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South Florida Man Wins 7 Mile Bridge Run In Keys

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A South Florida man won the men's title in the annual Seven Mile Bridge Run. (Source: Andy Newman/FL Keys News Bureau)

A South Florida man won the men’s title in the annual Seven Mile Bridge Run. (Source: Andy Newman/FL Keys News Bureau)

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MARATHON, Fla. (CBSMiami) — A South Florida man won the overall men’s title during an annual footrace over the Florida Keys Overseas Highway’s longest bridge. About 1,500 ran in the Seven Mile Bridge Run.

Jon Volpi of Boca Raton was the race’s top finisher, with a time of 35 minutes and 51 seconds. Angela Cobb of Melbourne Beach completed the course in 43:36.

With temperatures around 80º for the race, runners welcomed a spritz of water. (Source: Andy Newman/FL Keys News Bureau)

With temperatures around 80º during the race, runners welcomed a spritz of water. (Source: Andy Newman/FL Keys News Bureau)

It was the first time that both runners entered the race, first staged in 1982 to mark the completion of a project to build 37 new Keys bridges to replace converted railroad bridges built in the early 1900s by Florida developer Henry Flagler.

Peter Frezza of Tavernier, Fla., and David Bea of Cincinnati finished second and third in the men’s division, while Helena Bursa of Big Pine Key, and Benjamina Bambauer of Riviera Beach, Fla., were second and third in women’s.

“There aren’t any turns or steep inclines like the race I ran last week in Nevada,” said Volpi, an area coordinator at Lynn University.

Cobb, a waitress, ran the event with with sprained ankle, road rash and a heel spur she suffered during a race a week ago.

“I did not want to let anyone down and this was my first time here, so I did not want to back out,” she said.

The contest has become one of the most popular running events in the southeastern United States. Just getting a chance to compete is challenging. Typically, the field fills up within minutes when an online registration portal is activated in mid-February.

The run closed the Seven Mile Bridge to vehicular traffic for 2 hours and 15 minutes.

(TM and © 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and © 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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