Jamestown Bridge opens for road race on Easter weekend
On Saturday, April 23, the Jamestown Bridge will be opened to runners in a road race for the first time. The 10k race is being organized by TRIMOM Productions, who have been staging running, biking and triathlon events since 2007. Some 700 to 800 runners are expected to participate in the Jamestown Bridge 10k, and 400 have registered already.
The race organizers promise the opportunity to run across one of Rhode Island’s most spectacular landmarks, with views of Narragansett Bay. To commemorate the Easter weekend race, bunny ears will be provided at the start, and jellybeans at the finish.
TRIMOM Productions was founded by Kathy Robbins, who has competed in more than a dozen triathlons. She runs the company along with her husband, Jeff, who is also a triathlete. The company is based in South Kingstown. Although TRIMOM is a for-profit venture, Kathy, who also serves as the company’s race director, promises that her organization will be making donations to the Jamestown and North Kingstown Recreation Departments. To date, TRIMOM has donated more than $7,500 to local schools and towns.
When asked why the Jamestown Bridge was chosen for this race, Robbins said, “Runners love to run where they can’t run.” She was making reference to the fact that this is the first time that runners will be allowed to cross the Jamestown Bridge as part of a race.
The course for the Jamestown Bridge 10k has been certifi ed by Ray Nelson at U.S.A. Track and Field. This certification is important to elite runners for whom course certification is a must. Robbins says that when the race was announced she was approached by a number of elite runners who asked her to have the course certified, and she complied with their wishes in hopes of attracting the strongest possible field of runners for the race.
The race will begin at 9 a.m. on the approach to Route 138 East in North Kingstown.
The right lane of the Jamestown Bridge in both directions will be closed on race day from approximately 8:30 to 11 a.m. Runners will climb up the bridge from North Kingstown before descending into Jamestown, where they will exit at Tashtassuck
From there, the race will proceed along Beach Avenue before making a right turn onto Hull Street and then turning right again onto Seaside Drive. The runners will enjoy views of the West Passage as they pass under the bridge, where the race’s only water station will be located.
From there the field will circle back, turning right onto Spirketing Street, and right again on Beacon Street. That will bring the runners back onto the bridge where they will head back to the finish line in North Kingstown.
The entire course is 6.2 miles. Of that distance, about 5.5. miles will be on the bridge itself. The intention of the organizers is to minimize the impact on the towns of Jamestown and North Kingstown.
The state Department of Transportation issued the permit for the race, and Robbins said the RIDOT was “extremely supportive and generous.” Approval was also received from North Kingstown Town Manager Michael Embry, and Jamestown Town Manager Bruce Keiser, as well as the Jamestown Town Council, all of whom Robbins thanks for “a lot of cooperation.”
An intricate support plan is in place that involves the RIDOT, the State Police, and the Jamestown and North Kingstown Police Departments. There will be a number of police and EMT vehicles on hand in various places along the course. There will also be top-notch medical and volunteer support for the runners along the way.
The Jamestown Bridge 10k is not for the faint of heart. Runners will encounter at least three tough climbs along the way. Walkers are not being encouraged this time around because the terms of the race permit issued by the RIDOT states that participants must be headed back across the bridge by 10 a.m. Any runners that fail to make that deadline will not be allowed to finish the race, and will be driven back to the staging area.
The entry fee for runners is $35 by April 21, and $40 thereafter. The fee includes race entry, a race T-shirt, and the after party, which takes place in the North Kingstown Park N’ Ride, which is the staging area for the race.
Students under 22 years old with proper ID will receive a $5 discount. Runners can register online, or download a registration form from the TRIMOM web site, www.trimomprod.com.
Race packets, which include the T-shirt and a race bib, can be picked up at Camire’s in South Kingstown on April 22, from 3 to 6 p.m., and at the North Kingstown Park N’ Ride on race day, from 6 to 8:30 a.m. Each race bib will contain a chip that will allow for fast and accurate race results.
The Jamestown Bridge 10k is the opening race of the season for TRIMOM. Other events scheduled for this year include the SUPERKids Triathlon on June 12 at URI, Carmire’s Firecracker 4 Miler on July 4 in Wakefield, and the Ocean’s Run Half Marathon on Sept. 25 in Matunuck.