Registration continues for the 38th Annual Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk on Saturday, where an anticipated 1,500 walkers and runners will cross the Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge from Port Isabel to South Padre Island.
As of Tuesday, 1,408 had registered for the race. With registration continuing up until just before the race Saturday morning, well over 1,500 runners and walkers are expected to participate, said Mary Gonzalez of the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event.
Gonzalez said registrants this year include a 78-year-old man who has participated in the event since its inaugural run in the mid-1980s. He registered Tuesday morning.
The 5K Walk and 10K Run begins promptly at 7 a.m. at the Port Isabel Community Center, 213 Yturria St. in Port Isabel. Walkers will end at the Padre Balli statue on the Island while runners will continue to the finish line at Louie’s Backyard.
Only the outside lane of the westbound side of the causeway will be closed for the run. It will reopen as soon as the last walker clears the bridge.
More than 2,400 participated in 2020, event and 2,076 in 2019. Those races were held in January and included Winter Texans. This year’s numbers are off somewhat because the event had to be moved from January to April when many Winter Texans are gone because of a construction project on the causeway.
“Everyone participating in the event will receive a custom medal commemorating the run and walk,” Chamber President Betty Wells said. “Our medals have a stained glass look and have been very popular.”
The first 1,500 registrants to check in also receive an event T-shirt, although sizes are not guaranteed.
Gonzalez, administrative assistant at the Chamber, said many families book vacations around the Run & Walk, which is the only time it is legal to cross the causeway on foot and results in more hotel and motel stays on the Island and in Port Isabel, as well as increased restaurant and other business on both sides of the bridge.
Entry fees for the Run & Walk start at $25 for students and military personnel with ID, $35 for walkers, and $40 for runners. Early bird registration offered $5 off per registrant but ended March 8. Late registration will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday and from 5:30-6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Community Center on Yturria Street, where the race begins.
For more information, visit portisabelchamber.com email email@example.com or contact the Chamber office at (956) 943-2262.