Monday, October 02, 2006

The BIG Dam Bridge

This past Saturday was the opening ceremony of the Big Dam Bridge. It's name says it all. It's a bridge, it's big, and it's by the dam in the Arkansas River. The bridge took 3 years to complete and is 3/4 of a mile long. It's quite impressive that a city would spend so much money on a bridge for pedestrians, bicylclists, and runners to get from one side of the river to the other "safely". Prior to the bridge opening the only way to get to the other side was in dowtown Little Rock, over the Main Street bridge. It's not too bad running over the Main Street bridge, but biking can be tricky. It's tricky because once you get to dowtown Little Rock the street is covered with trolly tracts. I know more than one person that has gotten their bike tire stuck in one of the tracks, fallen over, and broken a bone. So now we have the Big Dam Bridge to avoid that hazard. Unless of course you want to do a 25 mile run or ride, in which case you'll have to cross both bridges or back track.

Part of the opening ceremony included a 5K run on Saturday and a bike race on Sunday of 12, 25, 50, or 100 mile distances. I decided to late on the ride and it was full so I did the 5K on Saturday. Probably better that I didn't ride 50 miles because I struggled through the 3.1 mile run as if it were the last 3 miles of the Ironman. Guess I'm still not recovered from that 140.6 adventure I did 3 weeks ago. But I was happy to be a part of Arkansas history by attending the opening of the bridge.

I even had the opportunity of talking to Governor Huckabee...after I made sure it was him. As I was standing there waiting for the start of the race a man walked up next to me who I didn't even look twice at. The guy standing on the other side of me says, "Hi Governor." I didn't really believe it was him, so what did I do? I checked his bib to really make sure that was the name on it. What a dork! He was so nice though. I asked him if he had any marathons coming up and he said he's doing NYC. He said he'd ran 15 miles already that morning and was finishing with the 5K. Now, that's my kind of politician! He walked away after the short conversation, but I knew I had should have ran with him because I would have got my picture in the paper. Instead, Alice Stewart is pictured running with him, and everyone knows she's a much faster runner (she does the LR marathon in 3:30) than the Governor. I saw him again when I was walking out and I wished him luck in NYC and he shook my hand. Boy, I hope he never runs for President because I'd be really torn. I've actually met the guy AND he's a runner. Maybe he'll change parties and become a cool democrat?