GREEN BAY – Home to the Green Bay Packers from 1925 to 1956, old City Stadium welcomed marathon runners early Sunday morning.
“You think of all the hall of famers that played here from Curly Lambeau used to play here and coach here, Tony Canadeo, Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg’s rookie year was at this particular stadium,” said Jim Belongia, who has taught at Green Bay East High School for 29 years.
Belongia worked with Cellcom Green Bay Marathon organizers to make City Stadium, at Green Bay East High School, part of the race route.
“When people come in these gates, it’s a little green jewel,” said Belongia. “People don’t realize how beautiful it is once you get inside the gates. It’s historic and why not be a part of it.”
Construction forced the route to change, giving some East High students a taste of the marathon. Part of the football team volunteered at a water station in the stadium.
“Great experience to see all these great athletes running through City Stadium,” said Kevin Cropsey, a senior.
The runners say they enjoyed the experience too.
“Growing up a Packer fan all my life I was very excited to run all the way around the field,” said Joe Kurian of Madison.
“This is my first time in Green Bay, so it was a good way to kind of see the city and experience the community and Packers history,” said Emily Kurian of Madison.
While this stadium lap is a unique addition, it’s still hard to compare to the one waiting for runners at the end of the race: a lap around Lambeau Field.
“Kind of once in a lifetime type experiences,” said Emily Kurian.
While the Lambeau lap is a staple of the race, organizers believe City Stadium could become one as well.