Running the Meisner Bridge

March 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I’m going to divide my day up into two posts, so this is Saturday, part one.

This morning I got up at an ungodly hour to meet the IRunMommies at the foot of the Meisner Bridge at 6:00 a.m. We had about eight ladies this morning. I cut them some slack and didn’t ask for a group shot (you’re welcome mommies). The Meisner bridge is one of the spans approaching the Sunshine Skyway Bridge from the north (actually, it is one of four spans that comprise the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Complex, but whatever).

It was pitch dark when we set off on the pedestrian trail that runs parallel to Interstate 275. I have driven this bridge countless times and never noticed this pedestrian trail. I only bothered to take one photo in the darkness…the Skyway off in the distance.

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The pedestrian trail ends right at the beginning of the Skyway State Fishing Pier (North) which was created from the old Sunshine Skyway bridge after it had to be demolished in the 1980’s.

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It was really nice out this morning. Kind of cloudy, not too hot.

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My friend Britt and I had decided we wanted to do 10 miles this morning and she was kind enough to stick with me for the whole route. She looped back for me (slowpoke) several times. Thanks Britt! We passed some of the other IRunMommies on the fishing pier.

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At five miles (for me)…the half-way mark:

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The sun was just rising.

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Another view of the (somewhat closer) Sunshine Skyway Bridge:

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Running next to a big interstate is cool…

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as is running under one.

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The whole route seemed hilly to me. I felt like I was either going up or down an incline the entire time. I guess this is because the whole route is really part of the bridge complex.

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Tampa Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

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Approaching the Meisner Bridge again, this time from the south and in the light.

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I definitely felt like this bridge was the rival of the Belleair Causeway Bridge. It may even be bigger, or at least longer. On my first time up the bridge I ran the whole thing. In fact I pretty much ran the first five miles, only pausing a couple of times to take pictures. The second half of my run involved more walking breaks (and thus more pictures).

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On the second time up the bridge I had to take a couple of walking breaks. After about mile seven my body wanted to be done. It was so nice to have Britt sticking with me. It felt good to get to the top!

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Notice our matching visors? Unplanned. Running geeks.

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One last shot of the Sunshine Skyway:

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The best part of this run is that the last mile is almost all downhill. Thus, my last mile was my fastest!

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It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t easy, but it’s done! I really liked this route, which could be any distance up to 11 miles (we didn’t quite go to the end of the fishing pier). I’m glad to know about this “hill” option in St. Pete. It was great running with you Britt!

Next up…a nostalgic egg hunt.