The day after 1,500 runners competed in a footrace across the Florida Keys Overseas Highway’s longest bridge, approximately 1,400 entrants “dashed” across the Keys’ shortest bridge.
It only took 22 seconds for the quickest competitor, Key West’s Blake Steinke, to traverse the 300-foot course at Sunday’s quirky Cow Key Channel Bridge Run in Key West.
His time pales compared to that of the fastest contestant in Saturday’s more serious Seven Mile Bridge Run near Marathon in the middle Florida Keys. Josh Peterson of Boca Raton, Fla., ran across the convergence of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico in just under 39 minutes.
Billed as the only “Zero K Bridge Run,” the Cow Key Channel race featured separate heats for competitors with pets, relay teams, and those vying to cross the bridge in the slowest time.
Many participants wore cow-themed costumes or headgear inspired by the name of the bridge. Some combined bovine accessories with bright-colored tutus, while others wore hippie attire and cow masks and carried signs urging spectators to “Give Cheese a Chance.” Even some canines sported cow costumes.
Entrants in the Cow Key Channel challenge competed for “Golden Calf” awards in multiple categories. A portion of the event’s proceeds is to be donated to the Keys Sheriff’s Animal Farm.