What to Expect on Race Day
June 6, 2017
Running Expert Nate Vandervest helps get us pumped for race day!
Race day is right around the corner and here’s what you can expect.
The Bellin Run is one of the largest 10K races in the nation, and for a good majority of participants, the race is right in their backyard. Ninety percent of the event’s runners and walkers come from a 60-minute radius of Green Bay — so you can look forward to seeing numerous people you know as you make your way to your designated start corral. You’ll see plenty of signs directing you where to go, and you’ll have plenty of volunteers to ask if you have questions.
Pre-race, you’ll hear music everywhere and the atmosphere will have a certain buzz to it. There will be a lot of nervous, pent-up energy as so many people have trained for weeks on end to take part in this one race. Some use this race to start their weight-loss program, others to compare themselves to years past, and others to be a part of the Corporate Challenge team. There are nearly as many reasons to run (or walk) as there are participants.
Soon, you’ll hear the national anthem, played live on a saxophone that has become somewhat iconic to the Bellin Run. Then you’ll hear the “crack” of the start gun.
Droves of people will flood out of the start corral and start making their way down Webster Avenue. There will be music everywhere and people lining the streets cheering. Schroeder’s Flowers is on the right (and don’t forget to go back with your race bib for some great deals!)
About two miles later, after a slight uphill the entire way, you will turn left onto Greene Avenue. What a great road! You’ll have a little downhill followed by a little uphill and then a huge downhill that seems to give back some confidence that you can hit your goal. Sprinklers and the “Rocky” theme will greet you on this street. You’ll see still more cheering spectators, the Bellin’s famous banjo man — and even some rummage sales.
You will make the turn onto East River Drive and be immediately greeted by the 5K mark — yes, halfway! Now you get to enjoy the winding road all the way to the 4-mile mark. Just 2.2 miles to go — this is what you trained for!
A quick turn onto St. Joseph Street and then another onto Libal. This seems to be the fastest mile on the course. You will run past the Allouez Miracle League Field and then under the railroad track and up a small hill to the next turn at Garland. Another mile down — 1.2 to go!
You will cut back a block to Hastings and then up to Clay Street. On sunny days, Clay Street is a blessing with its mature trees that offer plenty of shade. Now you can start to hear the music from Astor Park, along with cheers from the finish line. You can see the road up ahead opens up as you approach the 6-mile mark by Astor Park.
Now it is time to lay it all out! Just under a quarter-mile to go, there is a turn up Porlier with a slight uphill and then a nice flat stretch on Webster to the finish! You can see the race clock ticking away as you try to convince your body that it can move faster for just a little bit longer.
Then you hear the beep of your chip as you cross the finish line. Congrats! You did it! Words of encouragement come from all around as our medical workers help keep you moving down the road. Make sure to say thank you to the volunteers! Without the thousand-plus race-day volunteers, this event would never happen — and they all do a phenomenal job. You’ll pick up your water around the corner, then head down Clay Street to pick up your post-race food en route to Astor Park. Grab some Gatorade and enjoy the awesome sounds of Green Bay’s premier party band, Big Mouth & the Power Tool Horns, as you celebrate your finish with our post-race party in the park.
What a great way to start your Saturday morning. Now you start to see or meet up with friends and family members. The stories start flowing: “Did you see that guy?” and “Did you notice that?” Maybe even “I ran faster than last year!” This to me is the best part of the race, watching and enjoying how excited people are — this is what makes the Bellin Run so special. Talk to anyone in town and if they run they will ask “what was your time for the Bellin?” It is our own hometown benchmark in many regards. Best of Luck!
Running Coach, CSCS, CES
Nate is a running coach and strength coach who specializes in running assessments, strength training and personalized running programs. For more information contact Nathan.Vandervest@bellin.org.