Elite Athletes Confirmed for Bellin Run

June 7, 2010

Five first-timers and one Hilbert native are among the 12 elite athletes set to compete for the top spot during Saturday’s 34th annual Bellin Run.

The elite runners are 2009 champion John Yuda of Tanzania; second place finisher John Korir of Kenya; fourth place finisher Luke Humphrey of Michigan; Hilbert native Dot McMahan; and Bellin Run first-timers Mike Morgan of Nebraska, Shadrack Muteri of Kenya, Richard Kandie of Kenya, Ann Alyanak of Ohio and James Carney of Colorado.

Bellin Run veterans and former champions Bill Rodgers of Massachusetts, Uta Pippig of Colorado and Joan Samuelson of Maine round out Saturday’s elite field.

The elite athletes should make for an exiting race, said Bellin Run executive director Randy Van Straten.

“These athletes are some of the best we’ve fielded,” he said. “I’m really excited to see how things play out. John Yuda had a great, strong finish last year. We’re pretty sure he’ll have a few contenders looking to steal his thunder this time around, in particular four-time winner John Korir and newcomer James Carney. It’ll be a good one to watch.”

Humphrey is running his third Bellin Run. He placed fifth overall in 2008 and fourth last year.

McMahan ran the Bellin Run in 2003 and 2004 taking fifth and third place overall, respectively. She makes a return trip this year after posting a personal best record in the 25K National Championships in May.

Morgan was fourth in the U.S. Marathon Championships in 2008 and recently won the 2010 Virginia Beach Half Marathon.

Muteri has been running since childhood. He began running competitively in 2003. He returns to Green Bay for the Bellin Run after placing first at the 2008 Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon.

Kandie is running his first Bellin Run, but he is no stranger to the Green Bay area. He placed third at the 2008 Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.

Alyanak, the 2008 Run Ohio Runner of the Year, finished fifth in this year’s competitive Cleveland Rite Aid 10K race.

Carney, the 2009 U.S. 15K champion, will compete in his first Bellin Run. He was the U.S. champion in both the 20K and half marathon in 2008.

Rodgers, a fan favorite, helped cement the Bellin Run as one of the nation’s marquee races when he first participated in 1978 fresh off his victory at the Boston Marathon. He has since returned over the years and claimed three divisional titles.

Pippig, another fan favorite and a former Bellin Run champion, returns to the race for the fourteenth time. She is now focused on sharing her passion for running with others.

Samuelson’s Bellin Run course record of 31:59 stood for 13 years before being broken. She is a four-time Bellin Run champion and is still going strong on the runner’s circuit. In 2008, she set a new U.S. marathon record for the 50-plus age division. She also holds the U.S. 50-plus record for the 5K.

The 34th annual Bellin Run will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 12. Last year’s event drew 16,746 registrants, a record for the fifth consecutive year.

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