MyBESTRuns

Two defending champions Risper Gesabwa and Brendan Gregg, are returning for the 43rd annual Bellin Run

Risper Gesabwa and Brendan Gregg have signed on to the 10K on June 8.

Gesabwa broke the tape last year, setting a record sixth Bellin Run title, followed closely by 2017 champ Kaitlin Gregg Goodman.

Goodman and Gesabwa have history. Goodman also finished a close second to Gesabwa in 2016, meaning their 2019 rematch will be one to watch.

Kaitlin's brother, Brendan will try to get a second consecutive Bellin Run victory after winning last year's run. He will be up against former Bellin Run champ, Meb Keflezighi and 2016 Olympic marathoner, Jared Ward.

Other notable veteran athletes to participate this year are Uta Pippig, Joan Samuelson and Bill Rodgers.

The last of the 12,050 Bellin Run entrants had barely crossed the South Webster Avenue starting line Saturday morning when Brendan Gregg arrived at the finish.

Gregg finished the 42nd annual 10-kilometer race through Green Bay and Allouez in an impressive 29 minutes, 52 seconds. Meb Keflezighi, the 2016 Bellin winner, finished second with a time of 31:06. Jared Ward, at 31:19, was third for the second straight year.

Risper Gesabwa won a record sixth women's elite division title, finishing in 33:24; 2017 champ Kaitlin Goodman — Gregg's sister — was second at 33:30. Dawn Grunnagle was third at 35:29.

Saturday's event began under partly-cloudy skies, with a temperature of 62. More than 12,000 runners registered; 13,892 took part a year earlier.

The first Bellin Run, in 1977, had 881 participants. It grew to 1,100 in year two.

"I remember the days where you could stand on Greene Avenue and see groups of runners, and see the street in-between," said Green Bay resident Bob Cramer, who began running the Bellin in 1984. "Now, it's wall-to-wall people."

Joseph Kimani retains the men’s course record of 27:46, set in 1997. Tegla Loroupe holds the women’s course record of 31:48, set in 1999.

posted Wednesday May 15th