credit: Clancy Creative/Mt. Hope Bridge 5K

Pedestrians are only permitted on the Mt. Hope Bridge once a year, and that day is coming up this weekend! On Saturday, August 11th, the second annual Century 21 Topsail Realty Mt. Hope Bridge 5K will take runners and walkers across the bridge from Portsmouth to Bristol, culminating in a finish at Roger Williams University. The event is hosted by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority and produced by Gray Matter Marketing. All proceeds from the event are donated to the Bristol Rotary Club and their partner charities.

The race will start at 7:30 AM and will give runners and walkers the unique opportunity of crossing Mt. Hope Bay by foot, on the historic Mt. Hope Bridge. Participants will be shuttled from designated parking at Roger Williams University in Bristol to the race start in Portsmouth, Rhode Island on Saturday morning.

“This event is a great way for families to get outside and enjoy the summer in a unique way,” says Matt Gray, President of Gray Matter Marketing. “Through our partnership with the RITBA Foundation and Century 21 Topsail Realty, we’re proud to bring this event back for the second year in a row to benefit the Bristol Rotary.”

“The Bristol Rotary Club and it’s members are proud to be part of this unique event that is a great opportunity to walk or run across the historic Mt. Hope Bridge,” says Matt Hayes, event chairperson from the Bristol Rotary Club. “Last year, this event and its sponsors, raised $10,000 to benefit local organizations and charities that do the good work of helping people in this community.”

In addition to Century 21 Topsail Realty as title sponsor, the 5K is sponsored by Gil’s Appliances, Slepkow, Slepkow and Associates, Inc., Sunshine Fuels and Energy Services, East Bay Newspapers, and BankNewport.

At last year’s inaugural race, local runners flourished: Bryce O’Brien, a 19-year-old from Bristol, was the first across the finish line with an elapsed time of 16 minutes and 38 seconds. Sixteen-year-old Nick Januario, also from Bristol, finished in 16:45 and Ben Chase, a 15-year-old from Portsmouth, rounded out the men’s podium, coming in at 17:07.  Kristen Legendre, 33, from Uxbridge, MA was the first female to finish the inaugural race last year, running the 3.1-mile course in just 20 minutes and 33 seconds. Jaqueline Shakar, 58, from Sutton, MA finished second with a time of 20:55. Completing the women’s podium was Meg O’Brien, 17, from Bristol, finishing in 22:05.

Runners and walkers are permitted to participate in this year’s event. All participants must be off the bridge (1 mile) in 20 minutes. Every individual on the bridge must be registered for the event, and unfortunately, strollers are not allowed on the bridge.

Local traffic concerns: One lane of traffic will remain open on the Mt. Hope Bridge throughout the event, controlled by the Bristol, Portsmouth and State Police. All participants will be in the right-hand lane from Portsmouth to Bristol and will be off the bridge by 8:00 a.m. For more information on possible traffic delays and community impact, please visit