Scale the Whale! Whale Harbor Bridge Run Feb. 9th

Scale the Whale! Whale Harbor Bridge Run Feb. 9th - A group of people holding a sign posing for the camera - Parade
Sorority members hold humorous and sarcastic signs to encourage runners during the inaugural Whale Harbor Bridge Run. KEYS WEEKLY

Many runners came out last year to “Scale the Whale.” This year, the event is back as participants prepare for some fun on an old, familiar bridge.  

On Saturday, Feb. 9, Chi Sigma Sorority, chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, will hold its second annual Whale Harbor Bridge Run. The event is all for a good cause as proceeds go toward scholarships for Coral Shores students and a scholarship in memory of Holly Given. 

“Being it was our inaugural year and we scheduled it on the same day as the 7-mile bridge run, we think it was a great success,” said Sandy ElKoury. “We were able to raise almost $3,000 for student scholarships and we were also able to make a sizable contribution to the domestic abuse shelter in the name of Holly Given.”

Race day registration begins at 9 a.m. at the tent in front of Wahoo’s. with participants off running at 10 a.m. Registration for those 21 and younger is $20. For those over 21, registration is $30 and includes entry into the race, a T-shirt, two beer tickets from Islamorada Beer Company, ditty bag and lunch ticket provided by Whale Harbor. Those 21 and under get a T-shirt, treat ticket, ditty bag and lunch ticket by Whale Harbor. 

Mike Dixon makes his way south over Whale Harbor Bridge.

“We are predicting this year to bigger and better. We have come up with ideas to improve and expand,” ElKoury said. “We have added vendors, for the runners and spectators to enjoy, a DJ to help keep the party going and a costume contest for anyone who wants to dress up.”

The race will end around 10:30 a.m. as runners trek the entire length of the bridge. Upon reaching the north end of the bridge, runners grab a doughnut for a fuel boost before heading back across. At the doughnut tent, there will also be water to stave off dehydration. After the race, stick around, eat and enjoy what Wahoo’s and Whale Harbor have to offer. 

ElKoury says spectators are welcome to come cheer on their runners. There will be police in attendance for safety. If you like to have a good time and don’t take things too seriously…this race is for you!

Tammy Gautier, left, and Sandra Spaulding, right, hustle on the final stretch.

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Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family (he's expecting a little boy in October).