QUINCY — This weekend sees the return of a Quincy riverfront staple as the Bridge the Gap to Health race returns to Clat Adams Park.
Unlike previous years, due to construction on the Memorial Bridge and two-way traffic on Bayview Bridge, the namesake portion of the race won’t be happening this year. Instead, the course that has been laid out gives runners and walkers a chance to see some of the historic homes along Maine Street.
Morgan Parker, community relations specialist for event sponsor Quincy Medical Group, said the plan is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event. 2020 was the actual anniversary year, but the event was held virtually in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hope to have community members step outside and cheer on our runners and walkers in celebration,” Parker said. “We want to recognize and honor the impact Bridge the Gap has had on so many.”
Participants raise funds for the MedAsssit program to help those who may need assistance with prescription drug costs. In addition, this year organizers are asking participants to bring a canned food item.
“Food insecurity is a growing unmet need in our community and by collecting canned food items at Bridge the Gap we can support this need,” Parker said. “QMG partners with food banks and other support services throughout the region and we look forward to expanding that assistance through the QMG Foundation in 2021 and beyond.”
Normally runners and walkers travel from across the country and around the world to take place in the event. Because of ongoing travel restrictions, and to accommodate those the may not feel comfortable in a large group setting, this year’s event will take place both in person and with a virtual component.
“We’re all together in support of our community,” Parker said. “For over two decades, Bridge the Gap has raised money for the Quincy Catholic Charities to help those in our community with the cost of their prescription medications.”
Erica Douglas, communications specialist for QMG, said registration has been going very well so far this year.
“Registration is still open,” Douglas said. “Participants can register online at bridgethegaptohealth.com, and they can also register in-person on race morning.”
The Bridge the Gap website also has the most up-to-date race-course maps for runners and areas to get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the event.
For participants opting for the virtual event, results from any time between May 13 — 17 can be submitted to be included. For those running in person, the registration is limited to 1,800 runners. Runners will be organized into groups of 50 and starting times will be every five minutes beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. These precautions are in place to help reduce any potential COVID risk.
“Bridge the Gap is such a special event,” Parker said, “and after such a challenging year, we hope to celebrate all this race has meant to our community through the years.”