Photo Credit: Clancy Creative/Citizens Bank Pell Bridge Run
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Photo Credit: Clancy Creative/Citizens Bank Pell Bridge Run

Newport, RI – More than 3,000 runners and walkers will take on the Citizens Bank Pell Bridge Run this coming Sunday, October 21st, making the event the largest to date.

The course, which runs from Jamestown to Newport over the Claiborne Pell Bridge, is the only day of the year that pedestrians are permitted on the bridge. The eighth annual edition of the run/walk is open to all participants who can maintain a 20 minute per mile pace. The Citizen’s Bank Pell Bridge Run is hosted by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority Foundation and produced by Gray Matter Marketing.

“The growth of this event every year is a testament to its impact on the community and the uniqueness of walking or running over the Pell Bridge,” says Matt Gray, President of Gray Matter Marketing in a news release on Thursday. “There’s simply nothing like seeing the sunrise over downtown Newport as you make your way across the bridge. The charitable impact is particularly important to us. It’s motivating to see the community come together on this day each year.”

Starting at 5:30 AM on Sunday morning, runners and walkers will be shuttled from the Newport Visitors Center to the race start line in Jamestown. Participants will be assigned to specific shuttle times. The race itself will begin at 7:15 AM, with participants broken into waves based on pace. Runners and walkers will follow a course on and over the bridge, taking in the sunrise and the stunning fall vistas that the run/walk is known for. They’ll finally descend from the bridge on to Farewell Street, finishing back at the Visitors Center on America’s Cup Avenue.

To date, the Citizens Bank Pell Bridge Run and the RITBA Foundation have donated more than $535,000 to non-profits through this event. This year, the Citizen’s Bank Pell Bridge Run and the RITBA Foundation have chosen 37 local non-profits that will receive donations from the event. 100% of the proceeds from the event will be donated to these 37 charities. Individuals and teams have raised nearly an additional $42,000 online for both the official charities and other causes of their choosing. Fundraising will remain open through the weekend.

“This annual event has become our largest public effort raising awareness of our statewide mission in suicide prevention,” says Denise Panichas, Executive Director of The Samaritans of Rhode Island, one of the event’s charitable partners. “There is nothing that matches the healing and hope from participating in this amazing day!”

Traffic will be impacted by the race: in Jamestown, East Shore Road South between Rte. 138 and Conanicus  Ave. will be closed to traffic from 6:30AM until 7:15 AM. Conanicus Ave (North) access to Rte 138 / Pell Bridge at the intersection with East Shore Road will be closed from approximately 7 AM until 7:20 AM. On the Pell Bridge itself, travel will be reduced to a single lane each direction. State Police detail will be on site to manage traffic. Motorists using the bridge from 7 AM until 8:30 AM should expect delays. In Newport, from 7:15 AM – 8:45 AM, Farewell Street will be closed through America’s Cup Avenue, and Van Zandt Avenue at the corner of Farewell will also be closed to traffic. Expect delays using America’s Cup and Farewell Street until 9:00 AM, when the event will conclude.

Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome, though strollers are not permitted on the course. Participants must be able to maintain a 20 minute per mile pace. Tickets are still available for the event at www.PellBridgeRun.com through Thursday, and on-site registration will be available on Friday and Saturday at the Newport Visitors Center.

For more information, visit www.PellBridgeRun.com.

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