Race/walk to mark opening of Mid-Bay Bridge Connector

Tom McLaughlin, Northwest Florida Daily News

It’s time to put the egg nog down and the running shoes on.

The course has been set and registration has begun for the first, and possibly last, competitive jog on the soon-to-be-opened Mid-Bay Bridge Connector.

The Connector Run, a half-marathon, 5K run and 5K walk will be at 8 a.m., Jan. 4, the day the toll road taking commuters around Niceville to the Mid-Bay Bridge is scheduled to open.

“The road will not have been driven on. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime event,” race director Joe Walker said.

Runners and walkers will start and end the race at the connector ramp near the Mullet Festival site, Walker said. A band, food provided by Dockside Café and Oyster Bar and beer will await them at the finish.

Race proceeds benefit the Warrior Foundation, which provides scholarships to children of military men and women killed in action, and the Northwest Florida Track Club in its effort to raise money for a rubberized running track in Fort Walton Beach.

Early registration for the race runs through Dec. 14 and in-person registration applications will be accepted until Dec. 28, Walker said. Online registration is possible until Jan. 2.

Race packets can be picked up Dec. 14 at Run With It in Fort Walton Beach and Dec. 28 at Niceville City Hall, Walker said. They can also be picked up on race day.

Registration forms are available at several locations, including the Northwest Florida Daily News at the corner of Eglin Parkway and Hollywood Boulevard.