Elite Field Announced for 2016 Bellin Run

June 2, 2016

Keflezighi to compete as he prepares to run 2016 Olympic marathon in Rio

Perennial crowd favorite and soon-to-be four-time U.S. Olympian Meb Keflezighi will headline a stellar elite field for the 2016 Bellin Run.

Known to the running world simply as “Meb,” Keflezighi captured the hearts of millions when he won the Boston Marathon in 2014, the year after the bombings that shook that event and the country as a whole. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be Keflezighi’s fourth — most recently, he won the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials and finished fourth in the marathon at that year’s games in London. He is the only athlete in history to win the New York Marathon, Boston Marathon and an Olympic medal (a silver at the 2004 games).

This year’s Bellin Run will be Keflezighi’s third. He placed third overall each of the last two years (in 29:58 and 30:06, respectively) — and then stood at the finish line to congratulate countless local runners as they crossed. Other notable male competitors include Benson Cheruiyot, who placed fourth in the 2014 and 2015 Bellin Runs; and Luke Humphrey, a member of Michigan’s famed Hansons Running Club, who placed seventh in 2015.

A talented elite women’s field will be looking to unseat 2015 women’s champ Risper Gesabwa, who made history last year when she won her fourth consecutive Bellin Run title. Gesabwa ran an impressive 32:50, extending the win streak she began in 2012. Other notable female competitors include Bellin Run newcomer Kaitlin Gregg Goodman, who competed in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles in February.   

The 2016 Bellin Run elite field also will include a number of 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.

• Frank Shorter of Colorado: Male champion, 1977
  o The winner of the inaugural Bellin Run, Shorter is credited with igniting the U.S. running boom with his victory in the 1972 Olympic marathon. The Olympic and USA National Track and Field hall of famer continues to be a major figure in the running community and an advocate for healthy kids.

Rounding out the elite field will be Oliver Hoffmann of Germany, who has several first- and second-place finishes in 10K and half marathon races in Germany. Hoffmann placed 10th at the 2015 Bellin Run.

Although stocked with a significant field of elite athletes, the Bellin Run welcomes runners and walkers of all levels and abilities. Registrations for last year’s event eclipsed the 16,000 mark. Registration is available online at www.bellinrun.com.

The registration fee for the Bellin Run is now $35 per person through Thursday, June 9, when online registration ends. In-person registration on Friday, June 10 is $40.

The half-mile Children’s Run (ages 10 and younger) will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, June 10. The registration fee is $12 per participant through June 9, when online registration ends. In-person registration on Friday, June 10 will be $15 per participant.

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

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