1,500 expected in largest race over Mississippi River

Men, women, boys and girls routinely take part in the United Way of St. Charles’ annual Bridge Run. This year, around 1,500 runners and walkers are expected to cruise over the bridge in order to get an “aerial” view of St. Charles Parish and the mighty Mi

Free food, fun at post-race festival

Over the years, the United Way of St. Charles’ annual bridge run has become the largest race over the Mississippi River in the country, and around 1,500 people are expected to descend upon St. Charles for the breathtaking view that the Hale Boggs Bridge provides.

After taking part in the 5K run/walk, competitors will get their fill of free jambalaya and pastalaya while listening to the sweet sounds of “one-man band” Reese Chaisson. Kids will also get to bounce on inflatables and have their faces painted.

The 16th Annual 5K Bridge Run/Walk and Festival will take place Saturday, April 2.  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, which takes participants to a distance higher than the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the Statue of Liberty, will receive a combined prize purse of $3,500 and custom race medallions.

Trista Brazan, campaign and communications manager for the United Way, will run the race for the first time this year.

“Being a runner myself, I can say that many local events don’t have as many runners as well as the view that this race has,” Brazan said. “The race provides a unique view of the Mississippi River and beautiful St. Charles Parish, and it is the largest race across the Mississippi River in the nation, so it’s definitely something to take part in.

“It’s going to be a good time.”

For the second year in a row, children 12 and under will also be able to compete in a “Little Bridge Run.” Children can race on the half-mile course for free.

The United Way added the race in order to give children a chance to take part in the event. Many parents are too scared to bring their children across the bridge, so this allows the kids to get in on the action in the West Bank Bridge Park.

The post-race festival will be open until 1 p.m. and admission is free. Along with the free food, inflatables and face painting, a few crafts vendors will sell their wares and free massages will be offered.

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 1, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the West Bank Bridge Park in Luling and on race day, Saturday, April 2, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the East Bank Bridge Park in Destrehan.

Race registration is $30 per person.

For more information, visit www.uwaysc.org or call United Way of St. Charles at (985) 331-9063.


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