Our Birthday, Your Party: The Bellin Run is 40!

April 28, 2016

It was June 12, 1977 when the Bellin Run was born. Known then as the Bellin Heartwarming Run, the goal of the Sunday noon race was to promote heart health and cardiovascular fitness. Planned as a one-time event, no one was even thinking about a 2nd annual Bellin Run, yet alone dreaming of a milestone like the 40th Bellin Run that is set for June 11, 2016.

Now one of the largest 10K (6.2-mile) races in the United States with tens of thousands of runners and walkers, the Bellin Run started more modestly -- just 881 participants laced up their shoes that first year. The second year, the run drew 1,300 people on a cold, dreary Wednesday evening. It was 1996 when the participation level topped 5,000 for the first time; then in 2006, the runners and walkers totaled more than 10,000. The current record, exactly 20,000 registered participants, was set in 2013. 

Some of the biggest names in running have participated in and run the Bellin since its inception, including Frank Shorter, Bill Rogers, Kim Merritt, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Ed Eyestone, Joseph Kimani, Elana Meyer, John Korir, Alan Kiprono, Risper Gesawbwa and Meb Keflezighi.

But they aren’t the only Bellin Run “legends.” There are 20 runners who have participated in every Bellin Run since its inception in 1977, not to mention five volunteers who have been there each year as well.

So what’s on tap for this special 40th running of the Bellin? All runners and walkers will get technical fabric T-shirts and receive medals at the finish line. There will be more music than ever along the route, featuring the sounds of the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s, not to mention the Parrotthead Party at Mile 3.5 and the sounds of Big Mouth & the Power Tool Horns for the “almost there celebration” at Mile 6.

Big Mouth will also be featured at the Astor Park neighborhood appreciation party during the week leading up to the run. It’s the Bellin Run organizers’ way of saying “thank you” to the Astor neighborhood for all of the support for a wonderful community event over the past 40 years.

Over the hill? Nah, we’re stronger than ever at 40. Help us celebrate when you join us for the 2016 Bellin Run on June 11. Register today at www.bellinrun.com.

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