Corral Smarts for a Smooth Start

June 5, 2017

With an event field that routinely exceeds 16,000, Bellin Run organizers have gotten good at ensuring a smooth start. The key to that effort is our corral system, which groups participants by estimated pace so those of similar speeds will run or walk together.

For the first time this year, we introduced a Corral 1 time standard to properly position faster runners at the front of the pack, ensuring an even smoother, safer start. You can read more about that change here.

And again in 2017, we’re making sure our Corral 5 folks – our awesome Bellin Run walkers – are comfortable as they wait to cross the start line.

Because of our large field, walkers may cross the start line closer to 8:30 a.m., after runners in the first four corrals have done so. Some of our walkers are unable to or would rather not stand in Corral 5 for that amount of time, so we offer them the option of waiting in Baird Place Park (bordered by S. Webster Avenue and E. Mason and S. Clay Streets) until they’re ready to begin. There are benches available for those who would rather sit down as they wait.

This is a great option for many of our participants, and we want to ensure those who wait in the park know when they will start. These individuals will leave the park and head toward the start line only after the walkers who waited in Corral 5 have passed. This will mean a wait time of a few additional minutes, but it will keep you off your feet while you wait. 

Runners and walkers should be aware that there will be ample water available in Baird Place Park before the race starts. Look for our pre-race hydration stations in the four corners of the park at Webster Avenue and Cass Street (near Corrals 1 & 2), Webster Avenue and East Mason Street (Corrals 2 & 3), East Mason Street and Cass Street (Corrals 3 & 4) and Cass Street and South Clay Street (Corrals 4 & 5).

There are a few additional corral tips for all of our participants to keep in mind:

Arrive early! Get to your assigned start corral with plenty of time to spare. Arrive at the event no later than 7 a.m. so you have time to use the bathroom and warm up before heading to your corral.
Make sure your race bib is visible. This will help our volunteers ensure everyone makes it into the appropriate corral.
If you want to move, move back. Anticipating a slower pace than you initially thought? Want to run with a slower friend or relative? You’re welcome to move back a corral (e.g., from Corral 3 to Corral 4), but not forward.
Be courteous. Our corral system does a good job of spreading out the race field, but things can still get a little crowded as 8 a.m. nears. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and be courteous to those around you. Be friendly and start with a smile!

Keep it cool in the corral and we’ll all have an awesome event. See you at the start line!

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