Over the River Run celebrates 35th anniversary on Saturday

Published 11:00 am Monday, October 9, 2023

Early autumn is bridge season in Vicksburg, and the biggest event of them all is celebrating a milestone anniversary.

The Over the River Run, a 5-mile run and race walk across the Old Mississippi River Bridge, is set for its 35th edition on Saturday. The event allows runners and walkers to venture across the 95-year-old bridge to Louisiana and back, and is one of Vicksburg’s biggest community events each year.

“We’re so excited to be able to say that it is still going strong at 35 years. It’s such a great race,” said Stacey Mahoney, the executive director of the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation. The SCHF organizes the Over the River Run as a fundraiser. “It’s been around for a while, people look forward to it. We’re excited. We love the after-party and believe in living it up after we put in the work.”

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The Over the River Run is the oldest current event on the Old Mississippi River Bridge, but not the only one. Supper on the ‘Sip and the annual Bricks and Spokes bike ride preceded the Over the River Run the previous two weeks. The steady stream of events has turned late September and early October into a sort of celebration of one of Vicksburg’s major landmarks.

“Other organizations and events are wanting to use the bridge, and they are,” Mahoney said. “We are not the only event now that gets to use the bridge, but it’s still limited. We’re happy to share with other events.”

While the Over the River Run has been joined on the calendar as a bridge event, it is still one of the more unique road races not only in Vicksburg but all of Mississippi.

The event begins at 8 a.m. Saturday and takes runners and walkers high across the Mississippi River to Delta, Louisiana, and then back to Mississippi as they traverse the entire length of the bridge.

“It’s great. If you were just going to be out there running a five-mile somewhere it’s not going to feel the same as it does when you’re going across the bridge,” Mahoney said.

The entry fee for the race is $35. Online registration is available through raceroster.com and will be open until Friday afternoon.

Late registration and packet pick-up is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center auditorium, located at the corner of Crawford and Cherry streets. Late registration will also be open before the race on Saturday morning, from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., at the Mississippi Welcome Center located next to the bridge on Washington Street.

Race participants will receive a long sleeve T-shirt and entry to the after-party and awards ceremony at Ameristar Casino’s Delta Point parking lot as well.

Mahoney said more than 300 runners and walkers are expected to participate, and they’re not just coming from Vicksburg.

“The other events that are on the bridge are just local. I think the difference with our run is that we pull people from 11 or 12 states that come and participate in this race,” Mahoney said. “The over the River Run has been around so long that it’s out there in the race world and it helps to pull people from out of town and it helps Vicksburg.”

5-Mile run and race walk across the Old Mississippi River Bridge
• Saturday, Oct. 14, 8 a.m.
• Online registration is available through raceroster.com until Friday, Oct. 13
• Late registration is open at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 14, from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the Mississippi Welcome Center on Washington Street

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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