GREEN BAY - Another Bellin Run is in the books. The 37th annual event kicked off at 8:00 Saturday morning in Green Bay.
Thousands of runners pounded the pavement as friends and family lined Webster Avenue to cheer them on.
Race officials say this year's event took on a patriotic feel in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
"We will not be denied our running freedom. And the outpouring of participation here today sort of just is testimony to that fact," said Dave McGillivray.
McGillivray, one of the Bellin race directors, is also the race director for the Boston Marathon. He said Saturday's event meant putting emotions aside to get the event done.
"We have to be strong and we have to be leaders and we have to create an atmosphere and a situation where they can perform to their best and have fun while doing it," said McGillivray.
Music blared and excitement was in the air during the record-breaking run. The weather was a cool 55 degrees at the start of the race, the sky overcast.
"I'm trying to get 10 minute miles and go under an hour," said one runner named Greta.
Greta and her mom Jennifer trained together. They chose to do the Bellin because they felt a 10K was an attainable goal.
"A half marathon or a full marathon would take so much more training time, and is a little bit more of a challenge for a lot of people. And this is something that's a little bit more of a reasonable goal," Jennifer said.
These three ladies are all graduates of West High School. Saturday "Team Betty" came together.
"We do it for Betty," said Patty Gibson of Green Bay.
"Yes we do it for Kay's mother who passed away," said Helen Burish of Madison.
It's a memorable tradition for the team, running six years strong.
"It's an inner thing where you do it for yourself, first but you do it for camaraderie and just for the joy of being outside and running and walking with friends nothing can beat it," said Kay Ellis of Green Bay.
People flooded the streets in Allouez and Green Bay for the run, the community event bringing young and old together.
"It was good. It was my first time, so there were a lot of people, and it was probably the farthest I ever ran, so it was good, I liked it, it was a lot of fun," said Kristen Van Asten of Freedom.
Others have completed the Bellin before and said this year's race and weather were perfect.
"I did great. I got my PR, so my best Bellin time ever," Krystal Lowley of Freedom
And despite the record number of 20 thousand runners, people say race organizers kept the chaos to a minimum.
"I thought it was less busy than previous years. So they did a good job of keeping everybody separated by corrals. So that was great," Lowley said.
Elite runners were crossing the finish line just around the half hour mark for the 6.2 mile race.
Lani Rutto Kiplagat of Kenya won the race with a time of 29:12. He was the runner-up in the 2012 and 2011 races.
Two-time defending Bellin Run champion Allan Kiprono came in second with a time of 29:34. Bill Jones of Lawrence, Kan., finished third at 30:10.
Risper Gesawba of Kenya won her second title in the women's division of the race with a time of 32:58.
Millicent Kuria of Kenya, who won the women's race in 2008, placed second with a time of 33:23. Melissa Johnson-White of Naples, N.Y., came in third at 33:24.
For more race results, click here .
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