GREEN BAY – The field of participants is down slightly for the 38th Bellin Run compared to last year’s record field of more than 20,000 runners and walkers.
The 6.2 mile course weaves its way through parts of Green Bay and Allouez.
Thousands of runners were at Astor Park Friday evening to pick up their Bellin Run bib, and feast on a pre-race spaghetti dinner.
“I keep wanting to stay under an hour and for my age that’s pretty good,” said Eric Janssen of Green Bay.
Just as runners shoot for a top-time, race organizers hoped for a record turnout.
“I just think from busy summer activities, but also it’s been a long, cold spring and winter for training too,” said Randy Van Straten, the race director.
As of Friday night, this year’s race will have 18,173 participants.
“Typically what we see in our trending for our run is when the race occurs the latest it can occur, which it is June 14th, usually our numbers trend down a little bit,” said Van Straten.
Bellin organizers say the race is always between June 8th and 14th, on the second Saturday of the month.
Even with an attendance drop this year, the Bellin Run still ranks among the top 10K races in the country.
“It’s a good course,” said Elliot Christenson of Green Bay. “It’s the right length. It’s not a marathon, it’s not too short. I think the community does a good job of promoting it.”
The event keeps people coming back for all different reasons.
“Doing it with my sisters, so it’s a family thing and it’s just a great event,” said Tammy Nagel of Charlottesville, Virginia. “There’s always lots of people. The community is always involved.”
As far as participation, this year’s runners say they’d welcome another record field next year.
“The more the merrier,” said Nagel. “It’s well organized, the corrals work well. It’s a lot of fun.”
The race kicks off at 8 Saturday morning.