Bellin Women’s Half-marathon still an in-person event

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 4:13 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - With much of 2020 feeling like it’s been canceled, including most events and gatherings, one is still going on as scheduled and in-person.

Organizers of the Bellin Women’s Half-Marathon and 5K in October say they’re making a lot of changes to ensure it’s safe. They say physical and emotional health are part of their decision to hold the race in person.

Granted, it will not look much like years past. There will be face masks and there will not be participants running close together.

“It will look a little different, but the smiles we’re going to see as they cross that finish line are not going to be any different because they will have that satisfcation of completing the event, of completing the training and celebrating the event,” race director Linda Maxwell said.

Maxwell said organizers are working closely with the medical branch of Bellin Health to make the race as safe as possible.

Among the big changes:

  • Masks will be used at the starting line and after crossing the finish line but not while running
  • More corrals with fewer people in each one, starting one minute apart to keep runners farther apart on the course
  • Water stations will have self-serve, capped water bottles
  • No finish line party or awards ceremony
  • A lower cap on the number of participants

“We are asking for spectators to not come to the finish area, just because the space is limited there and we want to keep everybody safe,” but spectators can line the course as long as they’re social distancing, Maxwell said.

The inspiration dinner the night before will now be online.

Participants will have temperatures taken and a health screening to get in for the packet pickup.

“All of the responses we’re getting on social media are, people are so excited and so relieved we’re doing it in person.”

There is a virtual option for running, and if cases surge there is still the possibility of making the entire race virtual, but Maxwell says the overwhelming response is that people want a safe race in-person to give them hope, which is the theme of this year’s race.

“This is hope. This event gives us hope that... eventually we’re going to get back to normal, hope that we can get through this, and hope that the people around us will continue to boost us up and we’re there for each other,” Maxwell said.

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