‘Little Run’ entices young to bridge race

April 01, 2010 at 9:19 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Winners of the bridge run will receive a combined purse of $5,000.
Jonathan Menard
Winners of the bridge run will receive a combined purse of $5,000.
Over the years, the United Way of St. Charles’ annual bridge run has become the largest run over the Mississippi River in the country, but now organizers hope free food and a “Little Bridge Run” will attract even more participants.

The United Way of St. Charles will host their 14th Annual 5K Bridge Run/Walk and Festival on Saturday, April 10.  The race starts at 8:30 a.m. at the East Bank Bridge Park in Destrehan and crosses the Hale Boggs Bridge to the West Bank Bridge Park in Luling.

Winners of the 5K bridge run will receive a combined prize purse of $5,000 and custom race medallions.

On average, more than 1,800 runners and walkers take part in the race, which raised around $21,000 for the United Way last year and takes participants to a distance higher than the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the Statue of Liberty.

Though some children have been in that number, the United Way has decided to host a Little Bridge Run for children 12 and under. The half-mile run will start at the finish line of the main race, travel a little ways onto the up ramp, and then return to the West Bank Bridge Park.

“We wanted to expand the event and reach kids,” Coordinator Sarah Miller said. “We know that some parents are too scared to bring their kids across the bridge, so we thought this would be a good way to get them involved.”

Registration for children is $5. They will also receive a T-shirt and a ribbon.

Besides the prize money for the older contestants, one of the main draws of the run is the after-race entertainment. This year, there will be a space walk for children and free caricatures and face painting. Free food will also be provided by Teddy’s Diner with Cytec providing free jambalaya. Arts and crafts vendors will sell their merchandise as well.

“We are also going to have the Ochsner blood mobile, and Ochsner will even land a helicopter at the park,” Miller said. “Typikal Reason will be performing as well.”

Another new addition is micro-reality racing. These interactive games for adults and children feature radio controlled replicas of NASCAR’s most popular cars.  Visitors drive them from a remote steering console as they crash and bash around the portable, banked oval race track. The United Way will have a contest to see who can finish with the best time.

The post-race festival will be open until 1 p.m. and admission is free.

To register for the race, visit www.uwaysc.org or register in person at the United Way office located at 13207 River Road in Luling.  On-site registration is also available Friday, April 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the West Bank Bridge Park in Luling and on race day, Saturday, April 10, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the East Bank Bridge Park in Destrehan.

Pre-registration is available for $25 per person until April 2.  After April 2, race registration is $30 per person.
For more information, visit www.uwaysc.org or call United Way of St. Charles at (985) 331-9063.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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