Bellin Run Legend Profile: Connie Meek
April 21, 2022
As part of our push to gather participation stats for our new Bellin Run Faithful recognition program, we are highlighting our longest-running participants — our Bellin Run Legends! Legends are the 20 individuals who have participated in every single Bellin Run since the event’s inception in 1977 — that’s 45 years and counting. We will continue to share the profiles and memories of our Legends on our Bellin Run blog and via social media. Next on our list is one of our two female Legends, the legendary Connie Meek! Thanks, Connie, for this trip down memory lane — and for all you’ve done to keep your streak alive!
Circumstances of Running the Bellin in 1977
I was living in the Milwaukee area and had been running during the summers, primarily to be in shape for playing field hockey in the fall. A friend from Green Bay invited me up to join her for the Bellin Run with the incentive that each entry included a free ticket to the Helen Reddy Concert the night of the race. I enjoyed the race, the running atmosphere and the concert that weekend.
Moving to Green Bay
In 1978 I was offered a job teaching math and coaching running at St. Joseph Academy. I ran the Bellin again and really enjoyed the running atmosphere in the area. I began to run more road races and train with fellow runners, including a very special friend, Dick Lytie. He was so supportive of both my coaching and my running and was an inspiration to many local runners.
I don’t remember the year (early 1980s) but the temperature at the start of the race was in the 90s. People were collapsing along the race and at the finish line. I made it to the finish line but spent the next hour trying to cool off enough to walk to my car. I believe the start time for the following years was moved to an hour earlier.
Sacrifice for Keeping My Streak Going
I went to a small women’s college and their class reunions used to be the week before the Bellin. By 2019, however, they had moved the date to the same as the Bellin. 2019 was the year of my 50th class reunion. I tried to figure out a way to run the Bellin and make it to the class celebration in Maryland, but flight schedules and a time zone difference made it impossible. Unfortunately, it looks like I will continue to miss my class reunions in the future, as well.
Posted in: | 1 Comments