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2X WMM Champ Shobukhova to race in NYC & Chicago

Shobukhova opens her 2012 season next month at the NYC Half & Chicago’s Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K

NEW YORK / CHICAGO – (February 22, 2012) – Two-time
World Marathon Majors Series champion and three-time Bank of
America Chicago Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova of Russia will open her 2012 season at the NYC Half on Sunday, March 18, followed with a run at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago on Sunday, March 25, it was jointly announced by NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg and Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Shamrock Shuffle 8K Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski.

Shobukhova, 34, an early favorite for the Olympic Games
Marathon in London this summer said of her spring trip to the
U.S., “This Olympic year will be the most important of my
career, so I am choosing all of my competitions carefully. The
NYC Half will allow me to test my fitness and compete against
some of the same runners I will face in the Olympic Marathon,
while going to Chicago for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle
8K will allow me to connect with all of the great fans and runners
there on a course that feels like home to me in the city where I
have had so much success. It’s the perfect trip.”

Shobukhova will make her third start at an NYRR event
having last raced at the NYRR Mini 10K in 2011. Last fall,
Shobukhova cemented her legacy in Chicago by winning her third
consecutive Bank of America Chicago Marathon, becoming the
first runner to do so in the event’s 34-year history.

“Consistency is a sign of greatness and nobody has
been more consistent than Liliya at the marathon distance the last
few years,” said Wittenberg. “We welcome her back to NYC for
her first steps on the road to the London Olympics.”

Shobukhova will join other Olympic contenders Kara Goucher and Desiree Davila
of the U.S. in the NYC Half. NYRR’s flagship half-marathon, in
its seventh edition, will feature a record field of 15,000
runners, a $100,000 prize purse and a new course traversing through
Manhattan beginning in Central Park, going through Times Square and
all the way downtown to the scenic South Street Seaport
finish.

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K marks Chicago’s
annual kick-off to the running season. Shobukhova will be
joined by 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team member Abdi Abdirahman
as they lead the way for 40,000 runners at the 33rd edition
through downtown Chicago. The flat and fast course mirrors the
start and finish of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in
Grant Park, where Shobukhova made history last fall.

“Liliya has performed at the highest level on the
streets of Chicago and we’re excited that her road to the
Olympics will once again run through our city,” said Pinkowski.
“The Shamrock Shuffle is an opportunity for Liliya to
celebrate the start of a new season alongside the local fans
who have supported her and will be rooting for her as one of
their own at the Olympic Games.”

There is precedent for a Bank of America Shamrock
Shuffle 8K winner to go on to win the gold medal in the Olympic
Marathon. Constantina Dita of Romania, the
2006 Shamrock Shuffle champion (and 2004 Chicago Marathon
champion) struck gold at the 2008 Olympic Marathon in Beijing.

To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org or go to www.shamrockshuffle.com

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