- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
- Event Website
I’ve been looking forward the the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon all year! I have a soft spot in my heart for this event…it was my very 1st marathon back in 2007.
Friday night I attended the race expo located at the famous Lambeau Field. This location does not disappoint. The atrium is massive with lots of space for vendors to spread out. Runners can tour the grounds, visit the Pro Shop, and grab a bite to eat in addition to picking up their race packet. The layout is designed to get runners in and out with ease. All packets are on the upper level and the vendor booths are on the bottom floor. I arrived at 4pm just as the doors opened. Event staff had set up ropes to organized runners that come to the stadium early to retrieve their bibs. Many Luv2Run coaches were there to get their youth team shirts and bibs for the Saturday 5k. I was impressed with the speed at which the waiting runners were able to get upstairs and back down to move through the expo. Within 30 minutes all those waiting had made their way to the packet area and the congestion on the lower level disappeared. The volunteers were amazing. As you arrived to the top layer of the stadium I was greeted by staff to get my bib number, I then headed into the ballroom to get my actual packet. Everyone was cheerful and friendly. The Green Bay Running Club had a booth inside the packet area making it super easy for members to renew their membership. The whole process took me 10 minutes from start to finish. At 7pm the expo closed down. Runners could also pick up their packets on Saturday before and after the Kid’s Run & 5k events held in the morning. I did not return on Saturday, but was told that the expo was bananas busy.
I had been closely watching the weather prediction for race day. The hot topic among many runners at the expo on Friday was the impending heat on Sunday. Last year was hot too, which is typically not an issue for me, but like last year I did not have an opportunity to train in warmer weather. To combat this race organizers prepared to stock the aid stations with additional water, Gatorade, and ice (which was a life saver for marathoners).
Sunday morning I picked up a friend at 5:45 am to make the 7am start on time. We chatted on our drive in which helped to ease my nerves. After parking a few blocks away from the start line at the stadium we walked in. Construction at the stadium posed a parking challenge, but it was not awful (maybe added 5 more minutes of walking). The morning air was a little brisk, but quickly warmed up as the sun came out. Cindy visited the bathroom and I met up with fellow Oiselle birds who were also running. We caught up for a few minutes, took pictures, and got ready to head to the start. I meet up with Cindy and Katie after they got done at the bathrooms, the lines were shockingly short this year…props to the race director for increasing the number available and also staggering the start – 1/2 marathoners started at 8am.
I settled into my corral. I moved up towards the 4:30 group and snuck in behind the pacers. Again props to race crew we started on time and the corrals were moved up and out quickly. The temps were on the rise and by mile 3 we were all feeling the full brunt of things. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the wonderful volunteers at the aid stations, they were full of energy and kept the vibe positive from mile 1-26! Each station had plenty of items and the ice was a nice touch towards the end...never underestimate the beauty of cold ice when you are roasting.
The course was really interesting. A mix of city streets covering both the West (start/finish) and East side of Green Bay. We were able to also jump on the Fox River Trail for a few miles, travel through the famed City Stadium, and finished running through Lambeau Field. There are a few hills, but for the most part this is a flat. between miles 20-21 there is a bridge to climb, but you get to stay on the pavement and not cross metal grates (which are popular in WI and hard to remain stable on).
Race swag was spot on this year. Full & 1/2 marathon shirts were high quality (New Balance) orange tech fabric, but a different shade to differenciate between the two events. Currently we are in year 2 of the 3 year medal theme. When all is said and done the 3 put together complete a design of Lambeau Field including the iconic Curly and Vince Lambordi statues. Food and drink were plentiful after the race with live music to keep the party going.
Until next year! I need my 3rd medal to complete the series. #BeHappy #BeKind #BeActive