Brrrr-aving the chill

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

January 15, 2015

Runner cross the Causeway during the 31st Annual Longest Casuseway Run and Fitness Walk.

Runner cross the Causeway during the 31st Annual Longest Casuseway Run and Fitness Walk. Photo by Valerie D. Bates

The 31st Annual Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk was held his past Saturday with thousands of enduring runners keeping the decades-old event alive despite frigid temperatures and steady rainfall.

There were over 3,300 registrants from all over the world, with 848 runners managing to complete the six mile intercity trek over the Queen Isabella Causeway. First through third place overall in the male category went to Joseph Amenya (Mexico), Benjamin Kiplimo-Meto (Mexico) and Michael Guerro (Mission) respectively. In the female division, Lilian Mariita (Mexico) came in first, Biranna Ortiz (McAllen) was runner-up, and third place was awarded to Vanessa Garcia (Brownsville).

The USA Track and Field certified course began at 10:00 the Port Isabel Community Center and ended near Louise Backyard in South Padre Island for the award show. Local police and EMS services secured the runners throughout the endurance event.

Betty Wells, Chairman of the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce which sponsored the event, said that despite the chilly atmosphere, the event ran in the same routine as previous races, commenting on the remarkable spirit of the participants who chose to take part.

“We had a combination of cold, rain, and wind,” she said. “But everything ran as it has in year’s past. They wanted this race to go on and we just kept a close eye on everything to be sure they weren’t being put in any danger. I just truly admire the dedication of these people.”

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