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Bellin Run continues to grow as 37th annual race gets running

Athletes start the 2012 Bellin Run on Saturday June 9, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11).
Athletes start the 2012 Bellin Run on Saturday June 9, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11).

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Thousands of runners hit the streets of Green Bay Saturday morning for the 37th annual Bellin Run.

About 20,000 people were expected to take part in what's become one of the largest 10-K races in the country.

Race officials say a major reason for this is the weather. Last year it was extremely hot and dry, but this spring's cooler and more comfortable temperatures have a lot more people interested.

“Could it reach a point where we can't accommodate more? It definitely could. Do we know what that number is now? Not right now,” Executive Race Director Randy Van Straten tells FOX 11.

Bellin regulars say the races has adjusted well to its high demand.

“As things have gotten better and bigger they've gotten more organized and improved it over the years,” said Glenn Whipp of Green Bay.

“It's kind of like a fundraiser, so I think it's a good thing to have as many people as possible,” said Adam Dorner of Luxemburg.

Race officials say more than $10,000 will be donated to its charity partners this year. However, they say that is all through fundraising. Only a small percentage of registration fees go to a nursing scholarship.

Organizers say if it weren't for the race's major sponsors, it would operate at a significant loss.

“We really try to take a large event and make it feel small, make it feel hometown,” said Van Straten.

That's part of the reason people say they keep coming back.

“I said hey it's Tara Whipp and she goes oh my god you look great,” said Tara Joyce-Whipp of Omaha, Nebraska. “It was like 30 seconds. I haven't seen her since or before, but it's like everybody comes out for the Bellin Run.”

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