Imagine running a 10-kilometer race more than 185 feet in the air, looking down and seeing the Chesapeake Bay.
For those who've sat in traffic for what seemed like hours trying to get from one side of the Bay Bridge to the other — and even for those who haven't — Sparrow Rogers and Peter Paris want you to have another kind of experience on the 4.3-mile span.
The Queen Anne's County commissioners recently approved use of the bridge for the inaugural Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run, and the event is expected to gain the support of the Department of Natural Resources for use of the parking lots at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, where the race is scheduled to begin.
The 6.2-mile race, on the calendar for Nov. 9, 2014, is not the first of its kind. The Governor's Bay Bridge Run, a 10K race sponsored by the Annapolis Striders, previously took place on the bridge.
Other than the proposed Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run, Rogers — who along with Paris and Mike Kerrigan established last year's St. Michaels Running Festival — believes the only similar 10K race takes place over the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, S.C.
Based on the number of participants at the last "Walk Across The Bay" event, which attracted some 35,000 the last time it was held in 2006, Rogers is hoping for "greater than 20,000" runners.
"It's going to be marketed as being one of the prettiest runs in the country," Rogers said recently. "We believe it's the most spectacular course you can offer runners, if not in the country, then certainly in this region. You can't beat the view. It will take people's breath away. It's gorgeous."
Rogers said that she and Paris are talking to "multiple people" about title sponsorship. Rogers and Paris signed Nationwide as the title sponsor for the St. Michaels event, which will be held for the second year in mid-May.
Part of the proceeds for the race across the bridge will go to local charities, Rogers said.
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