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Working Double Time at the Bellin Run

Dr. Brandon Boehm has a special relationship with the Bellin Run as both a runner and a medical doctor. Bellin Health photo

By Tori Wittenbrock

Associate Sports Editor

GREEN BAY – Getting the Bellin Run to take place each year is an all hands on deck operation and would not be possible without the enthusiasm and participation of a lot of different people including directors, volunteers, doctors and — of course — the runners.

There is one person out there in particular who proudly embodies the true meaning of what the Bellin Run is by donating his time and expertise not only in his role as an Emergency Department doctor, but also as a runner.

“I’ve been running the Bellin since 2014 when I started working with Bellin,” said Dr. Brandon Boehm, a medical professional at Bellin Health.

During the big race day, Boehm can be found out on the course participating in the run and then in the medical tent, helping to provide care to his fellow runners.

To the finish line

Though it takes a lot of training and preparation to take part in the Bellin Run, Boehm said that he has been an avid runner for many years and has been able to use his experience to his advantage.

“I started running in cross country in eighth grade and have been doing longer distances since starting college. I’ve been pretty consistently running since then outside of occasional injuries and parts of medical school and residency,” said Boehm.

In combining his knowledge from working in the medical field and his experience as a long distance runner, Boehm said that proper training and preparation for a big run like this is imperative to seeing success.

Leading up to the run, Boehm said that he trains consistently to ensure that his body is in the best possible shape to carry him through to the finish line.

Boehm said, “For the Bellin I will sometimes do a couple of faster tempo runs in the few weeks beforehand, but sometimes just rely on daily running.”

All this training as a runner has certainly paid off as Boehm has built up an impressive running resume competing in multiple long distance runs.

“I’ve raced up to marathon distance and have done a dozen or so of those,” said the Stevens Point native.

A sense of community

As someone who has competed in multiple races before, Boehm said that there is nothing that compares to the atmosphere of the Bellin Run and the enthusiasm of the Green Bay community.

Boehm will be participating in his 10th Bellin Run this summer.

“I like the Bellin Run itself; it has great crowd support and is an overall fun community event. As a doctor, I think living a healthy and active lifestyle is important both personally and also professionally to support patients to do the same,” said Dr. Boehm of his experience in the Bellin Run as both a doctor and a medical professional.

According to Boehm, the sense of community on the big race day is unparalleled.

“Being able to see the supportive crowds and musicians along the course along with all of the volunteers connects you to the community here and makes you feel a community member. Working in the medical tent ties me into the same people that I just ran with and just went through the same race, and makes it a little more special to help a fellow runner through an injury or illness after the race,” said Dr. Boehm.

Becoming a doctor

Living a life focused on health and fitness, it is fitting that Dr. Boehm centered his education towards the medical field.

“I actually trained in family medicine and started with Bellin in family medicine in 2013 after residency. I moonlighted in the emergency department initially and then transitioned to full time in the emergency department in 2016,” said Boehm.

Boehm said that working in emergency medicine, while often difficult, can be a huge adrenaline rush.

“Working in the emergency department is often fast paced and keeps me on my toes throughout the day. We frequently have to try to figure out what may be causing a patient’s symptoms from multiple possible causes,” said Boehm.

Speaking from experience

As someone who has experienced the pain and joy associated with pushing your body through a long distance race, Boehm said that he has a unique perspective to offer advice to prospective runners.

“From a physician’s perspective, before running the Bellin, make sure that you are prepared. It can be hot, so make sure you’re hydrated appropriately,” said Boehm.

“I’d recommend training beforehand. During the race, listen to your body and, if needed, slowing down and walking some of the run is the best decision.”

As a runner, Boehm said his advice isn’t much different because he has experienced what it is like to not be adequately prepared for a run.

“It’s difficult to completely separate the runner-doctor mindset for advice, as preparation and hydration is still a main recommendation. I would also say to make sure to have fun and enjoy the event, it is one of the best and funnest runs I’ve done,” said Boehm.

According to Boehm, the best part about participating in the Bellin Run is seeing the way that people in the community come together to motivate each other and to reach their goals.

“In general, seeing the many successes of people who have accomplished their goal of finishing the race is inspiring and helps motivate me to push myself to other goals. I think even watching others accomplish goals and finishing the Bellin can help motivate others to set goals for themselves, whether it’s running or any other event,” said Boehm.

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