Bellin Women’s Half Marathon Draws 1,300-Plus

Lena’s Julie Graef Wins Second Annual Event in 1:29:58

More than 1,300 participants made the second annual Bellin Women’s Half Marathon a success on Saturday, Oct. 8, celebrating sisterhood through the only event of its kind in Northeast Wisconsin.

One thousand and one race participants registered for the 13.1 mile event as individuals, while another 340 were part of two-person relay teams. The youngest individual registrant was 11; the oldest, 74. The event also welcomed three teams from myTEAM TRIUMPH, the organization that pairs challenged athletes with able-bodied individuals for an inclusive race experience.

Julie Graef of Lena, Wis., broke the finisher’s tape for Saturday’s race, winning in a time of 1:29:58. Leslie Schwalbach of Mequon, Wis., was second in 1:31:32, with Katie Heidke of Appleton, Wis., rounding out the top three with a time of 1:32:19.

Results are unofficial. Visit for complete results, which will be available later today.

Conditions were cool with brisk winds when the race began at 8 a.m. at Bay

Shore Park in New Franken. Temperatures were in the low 40s and the skies clear. By later morning, runners crossing the Bay Beach Amusement Park finish line were enjoying temperatures in the upper 40s and somewhat diminished winds.

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.

The event offers a one-of-a-kind race weekend experience. Registration includes admission to the Friday night Women’s Inspiration Dinner, as well as a unique collectable finisher medallion and a quality long-sleeve finisher shirt and headband. Runners sip non-alcoholic champagne and snack on chocolate and other delicacies as they celebrate their finish.

The celebration continues tonight, when participants and their families will gather for a dance party and awards ceremony at the Green Bay CityDeck/Hagemeister Park. The festivities run from 6-10 p.m., with the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Fox 11 Good Day Wisconsin co-anchor Rachel Manek will emcee the event.

The third annual Bellin Women’s Half Marathon will be held Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.

More information is available at