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Key Largo Bridge Run attracts almost 800 runners

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Competitors in the Key Largo Bridge Run crowd the northbound lane of a portion of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway (Andy Newman/Florida Keys New Bureau/HO)
Competitors in the Key Largo Bridge Run crowd the northbound lane of a portion of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway (Andy Newman/Florida Keys New Bureau/HO)

KEY LARGO, Fla.– A scenic out-and-back footrace above the Upper Florida Keys and the eastern edge of the Florida Everglades attracted 771 half-marathon, 10k and 5k runners Saturday for the sixth annual Key Largo Bridge Run.

The USA Track & Field-certified course crosses the 65-foot-high, 1.25-mile-long Jewfish Creek Bridge along the southern portion of the 18-Mile Stretch, a section of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway that connects mainland South Florida with Key Largo.

Winning the overall men’s and women’s half-marathon titles were Miami’s Scott Byers, 34, who placed a time of one hour, 25 minutes and 14 seconds, and Big Pine Key resident Helena Bursa, 39, who ran 01:31:33 in the women’s division.

Lauretta Bailin from Amesbury, Mass., outpaced even her male competitors in the 10K division, posting a time of 42:53. Marathon, Fla., resident James Kidney won the overall male division with a time of 43:53.

Islamorada’s Ivan Diaz, 28, and Erinn Cowell 38, of Tequesta, Fla., were the men’s and women’s 5K category winners, with first-place times of 21:30 and 24:49, respectively.

Since its inception, the bridge race has attracted participants from across the U.S., the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Canada and Europe.

During the race, northbound traffic from the Keys to the South Florida mainland was diverted to State Road 905 and Card Sound Road.

The 2015 event is set for Saturday, Nov. 7.

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