Runners and walkers flocking to River Run

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

On Saturday morning, hundreds of people will gather at the Mississippi Welcome Center. Their goal is to escape Mississippi, then come back and celebrate one of its local success stories.

The 26th annual Over the River Run, whose future was in doubt just a few years ago, will begin Saturday at 8 a.m. Nearly 700 people have already registered for the 5-mile run, 5-mile race walk and 1-mile fun run on the Old Mississippi River Bridge. The final total is expected to challenge last year’s record of 829 participants — nearly double what it was in 2009.

The rare chance to venture onto the bridge, across the Mississippi River and back, as well as recent marketing campaigns have all helped to grow the race’s popularity, race director Stacey Massey said.

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“It’s become a tradition. People look forward to it, and it’s a chance to get on that bridge. It’s taken off,” Massey said. “I guess it can always grow, and at least the bridge is big. C’mon out. We want it to keep growing.”

The race’s boom years have coincided with its takeover by the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation in 2010. Participation has increased each year since then.

The SCHF uses it as a fundraiser, and will use the proceeds to improve its facilities and fund public programs.

“We have some buildings in need of repair, so funds from the race will go toward that and our programs,” said Massey, who is also the director of the SCHF.

Late registration is still open through, or by picking up a registration form at the SCHF office on Adams Street or at Just Duett Sports. The registration fee is $30 for the run and walk, or $20 for the children’s fun run.

Runners and walkers can pick up their race packets Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the SCHF auditorium.

Raceday activities will begin at 6:30 a.m., when late registration begins in the Welcome Center parking lot. The run will start at 8 a.m., followed by the walk a few minutes later. The children’s fun run will begin after the other two races have finished.

An after party and awards ceremony will be held in the Ameristar Casino parking lot.

Massey said she expected a big turnout — and was hopeful of more to come in the years ahead.

“We appreciate Vicksburg responding. When we have something good come along, we want it to stay,” she said.

Over the River Run

The 26th annual Over the River Run, a 5-mile run and race walk, is Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Mississippi Welcome Center. Registration for the race is available online at or at the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation. The entry fee is $30 for the run and walk, or $20 for the children’s 1-mile fun run. For more information, call 601-631-2997, or email

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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