BRUNSWICK, Georgia: Jan. 31, 2012 – Mike Gerber is a four-year participant
in the Southeast Georgia Health System Bridge Run and has won the event
across Georgia’s highest bridge three times. Despite last year's
record turnout, the Atlanta Track Club member managed to place third overall,
trailing behind two professional runners from Kenya.
Needless to say, Gerber really enjoys the run.
“The way they have grown this race is phenomenal,” says Gerber,
who will participate in this year’s race, the tenth one running,
across the Sidney Lanier Bridge on Saturday, Feb. 18. “It's
proven to be very successful and fun for the organizers, local community
Unlike many roads runs, the Health System Bridge Run offers gorgeous scenery
and generally predictable weather—with a few exceptions.
“In 2009 it was really windy,” he says.
He enjoys the Bridge Run for the challenge it provides. However, participating
in the race also provides an excuse to have an enjoyable weekend, which
includes staying with former neighbors who now live in Brunswick, and
running around Jekyll Island the day after the race.
“I do the entire island, starting on the beach and going north counterclockwise
at low tide, through the driftwood and onto the path,” he says.
“Of the 16 miles, five are on the beach. At this time of the year,
before it gets crowded, I really enjoy it.”
Living in hilly Atlanta makes preparing for the Health System Bridge Run
easy. Gerber logs 70 to 90 miles a week on city streets after work. Once
a week, the 29-year-old network engineer selects a steep hill, runs to
the top and jogs down six or seven times.
“I will have trained well for the race, so I rely on my training
and try not to get stressed out by race day,” he says. “The
most stressful part is the start. You want to get in the lead, but you
can burn yourself out. The race is now so competitive, that it's a
challenge to set your pace.”
The 2012 Southeast Georgia Health System Bridge Run and Runner’s
Expo is scheduled to take place Saturday, Feb. 18, at the foot of the
scenic Sidney Lanier Bridge on Highway 17 in Brunswick, Ga. This year
marks the tenth year of the event. Proceeds will benefit the Health .
System’s cancer care programs. Tbe5k walk/run will begin at 8 a.m.
with the runners start. The Firefighter Challenge will begin at 8:30 a.m.,
and all walkers will start across the bridge at 9 am. Due to safety reasons,
no strollers, baby joggers, roller blades, wheelchairs, skateboards or
bicycles are allowed. Runners and walkers can register at sghs.org or
active.com. All runners must be pre-registered. The deadline for pre-registration
is Feb. 12 and the cost is $25 per individual, with a $2 discount per
person for teams of 10 or more. A Pre-Run Pasta Party and Runner’s
Expo is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 17, from 5-8 p.m. at Coastal Kitchen
Grill & Raw Bar located at the Golden Isles Marina on St. Simons Island.
The cost of the party is $5 and each pre-registered runner can pick up
his or her bib number and T-shirt. For an official entry form or more
information, visit sghs.org or active.com or call 1-800-537-5142, ext. 2786.