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Michigan runners class of field in Shamrock Shuffle

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Updated: March 31, 2014 9:04PM

The landscape is still trapped in winter drabness, but there was green aplenty Sunday for the 35th Shamrock Shuffle downtown.

As the sun rose over Lake Michigan on a calm morning, executive race director Carey Pinkow-
ski said: ‘‘Finally. It is a rite of spring.’’

Jake Riley, 25, who finished second last year, won the men’s side in 23 minutes, 6 seconds.
His fellow runner from Hansons-Brooks Distance Project A in
Michigan, 22-year-old Katie Kellner, won the women’s side in 27:13.

‘‘It has been such brutal weather all winter,’’ Kellner said. ‘‘Just watching the sun come up, I thought, ‘It is going to be awesome.’ ’’

The 40,000-runner field was filled by Thursday. They spilled out in waves of green, running from a start with temperatures in the 30s that had warmed near the 50s by the time the last competitors finished the largest 8-kilometer road race in the world.

‘‘I was pumped,’’ Riley said. ‘‘I was afraid it would be windy and a lot colder. I almost had too much clothing at the start. I love Chicago, so seeing it in the sun is great.’’

Green — earmuffs, shoes, scarves, tights, shorts, headbands, body paint, jackets, T-shirts — dominated.

‘‘Running in a big city is awesome,’’ Riley said. ‘‘I like the team aspect. I get a free trip to Chicago, and Chicago is a great city.’’

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