a fun atmosphere. It’s great being surrounded by tons of people who all love to run and race and work toward a common goal.

‘‘My strength is definitely in the marathon and longer distances, but I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself in the shorter events, such as the 8K. It’s fun to get out and compete and a good way to kick off the running season in Chicago. I have run this race when it’s been snowing and when it was almost 70 degrees, so there’s no guarantees on the weather.’’

Considering the historic winter, the forecast looks mellow. The race should begin in the 30s, then warm toward 50 degrees.

As a veteran runner, Moody — a two-time 1,600-meter champion in high school — advised novice runners to ‘‘enjoy the experience.’’

‘‘Also, be sure to pace yourself and not get caught up in all the excitement at the start,’’ she said. ‘‘The experience will be a lot more fun if you don’t get ahead of yourself and save some energy for the second half.’’

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