Seven Mile Bridge Run

Seven Mile Bridge Run

The Seven Mile Bridge run is an annual race held in the Florida Keys by the Marathon Runners Club. The race is run as a benefit for youth activities in Marathon, Florida. The event was first held in 1982 to commemorate the completion of the Florida Keys bridge rebuilding program. The bridge, one of the longest segmental bridges in the world, spans the channel between Key Vaca and Little Duck Key.

It is one of the few races that takes place entirely over water, and actually covers a distance of 6.8 miles - a little shorter than the name suggests. The local Sheriff's Department close the bridge between 6:45am and 9am, with the race kicking off at 7:30am. Runners therefore have 1 hour 30 minutes to traverse the bridge, and 'beat the bus' - if they can't keep up with the pace they are picked up by one of a small fleet of yellow school buses. A post-race party follows after the finishing runners are returned to the starting area by bus.

Entry to the race has been described as a postal lottery, with demand for places far outstripping the 1,500 spots available, restricted due to safety reasons. Each year, applicants must send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Marathon Runners Club before a specified deadline, at which date the Club sends all the applications to the prospective participants in the same delivery. The first 1,500 applications they then receive back are the 1,500 runners who gain entry. As a result, most participants are from the South of Florida and the Keys themselves. Ben Miller won the race this past year becoming the youngest to win the event.

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