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Offbeat Florida Keys Bridge Run Draws Wacky Competitors


KEY WEST, Florida. — Some runners push themselves to sweat through marathons, but not the competitors in the weekend Cow Key Bridge Run in the Florida Keys.

“Athletes” in the “zero-k race” followed a course Saturday afternoon across one of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway’s shortest bridges, spanning approximately 300 feet between Key West and neighboring Stock Island.

In honor of the race’s “May the 4th” date and “Cow Wars” theme, many participants wore costumes inspired by the blockbuster “Star Wars” film series and lightsabers. There was even a miniature horse from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Animal Farm, dressed and bewigged as the character Princess Leia and dubbed “Princess Neigha” as it was led across the short bridge.


The date is marked by “Star Wars” fans each year to salute the films’ iconic catchphrase, “May the force (fourth) be with you.” 


Other intrepid “racers” were garbed in bull or cow ensembles, prompted by the name of the bridge over the Florida Keys’ Cow Key Channel.


The quirky challenge took place on the Overseas Heritage Trail beside the bridge so vehicular traffic was not disrupted. Directly afterward, participants headed for an awards ceremony at The Keys Collection’s Sunset Green Event Lawn.


Proceeds from the race benefitted the Sheriff’s Animal Farm and the Highgate Charitable Foundation.


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