After a months-long hiatus, Simon Bairu made his return to competition at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago. His winning time of 23:38 was one second faster than last year’s champion John Kemboi, though he enjoyed a wider margin of victory — seventeen seconds — than Kemboi’s five second gap. Said Bairu of his first race since last fall’s ING New York City Marathon, “I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off my competitive running season than to have won the 2011 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K.” Taking second behind the Regina native was high school sensation Lukas Verzbicas in 23:55.
Meanwhile, in Alexandria, VA, Fasil Bizuneh took first place at the Parkway Classic 10 Miler by posting a winning time of 49:09, fifteen seconds ahead of 2nd place. Bizuneh’s time was also eighteen seconds faster than last year’s winner.