United Way St. Charles’ Bridge Run will return it all its spring glory Saturday after four years of altered plans and cancellations.
The last year the race was held was in the spring was 2019. The 2020 race was cancelled due to the pandemic and in 2021 a virtual run was held in the place of the normal event. Last year the run was held in June due to road construction.
UWSC Director John Dias said he and others are excited to be able to bring the parish tradition back this year to its traditional time.
“We were happy to hold the event last year, but we had to hold it in June and so heat was an issue,” he said. “We’ve always been a ‘spring is in the air’ event and we are glad to go back to that.”
Dias said he is thankful to Shell, Valero and other local industry leaders and businesses in terms of sponsorship and promoting the event.
“This event offers the community a chance for a spring celebration event – a kind of local spring block party in a sense,” Dias said. “I think it also provides a very positive, life-affirming event where one can take a walk or run on a unique course and think about nature, health, and how lucky we are. It’s kind of a celebration of life.”
The 5k raises awareness and funds for UWSC. The St. Charles Parish race is part of a three bridge race series. Runners who complete all three races – which includes ones across the Huey P. Long and Crescent City Connection bridges – receive a special race medallion.
“The Hale Boggs Bridge provides a kind of symbol or rallying point for our community and since United Way’s goal is to unite and provide services across St Charles Parish – there is a natural connection between the bridge and United Way of St Charles,” Dias said.
Melissa Perrier, UWSC campaign and marketing manager, said the run is not only a signature event for United Way, but for the community.
“We’ve had it over 20 years and it’s one of those things that people really look forward to,” she said. “It’s always been such a great family event and a lot of people use it as part of their fitness goals.”
Perrier said the chip-timed run, which starts at the East Bank Bridge Park, ends at the West Bank Bridge Park with health and wellness booths, free food and drinks and prizes.
For more information on the race, visit raceroster.com/events/2023/70444/united-way-of-st-charles-5k-bridge-run-walk.
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