Half marathon, 5K celebrate in-person return
More than 830 participants celebrated the sisterhood of running Saturday, Oct. 2, during the seventh annual Bellin Women’s Half Marathon and fourth annual 5K. More than 700 individuals ran or walked in person, while 120 women chose this year’s virtual option. The 2020 event was entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This event was a true celebration of running, and of the amazing community of female runners in our region and beyond,” said Race Director Linda Maxwell. “It was incredible to be back together in person after a difficult 2020, and we saw and felt our participants’ excitement throughout all our race-weekend events.”
Race organizers took extensive COVID-19 precautions throughout race weekend, requiring masking indoors, instituting a 25 percent capacity cap during the Women’s Inspiration Dinner and encouraging social distancing both indoors and outdoors throughout the events, among other measures. In addition, the 5K and half marathon awards ceremonies were canceled to discourage large groups from gathering near the finish line. Bellin Health continues to encourage everyone ages 12 and up to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Three hundred thirty-nine participants registered for the 13.1-mile half marathon as individuals (298 in-person, 41 virtual), while another 120 were part of two-person relay teams (102 in-person; 18 virtual) and 373 took part in the 5K (312 in-person, 61 virtual). The event also welcomed six teams from myTEAM TRIUMPH, the organization that pairs challenged athletes with able-bodied individuals for an inclusive race experience. The event has a heavy local draw but also welcomed participants from as far away as Los Angeles, Calif. (in-person) and Manitoba, Canada (virtual).
Conditions were humid and calm when the races began at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. The temperature was 64 degrees when the race began at 8 a.m., climbing to the mid-70s by the time the course closed shortly after noon.
Dubbed “a race to empower women,” the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon was created in 2015 to celebrate and motivate female athletes of all levels and abilities. The focus also provides an opportunity to spotlight training and health issues specifically related to women, such as the unique challenges facing runners who are mothers. In 2018, the event added a 5K to allow even more women to get their feet on the street in the name of health and wellness.
The Bellin Women’s events offer a one-of-a-kind race weekend experience that starts with the Friday night Women’s Inspiration Dinner. Participants receive a unique collectible finisher medallion and quality long-sleeve finisher shirt. Runners and walkers sip pink lemonade and snack on chocolate and other delicacies as they celebrate their finish.
Complete race results and more information are available at bellinwomenshalf.com.
The eighth annual Bellin Women’s Half Marathon will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.