Florida Keys News
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Walk, run or pub crawl
'Zero K' bridge run set for April 5

The island's first "Zero K" Cow Key Channel Bridge Run, set for April 5 alongside U.S. 1 before Mile Marker 4, will not affect motorized traffic on the bridge, organizers say.

"We set the criteria to have the permit waived this year but it has to be reviewed every years," said organizer David Sloan, referring to the agreement with the state Department of Transportation. "It's the pedestrian span of the bridge. It's a good 10- to 12-foot span."

Contestants must pay a $5 registration in order to take home prizes or trophies -- including one for last place. They will take off down the sidewalk, and they will run in separate heats.

Almost 700 people have indicated on Facebook they will attend, but Sloan said he hasn't a clue how many will turn out.

"Registered runners cross in the first heats and get a finish-line gift if they finish (or if they don't)," the event's Facebook page promises.

Win or lose, everyone who attends is urged to celebrate at the Hurricane Hole, where the victory party and awards ceremony will take place.

A portion of the race's proceeds will go to the animal farm at the sheriff's office.

Creators Michael Marrero, Marky Pierson, Chris Shultz and Sloan have signed up a couple dozen sponsors for what they call "The only zero K bridge run."

The 360-foot route takes place on the same day of the Seven Mile Bridge Run in Marathon, a race that in recent years has been selling out online in rapid speeds.

All the particulars for registration are available at www.cowkeybridgerun.com, including $20 T-shirts designed by artist David Laughlin that are available for purchase.

Cows play a main part of the shirt design for an event that has struck a funnybone across Key West, where plenty of locals invest sweat and cash training for triathlons, and even more arduous feats of endurance via running, swimming and biking.

"Lazy Dog is thinking about putting in a 10-person relay team. Do you have that division?" Sue Cooper, the paddleboard and kayak shop owner, posted the other day on the event's Facebook page.

"Sure do," Sloan replied.

Cooper wasn't kidding.

"Why not?" Cooper said Friday. "It'll be fun. It reminds me of the Zombie Bike Ride, which started out with a couple hundred people."

The Zombie-themed October event, which Pierson helped start, has turned into one of the island's largest single-day events with organizers saying they had some 8,000 people last year.

Cooper is part of a 10-woman paddleboard race team whose members compete in contests around the world, including Bali, Hawaii, Alaska, and the British Virgin Islands.

The paddleboard team is also known for a killer sense of humor.

"I'm trying to figure out a way to make a baton to pass," said Cooper, who has run 17 marathons and started Lazy Dog in 1998. "I'll probably papier mâché it. I'm sure tutus will be involved for our team."


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