Runners prepare to hit the Ringling Bridge on Saturday

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Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:00 pm | Updated: 3:04 pm, Thu Jan 16, 2014.

SARASOTA, Fla. - The annual Ringling Bridge Run takes place this Saturday morning, and ABC 7’s Don Brennan caught up with some of the runners who will racing.

Rachel Chambers is an avid runner, but she is also a sorts nutritionist, and she was at Fleet Feet Sarasota on Tuesday night giving training tips to neophyte runners in the No Boundaries Club. "They really have accountability for each other. They always show up for the training runs. I know they are going to be doing this for a long time."

Nutrition is her occupation, but she has a preoccupation with running, and she can't wait for the Bridge Run. "We get to run over the Ringling Bridge. It is such an amazing experience; you are running and then you have people coming at you when you are on the way back. So, it feels like the whole community is out there cheering for each other."

The manager at Fleet Feet is somewhat new to the area, and to the popular race. Kyle Donovan saw more hills in one morning run in native Minnesota than he has seen in the year and a half that he has been on the Suncoast. "It is good to experience two kinds of bridges. A very gradual one, then on the way back a steeper one. You kind of get to push yourself with more hills than in most races."

The run is great because of the bridge, the view, the camaraderie, but also because it is the unofficial kickoff of the running events calendar. "It’s good to get out and see who has put on some holiday weight, have they been training, doing their bridge repeats? It's a lot of bragging rights and a lot of fun," says Chambers.

The 2014 Wilde Automotive Family Ringling Bridge Run begins at 7:30am in the Van Wezel parking lot. Runners will head south on U.S. 41, then turn right onto Gulfstream and across the bridge. Once over the bridge, runners will turn around and head back.

Traffic lanes along the course will be reduced for drivers down to one lane each direction, and drivers looking to cross the course will be delayed. So traffic may be an issue in the area until around 9am.

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