Beckley, WV: Active Southern West Virginia hosts the 6th annual Bridge Day 5K RUN across the New
River Gorge Bridge to kick off the official Bridge Day event on October 15, 2022. The New River Gorge
Bridge, arching 876 feet above the river, is only open this one day a year to pedestrian traffic. The race
experience is thrilling, challenging, and bucket-list worthy. Currently, 348 racers are registered with a 500-
This race impacts many people from the runners, volunteers, and sponsors to the after-school Kids Run
Club program that the race proceeds benefit. The racer experience is social with a local vibe. Historically,
2/3 of the racers are from West Virginia! Registration for the Bridge Day 5k RUN is available at
One racer, Michelle Rotellini, has attended every year since 2016. She has not only raced every year; she
has also placed first in her age group. No pressure this year, but there is a title to defend. “The Bridge Day
5K is a can’t miss race. To be able to run across the third highest bridge in the country as fog rises out of
the gorge is a definite rush! This is without question the most unique race in the region,” shares Michelle.
Volunteering at race events puts you in the thick of the excitement without the exertion of running. It’s a
way to be active, engaged, and feel fulfilled by serving in a critical event role. The WVU Tech softball team
will be stationed along the course this year to marshal the runners around every turn. This is a great display
of student athletes giving back to an event that has many first time 5K racers. The team volunteering is just
one of many ways WVU Tech is sponsoring and partnering with Active SWV on this one of kind race.
Local businesses see the benefits of an active community and events driving economic spending.
Economically, Active SWV race events in 2022 generate $190 per racer in economic outputs. “As the new
owners of Water Stone Outdoors, it is our goal to deepen the shop’s well-established connection to our
community. Events like the Active SWV Bridge Day 5K RUN bring folks together and offer a chance to
celebrate what makes our hometown so special. The collective joy of seeing people enjoy themselves in the
outdoors is what inspires us to sponsor such a unique race event,” says Holly Fussell.
At the end of the day, the Bridge Day 5K RUN is funding the opportunity for free after-school Kids Run
Clubs across the state. “Not all students are able to participate in sports, mainly due to the cost. Kids Run
Clubs are completely free; our students LOVE and enjoy being a part of everything that Active Southern
WV provides.” – Staci Stover, Fairdale Elementary. Over 30 elementary schools have facilitated free clubs
since this race began in 2016.