Waterfront race set in downtown Jacksonville

Jacksonville Daily News |By Naomi Whidden | Apr. 7, 2016 at 7:00 AM | Link to Article

More than 500 runners and hand cyclists will hit the streets of downtown Jacksonville this weekend for second annual Beat the Bridge 10k, 5k, and 1 mile Fun Run benefiting the nonprofit Semper Fi Fund.

Participants will have the opportunity to race through the streets of historic downtown, near Riverwalk Crossing Park and along the waterfront to help raise an estimated $50,000 for those in need.

And while this road race will highlight positive changes happening in the downtown area, the ultimate goal is about encouraging military and local communities to work together to raise funds and awareness for injured veterans and their families.

“We’re very excited about the growth of our event and we’d love for anyone and everyone to come to the race on Saturday,” race founder Chris Ingraham said Wednesday.

Many running groups from local Marine Corps units are also participating in the event, as well as Stroller Warriors and Ainsley’s Angels of Eastern NC.

“I really respect what the Semper Fi Fund is doing for service members and their families,” said Ingraham, who is also an unpaid volunteer for Semper Fi Fund. “And this race is about raising awareness and funds for their nonprofit and getting local communities involved.”

Volunteer opportunities are still available, and race coordinators encourage anyone who is interested to attend the registration events on Friday and Saturday.

Registration is open until race day, and participants can sign up online in advance at runsignup.com or in person on at packet pickup or on race day. Packet pickup and late registration will be held April 8 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the USAA Financial Center on Western Boulevard or April 9 from 6 to 7:30 a.m. at New Bridge Middle School. The Semper Fi Fund was formed in early 2004 by a group of Marine Corps spouses committed to providing support to post-9/11 wounded, ill and injured members of all branches of service and their families. To donate to Semper Fi Fund or for more information on the nonprofit, visit semperfifund.org.