Bellin Run Celebrates Boston Marathon Connections

April 12, 2019

Monday marks the 123rd running of the Boston Marathon, which is perhaps our sport’s most storied race. At 80 years its junior, the Bellin Run seems young by comparison — and yet we, too, can claim the rich history of an event that is at once steeped in tradition and as relevant as ever with each passing year.

What else do these events have in common? The connections are numerous, and in fact they date back almost to the Bellin Run’s inception in 1977. We’re proud of our common history, and Boston Marathon race time is a great time to reflect on all we’ve shared.

Recent Bellin Run participants are likely familiar with Meb Keflezighi, the 2016 Bellin Run champ who has become a crowd favorite since joining our 10K field in 2015. Keflezighi, of course, is also a past Boston Marathon winner, having earned his title in 2014, the year after the infamous bombings that shook the running community and the nation.

In addition to Keflezighi, several winners of the Boston Marathon have competed in and won the Bellin Run, starting with Bill Rodgers in the late 1970s. “Boston Billy” won both the 1978 Boston Marathon and the second annual Bellin Run later that year. Other past Boston champs, including Uta Pippig and Joan Benoit Samuelson, have also won Green Bay’s renowned 10K race. These legends of the sport come back to traverse our course each June, and in 2017 the still-speedy Samuelson set a new Bellin age-group record (her fourth) for ages 60-64.

Through the years, contingents of Bellin runners have traveled from Green Bay to complete the historic route from Hopkinton to Boston. This year, Bellin Run Executive Race Director Randy Van Straten will run the race. In addition, scores of volunteers from Bellin Health and the Bellin Run have made the trek to assist with the marathon and learn from the best road race organizers in the business.

We’ve also come to know Boston race director Dave McGillivray, one of Runner’s World magazine’s “50 Most Influential People in Running,” as a friend — and now, a partner. He serves as our operational race director for the Bellin Run. McGillivray joined us in 2008 and his company, DMSE Sports, assists with our planning and operations. This year, he served as the keynote speaker for our Corporate Challenge and Kids for Running kickoff events, engaging attendees with his stories of completing the World Marathon Challenge – and providing important information about his battle with heart disease. The Bellin Run is proud to have one of the most respected organizers of running events in the world on our team.

In 2014, the Bellin Run joined the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, Downtown Green Bay, Inc. and the city of Green Bay for the Run as One Boston Marathon Tribute Run. Held at the same time as the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, the event was a local show of solidarity in the wake of the 2013 bombings. We, too, will never forget.

Here’s to all those participating in, organizing and cheering for Monday’s Boston Marathon. Here’s to the power of Boston Strong. From Bellin to Boston, make it a great race.

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