The Double Bridge Run 15K (DBR), touted by organizers as the “ideal race in the perfect place”, is celebrating its 14th anniversary this year, and promoters are hoping this year’s run will offer more of the same—excellent venues, solid organization, and the area’s natural beauty and intriguing history—that have made the run an annual destination for thousands of runners and walkers from the Southeast and across the country.
The event attracted over 3,000 runners and walkers in 2010 and is expected to draw about 3,500 this year, according to Jackie Brown, chairperson of the DBR this year.
With one of the most enviable race routes in the country, it’s not hard to see what draws locals and tourists alike to the annual run/walk.
The DBR carries runners over two bridges—across Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound. Beginning in downtown Pensacola at Palafox Pier, runners will wend their way through Pensacola’s historic district, down picturesque Bayfront Parkway, through Gulf Breeze, across Bob Sikes Bridge, and onto Pensacola Beach.
Brown has been involved with the event for the last four years.
“I have run the race three or four times. I’ve run races of all distances, including marathons, across the country, and this is one of my favorites,” she said.
“My favorite part of the DBR is running across the bay bridge. It’s the most beautiful venue of any race I have ever run, and that includes races in Charleston, SC, San Diego, Calif., and Washington D.C.”
Is the 15K a little too daunting? If you haven’t had the discipline, foresight or desire to train for the 15K, the race will also include an equally scenic 5K for both runners and walkers that will begin in Gulf Breeze near Gulf Breeze High School. Participants will still get to experience the beautiful scenic route over Santa Rosa Sound, but they’ll only have to conquer one bridge.
Participant Susan Norris, who ran the 5K last year, is looking forward to challenging herself in the 15K this time.
“The energy was great. Even though it was freezing, people were really excited about the run,” she said.
When you cross the finish line, don’t think your race experience is over. The post-race party begins and ends at Hemingway’s Island Grill with food from Hemingway’s, cold drinks provided by the Lewis Bear Company and Coke, and live entertainment by James Adkins and Rewind. Awards will be also be given out, and Double Bridge merchandise will be available to purchase.
“My favorite part of the Double Bridge Run is watching the participants have a wonderful time at this great event,” said Janet Olliff, Event Coordinator at Pensacola Sports Association.
“Watching the crowd cheer the runners as they cross the finish line and the expression on the runners’ faces when they finish the race. We have many people from across the nation attend the DBR. I enjoy seeing them have a great time at the post-race party on beautiful Pensacola Beach,” she says.
“This race has become well known for the after party,” Brown adds—which is great news for those trekking the 9.3 (or 3.1) miles to get there.
14th ANNIVERSARY DOUBLE BRIDGE RUN 15K AND 5K
WHEN: 7 a.m. 15K begins; 8 a.m. 5K begins. Saturday, Feb. 5
WHERE: 15K: Palafox Pier, downtown Pensacola; 5K: Gulf Breeze High School Stadium
COST: $35 through Jan. 30, Late Registration $40
DETAILS: firstname.lastname@example.org, 434-2800 or doublebridgerun.com
Register online at active.com (credit card required). Registration is $35 until Jan. 30. Late Registration is $40. Online registration is through Tuesday, Feb. 1. After Feb. 1, you must come to the Race Expo to register. No day of race registration.
Late registration available at the Vendors Expo at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Front (12 Via de Luna Drive) on Thursday, Feb. 3 from 4-9 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 4 from noon-8 p.m.