2,600 runners Conquer the Bridge in San Pedro as event returns to action

They came. They saw. They conquered the bridge.

More than 2,600 people ventured to San Pedro for the 12th annual Conquer the Bridge race over the Vincent Thomas Bridge Monday, Sept 6. The 5.3-mile route led runners through the downtown waterfront, across the city’s iconic bridge and back to the finish line at the corner of Harbor Boulevard and 6th Street.

The run was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus. And for many, this year’s event provided a welcome return to tradition.

Tyler Jones, Long Beach, said the annual trek quickly became a staple in her family and have been partaking for five years now.

“It’s such a great way to start a day with the family,” Jones said. “We wake up early, do our run and go out for breakfast together.”

She added: “And how often do you get to take in the view from the bridge like that?”

Peninsula High cross-country coach Chris Foster was also keeping with his own tradition, taking the victory for his fifth consecutive year with a time of 27:19.

Conquer the Bridge typically marks the final day of the annual Fleet Week, a four-day celebration of the U.S. Navy, but the event — organized separately — was postponed until next year amid ever-changing coronavirus protocols.

After the hundreds of runners, joggers and walkers completed the route, a celebration awaited them back at the waterfront with participants receiving medals for their accomplishment.

“I just love it every year,” said Beverly Paige, a San Pedro resident who said she often comes down to cheer runners. “The city is so alive and everyone is in such high spirits.”

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