Elite Field Announced for 2015 Bellin Run

May 21, 2015

Last year’s champs, 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi to return

Some of running’s biggest names are included in the elite field for the 2015 Bellin Run. With last year’s men’s and women’s champions returning, along with 2014 Boston Marathon winner and perennial crowd favorite Meb Keflezighi, it will be a competitive and star-studded race for the championship. This year’s race takes place at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 13.

Returning on the men’s side are two countrymen and Bellin Run champions who have some history at the Green Bay 10K. Kenyans Allan Kiprono and Lani Rutto have finished 1-2 at the last four Bellin Runs. Kiprono is the defending champion, having won the 2014 race with a time of 28:41. He also claimed the top spot in 2011 and 2012. For each of Kiprono’s championships, Rutto came in a close second. In 2013, however, Rutto unseated the champion Kiprono, only to relinquish the title the following year. The duo will duel again this year in what is sure to be an exciting race.

A talented elite women’s field will be looking to unseat 2014 women’s champ Risper Gesabwa, who is vying for her fourth consecutive Bellin Run win. Gesabwa notched an impressive 32:53 at last year’s race, extending the win streak she began in 2012. Notable competitors will include Wisconsin native Kellyn Taylor, the 2014 USA 25K champion who placed third (33:33) at last year’s Bellin Run.   

Returning to this year’s elite field is 2014 Boston Marathon champion and U.S. Olympian Meb Keflezighi, who placed third at last year’s Bellin with a time of 29:58 — and then stood at the finish line to congratulate countless local runners as they crossed.

Keflezighi in 2014 became the first American male to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years. He also won the 2009 New York City Marathon, which was the first time an American had won that race since 1982. He is an Olympian, having won the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials, earned a silver medal in the marathon in 2004 and finished fourth in the marathon in 2012. A native of Eritrea, Keflezighi moved with his family to California in 1987, graduating from UCLA and becoming a U.S. citizen in 1998.

The 2015 Bellin Run elite field also will include a number of other notable athletes, many of whom have stood atop the winner’s podium in past years. They include:

• Uta Pippig of Colorado: Female champion, 1995
o Pippig is a former Olympian who became a world-renowned runner as she won three consecutive Boston Marathons and also won the New York City Marathon.

• Joan Samuelson of Maine: Female champion, 1992, 1991, 1988, 1986
o Samuelson is a former U.S. Olympian who won the women’s marathon gold in 1984. Samuelson also has enjoyed success at non-marathon distances, winning the prestigious Falmouth Road Race (7.1 miles) a total of six times, breaking the course record on four of those occasions.

• Bill Rodgers of Massachusetts:  Male champion, 1978
o Rodgers is perhaps best known for his four victories in the Boston Marathon, including three straight victories at Boston (1978-1980) and winning the New York City Marathon.

Rounding out the Elite Field will be:

• Benson Cheruiyot of Kenya
o Cheruiyot has posted several sub-30:00 10K times and who won the Cellcom Green Bay half marathon in 2013. He was fourth at last year’s Bellin with a time of 30:43.

• Joscah Obare of Kenya
o Obare has not done much racing in the U.S., but has notched impressive times overseas, including a 32:03 10K in Marseille, France. Earlier this month, she ran a 33:34 10K at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, finishing fourth among women.

• Mike Morgan of Nebraska
o Morgan is a member of Rochester Hills, Michigan’s famed Hansons Running Club. He is a past Bellin Run participant who finished seventh (31:24) at last year’s race.

• Luke Humphrey of Michigan
o Also a member of the Hansons Running Club, Humphrey last ran the Bellin in 2013. That year, he placed fifth with a time of 30:26.

•  Melissa Johnson-White of New York
o Another member of the Hansons Running Club, Johnson-White placed third at the 2013 Bellin Run. Her time was 33:24.

• Oliver Hoffman of Germany
o Hoffman is a student who recently started focusing on his running career. He has several first- and second-place finishes in 10K and half marathon races in Germany.

Although stocked with a large field of elite athletes, the Bellin Run welcomes runners and walkers of all levels and abilities. Registrations for last year’s event eclipsed the 18,000 mark. Registration is available through bellinrun.com.

The registration fee for the Bellin Run is $25 per person through June 1. From June through June 11, the registration fee will increase to $30 per participant. Online registration ends June 11. In-person registration on Friday, June 12 is $35.

The half-mile Children’s Run (ages 10 and younger) will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, June 12. The registration fee is $12 per participant through June 11, when online registration ends. In-person registration for the Children’s Run will be $15 per participant.

Visit bellinrun.com for more information about this year’s race.

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