Gesabwa, Gregg are Bellin Run Champs
Women’s winner tops own victory record as 12,050 register for 42nd annual event
Risper Gesabwa set a new Bellin Run women’s victory record today, narrowly capturing a sixth event title with a 6-second win over last year’s champ, Kaitlin Gregg Goodman. On the men’s side, it was Kaitlin’s brother, Brendan Gregg, who emerged victorious, easily winning his Bellin Run debut by a margin of more than one minute.
Gesabwa did not compete in last year’s Bellin Run, which interrupted a record-setting streak of five straight victories she notched from 2012 through 2016. She broke the tape today in 33:24, earning a hard-fought victory over Gregg Goodman, who finished in 33:30. The win broke Gesabwa’s own five-victory record for the course. Two women, Kim Merritt and Joan Benoit Samuelson, have won the Bellin Run four times; while two men, Allan Kiprono and John Korir, have won it five times (albeit in non-consecutive years).
For the men, Gregg was all alone at the finish, crossing the line in 29:52. His closest competitor, 2016 Bellin Run champ and recently retired pro runner Meb Keflezighi, was second in 31:06. Rounding out the top three was Keflezighi’s 2016 Olympic Marathon teammate Jared Ward, who finished in 31:19.
The Bellin Run registered 12,050 participants in its 42nd year, down from 13,892 in 2017. Runners and walkers took to the streets in favorable weather conditions under cloudy skies with a temperature of 62 degrees and moderate humidity at the 8 a.m. start.
Bellin’s elite athletes were heavily involved in this year’s pre-race activities, participating in the Wednesday Bellin Run training run and Thursday evening Run with Greatness Charity Fun Run, as well as signing autographs during the Friday night Health & Wellness Expo in Astor Park. Gregg Goodman, who recently earned her Master of Public Health degree, presented her research on diabetes and hypertension in South Africa for an audience of Bellin Health employees.
Other female athletes invited by the Bellin Run had the following times:
• Joan Samuelson, Maine: 41:48
• Uta Pippig, Colorado: 44:35
Other male athletes invited by the Bellin Run had the following times:
• Benson Cheruiyot, Minnesota: 37:10
• Bill Rodgers, Massachusetts: 54:57
The overall course records did not fall. Joseph Kimani retains the men’s course record of 27:46, set in 1997; and Tegla Loroupe holds the women’s course record with a time of 31:48, set in 1999.
Local and state notables in the female division include Leah Kralovetz of Denmark (38:03; 5th overall); Anna Gray of Green Bay (38:50, 6th overall); Laura Schmitz of Oshkosh (39:07, 7th overall); Sara Rohde of De Pere (39:09, 8th overall); and Michaela Renner-Schneck of Green Bay (39:44; 10th overall).
Local and state notables in the male division include Andy Beck of Madison (31:49; 4th overall); Timothy Thornburg of Stevens Point (32:29, 5th overall); Brent Kann of Eau Claire (32:30, 6th overall); Justin Goetz of Marshfield (32:40; 7th overall); and Alexander Rink of Chilton (32:52, 8th overall).
The Bellin Run’s two largest programs drew nearly 6,200 participants between them. A total of 5,036 individuals from 217 companies participated in this year’s Corporate Challenge, while 1,158 individuals from 52 schools were part of Kids for Running. More than 1,000 people volunteered their time for this year’s event.
Complete Bellin Run results are available through the Bellin Run website at www.bellinrun.com.