Green Bay, Wisconsin is known for the Green Bay Packers, but it's also known in the running world for the Bellin Run and the CellCom Marathon. This past Saturday (June 11, 2011), I had the opportunity to participate in the 10K Bellin Run. In case you don't know, the Bellin Run is one of the largest 10K races in the entire country. And every year, it grows bigger and bigger. This year had 18,701 participants! Some of the top elite runners and people from all over the country and even runners from outside the U.S. come to Green Bay to take part in the Bellin Run, so it is a huge annual event.
This year, I finally decided to join in to see what all the big deal was. And WOW, big deal it is! I'm so glad I was a part of it. I've run in races before but none of them compares to the Bellin Run. The sheer amount of participants and spectators really make it special. Can you imagine 18,701 runners and walkers, plus thousands of spectators lining the streets? It's amazing to see participants of all kinds, big and small, young and old. Plus, it was remarkable how well organized the whole event was. Also the weather, at a cool mid-60s with clouds, was perfect for running.
I didn't really train for the race, although in the future, I think I will, just to see how much I can challenge myself. This year, all I wanted to do was to experience it. My favorite part was when I was running the 6th mile. The cheering section there was awesome as I rounded the last couple corners to reach the finish line. There were so many people there and the cheering was so loud. Very encouraging and motivating!
This year was also the 35th year of the Bellin Run, so it was extra special. In fact, everyone who participated and crossed the finish line received a medal, which I thought was cool. Also very cool was that almost my entire family participated. My husband and I were in the main Bellin Run event, and my two oldest girls were in the Kid's Run, which was a 1/2 mile run. My 2-year-old was too little to join, but in the near future, I'm sure she'll be running right alongside us!
I will be looking forward to next year's Bellin Run! Maybe my family will make this the kick start to our summer every year.