Elite Field Announced for 2018 Bellin Run

Three recent champs to return as iconic 10K prepares for 42nd year

Three recent Bellin Run champions will headline a stellar field of elite athletes competing in the 42nd annual 10K event.

Defending women’s champion Kaitlin Gregg Goodman will face off against the record-setting Risper Gesabwa, who in 2016 captured an unprecedented fifth straight Bellin Run title. Gregg Goodman finished a close second to Gesabwa that year (34:35 to Gesabwa’s 34:19), meaning their 2018 rematch will be one to watch.

Also returning for this year’s race is 2016 Bellin Run champ and perennial crowd favorite Meb Keflezighi. Now retired from competitive racing, the 43-year-old Keflezighi has continued to run events including the Boston Marathon, which he famously won in 2014. Known to the running world simply as “Meb,” the down-to-earth Keflezighi has become known for standing at the Bellin Run finish line to congratulate runners and walkers long after his race has ended.

The elite men vying for a shot at this year’s 10K title include Keflezighi’s 2016 Olympic marathon teammate Jared Ward, who placed third (30:41) in his Bellin Run debut last year. Frequent Bellin competitor Benson Cheruiyot edged Ward to capture second in the 2017 race, finishing in 30:25. Rounding out the elite men’s field will be newcomer Brendan Gregg, brother of Kaitlin Gregg Goodman. Gregg is a pro runner with the famed Hansons-Brooks Distance Project.

The 2018 Bellin Run elite field will also include a number of notable veteran athletes, many of whom have stood atop the winner’s podium in past years. They include:

• Uta Pippig of Colorado: Female champion, 1995
o Pippig is a former Olympian who became a world-renowned runner as she won three consecutive Boston Marathons and also won the New York City Marathon.

• Joan Samuelson of Maine: Female champion, 1992, 1991, 1988, 1986
o Samuelson is a former U.S. Olympian who won the women’s marathon gold in 1984. Samuelson also has enjoyed success at non-marathon distances, winning the prestigious Falmouth Road Race (7.1 miles) a total of six times, breaking the course record on four of those occasions. She continues to set Bellin Run age group records, most recently smashing the ages 60-64 mark by running 40:17 at last year’s race.

• Bill Rodgers of Massachusetts:  Male champion, 1978
o Rodgers is perhaps best known for his four victories in the Boston Marathon, including three straight victories at Boston (1978-1980) and winning the New York City Marathon.

Although stocked with a significant field of elite athletes, the Bellin Run welcomes runners and walkers of all levels and abilities. Registrations for last year’s event neared the 14,000 mark. Registration is available online at www.bellinrun.com.

The registration fee for the Bellin Run is now $30 per person through Friday, June 1, when it increases to $35. In-person registration at the Friday, June 8 expo in Astor Park is $40.

The half-mile Children’s Run (ages 10 and younger) will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, June 8. The registration fee is $12 per participant through June 7, when online registration ends. In-person registration on Friday, June 8 will be $15 per participant.

The 42nd annual Bellin Run will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 9. For more information or to register, visit bellinrun.com. Follow the Bellin Run on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.