GREEN BAY - A record number of 19,870 participants are signed up to take on the 6.2 miles of the Bellin Run Saturday morning.
"Just getting together, all the people around, it's the energy," said Mark Brumlic of Howard. "It's a fun time."
The record was set even before the first person retrieved their race packet Friday night.
"It's kind of a goal for me to at least once every year to get out there and do 6.2 miles," said Eugene Le Boeuf of Milwaukee.
"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," said Randy Van Straten, the Executive Race Director.
Race officials say adding multiple start times could be something to consider.
Bellin regulars say the race 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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