Annual Bridge Run Stops Traffic In The Keys
In the Florida Keys, unexpected traffic tie-ups along the Overseas Highway are a regular fact of life. But there's one time of year when it's a deliberate event.
The annual Seven Mile Bridge Run closes the span that links the Middle and Lower Keys for 2 1/2 hours, starting around 6:45 a.m. Saturday. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office warns travelers to be across the bridge by 6:30 a.m.
The bridge re-opens at 9 a.m., but it usually takes more than an hour for traffic flow to get back to normal.
The run is in its 35th year and attracts athletes from around the country. Entrance is limited to 1,500 people and it sells out every year.
For those who couldn't get a spot — or who can't contemplate running for 7 miles — there's another bridge run on offer over the weekend.
For the third year, the Cow Key Channel Bridge Run will cross the span that links Key West to its neighbor, Stock Island. The run starts at noon Sunday, so it doesn't require early rising like the Seven Mile Bridge Run does. "Runners" use the sidewalk so it doesn't stop traffic. The event is billed as "the only zero K bridge run." And there's the requisite Keys party with beer, not far from the finish line.