*Disclaimer: I received free entry to Bellin Women’s Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!*
It’s been a long time since racing a half marathon. My nerves were already going crazy the day before the race. I got out of work at 4:30pm, just in time to hurry home, pack the car and the dog, and head up to Green Bay for packet pickup. I was hoping to get into Green Bay in time to partake in the pre-race dinner and festivities, but traffic was a bust going through Milwaukee. I arrived with 15 minutes to spare before the expo was over. There were a ton of vendors lining the KI Convention Center.
I quickly viewed some of them before retrieving my packet. Inside my packet was a cute green long sleeve cotton shirt, a beautifully printed drawstring bag, and of course my bib.
The next morning was race day, with the half marathon starting at 8am. When we arrived, I thought parking might be difficult, but we parked only 1 block away from the start! There were also tons of port-o-potties and indoor bathrooms for people to use. This is always a plus. At the start of the race, approximately 1100 people were running the half.
The race ran along the Fox River. The first half ran south down Broadway street. We then crossed a bridge and followed the Fox River path north, back to the KI Convention Center. I especially liked the Fox River Trail because you could see the river to your left and beautiful trees and flowers on the right. The spectators were also amazing on the last half of the course. Friends and families followed their runners along the entire course, which isn’t always easy to do.
The last mile was packed with spectators. I put all the effort I could muster into one last push at the end. There was no time to look pretty for the camera. About 20 feet from the finish, I hear the announcer call out my name, calling me into the final stretch. Sprinting to the end was a great feeling, and finishing was an even better feeling! I was very pleased with my finishing time of 1:55:47!
Once I caught my breathe, the real fun began! Instead of a medal, finishers received a Finisher Necklace. Right after the finish, vendor tents were lined up along the river, each with a delicious food or beverage. Some of the things they handed out were: yogurt parfait, iced tea, non-alcoholic champagne, strawberry shortcake, brownies, chocolate milk, dark chocolate bar, and a bunch more that I didn’t grab. I eventually made my way to the after-party, where there was a DJ, free massages, and a free beer for every runner. I’ve never been this spoiled after a race, even with a VIP package deal!
I hope more people take advantage of this great and well run event in the future. I know I will!