By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Just in time to test those newest New Year’s resolutions comes the 32nd Annual Longest Causeway Run and Fitness Walk.
Last year’s weather made for a dreary run, with low temperatures, strong winds and drenching rain. But, Betty Wells, president of the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the popular event, is optimistic that this year will be better. “Of course last year we had a cold blue norther with 34 degree temperatures, and 40 mph winds and rain. So, we’re optimistic that the weather is going to be much better than that and that we’ll have a great turnout,” she said.
Always looking to make the event a great experience, Wells described several changes that have been made to this year’s race. “There are a couple of things that we’re doing differently that we actually implemented in our June run,” she said. “One is that every walker or runner who crosses the finish line will receive a participation medal. And we’re using the disposable timing chips that are embedded in the runner bibs so we don’t have to worry about cutting chips off their shoelaces at the end of the run.”
The race is open to runners and walkers of all ages. Wells described the youngest participants as those in strollers, who may not run, but do “enjoy the view,” she said. “There are several in the 80 plus category that are already registered,” as well, she said, marveling at their commitment to lifelong fitness. “Once you’re a runner, you’re always a runner, and they’re amazing,” Wells said.
The race begins just off of Beulah Lee Park in Port Isabel, with runners starting first and walkers setting off immediately afterwards. Participants will make their way across the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway before winding their way on the streets of South Padre Island towards the finish line at Louie’s Backyard.
Along with participation medals, award medals will be presented to the top three male and female finishers in each age category, Wells said. A ‘light lunch’ of hot dogs and fresh fruit will also be served. Race organizers will also provide bus transportation to and from the start and finish lines for race participants.
The weather should be ideal Saturday. According to weather.com, highs are expected to be in the upper 60s, with moderate humidity and 13-18 mph winds.
“(I) encourage everyone to come out. It’s a great family event and a memorable experience and we want them to be part of it,” Wells said.
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