Astronaut to Headline Bellin Run Kickoff Events

A United States astronaut who ran the Boston Marathon while orbiting Earth has been announced as the featured speaker for the 2015 Bellin Run Kids for Running and Corporate Challenge kickoff events.

Sunita L. (Suni) Williams has commanded the International Space Station and logged 322 days in space over the course of two missions. She is also a distance athlete. In 2007, Williams combined her passion for space exploration with her passion for athletics, running the Boston Marathon in space — 210 miles above the Earth’s surface. NASA estimates she circled Earth at least twice while completing the race on a space station treadmill.

Williams will speak during the Bellin Run Kids for Running Kickoff Dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 17, as well as the Corporate Challenge Kickoff Breakfast on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Both events will take place in the Legends Room at Lambeau Field.

The kickoff events are for team captains for the Bellin Run’s two largest programs. Last year, the Corporate Challenge had teams from 270 area companies with more than 7,700 team members, while the Kids for Running program drew nearly 2,500 students, staff and family members from 79 elementary schools.

“We are just thrilled to have Suni Williams joining us for this year’s Bellin Run kickoff events,” said executive race director Randy Van Straten. “She is living proof that with big dreams, hard work and the right attitude, anything is possible. I can’t think of a better message to share as we get geared up for this year’s Bellin Run.”

A decorated officer in the U.S. Navy, Williams has logged more than 3,000 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft. She was selected by NASA in 1998 and embarked on her first space flight mission in December 2006. During her second mission in 2012, Williams set the record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut (50 hours and 40 minutes). Her 322 days in space put her at no. 2 on the all-time endurance list for U.S. women, and sixth overall, according to NASA.

The 2015 Bellin Run will take place on Saturday, June 13. Visit for more information about the event and its Kids for Running and Corporate Challenge programs.