Bridge Day 5k run

Bridge Day 5K RUN - October 21, 2023

2023 Bridge Day 5K Sponsors

Don’t miss your once-a-year opportunity to run across the New River Gorge Bridge on October 21st, 2023. Active SWV’s Bridge Day 5K course starts on the North side of the NRG Bridge and gives runners the chance to take in the vast views from the bridge while running south towards the Court Street finish line in the town of Fayetteville. Sign-ups max out at 500 racers, so make sure to secure your spot now! After the race, stick around for all of the Official Bridge Day festivities!

This is a RUN ONLY event. No walking allowed due to restricted road closures with the Official Bridge Day event. 

The Active SWV Bridge Day 5K RUN provides the highest level of quality, safety, and accommodation possible for participants. Each racer has a responsibility to understand event logistics and follow security guidelines. Please read all event details to ensure a smooth race experience.

This event is very important to Active SWV and the Kids Run Clubs & Community Captains it supports.

This race includes a finisher medal and top finisher medals in these age groups: 0-12, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+ for Male AND Female.

Racers are responsible for reading the race email provided one week before the race for exact times and locations. 

Into the Gorge Bus Passes

For 2023, Active SWV has the unique opportunity to provide Into the Gorge experiences for two lucky winners! A set of two tickets and a set of three tickets are up for grabs through this Active SWV fundraising event. Click here for more information and to purchase your chances. 

Bridge Day Bicycle Valet

Separate from the Bridge Day 5K RUN, but another Active SWV sponsored service, is the Bridge Day Bicycle Valet. If you’re on the South Side of the Bridge, bike on over to the Studio B parking lot and Active SWV staff and volunteers will take care of your bike while you enjoy the festivities! 

Bridge Day overview and security guidelines

In light of COVID-19, please check back regularly as security guidelines may change.

Bridge Day is West Virginia’s largest one day event with anywhere from 60,000-90,000 visitors each year. Base jumpers parachuting from the bridge is a huge highlight of the day. Read more about the full event here, As a 5K racer, you will need to know the security guidelines to follow, per the Bridge Day Commission:

Race Registration Fees and Benefits

The Bridge Day 5K RUN is limited to 500 racers!

Race registration will include:

  • Race t-shirt (if registered by October 1st)
  • Racer packet
  • Friday evening packet pick up at the Memorial Building
  • Race day packet pick up at the Memorial Building
  • Bus transportation before and after the race
  • Security checkpoints
  • Chip timing
  • Water station
  • Course marshals at every turn
  • Finisher medal
  • Top finisher medals in the following age groups for both male and female
    • 0-12, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+ 
  • Race photos online
  • Finish line snacks
  • Race results posted online

*Two weeks prior to the event every racer will be emailed a confirmation, check in location, and age with instructions to respond back if any corrections need made.

If the race reaches capacity, there will be an option to join the waitlist. Racers may receive a refund if there is someone to take the registration from the waitlist. There will be no refunds or waitlist changes after October 1st

Review Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ- HERE! 

This race takes place during West Virginia’s largest one day festival, Bridge Day, requiring additional permits, insurance, security, and staff. The entry fees reflect these added costs in addition to racer shirts, medals, and photos.

All proceeds go directly to area elementary school Kids Run Clubs providing a free program to schools, volunteer coaches, and youth in southern West Virginia.

Take advantage of the early registration pricing. There can be refunds if someone from the waitlist can take your place by October 1st.

How to choose your packet pickup location

The Official Bridge Day event is West Virginia’s largest single-day event. The Route 19 highway will be closed from 6am – 4pm on Saturday of Bridge Day. It is important you choose your packet pickup based on your lodging or driving direction the morning of the race

SOUTH SIDE (finish area) – If you are staying or driving in from the Fayetteville, Oak Hill, Beckley direction, you would select South Side when you register for the race
  • Friday Packet Pick-Up – Memorial Building 200 West Maple Ave Fayetteville, WV 25840
  • Saturday Packet Pick-Up – Memorial Building
  • Saturday morning you will have a bus ride to the start line and then run back to the finish near the Court House in downtown Fayetteville.
NORTH SIDE (start area) – If you are staying or driving in from the Lansing, Hico, Summersville direction, you would select North Side when registering for the race.
  • Friday Packet Pick-Up – Memorial Building 200 West Maple Ave Fayetteville WV 25840
  • Saturday Packet Pick-Up – near the start line on North side of bridge
  • Please see parking instructions and meeting location below.
  • After the race, you will be provided a bus ride back to the start line at 11:00am departing from the Memorial Building. 


Why is this so important? The Bridge will be closed to traffic starting at 6am, so you will not be able to cross the Bridge by personal vehicle after this time. We need to know which check-in area to have your race bib if you do not make it to packet pick-up on Friday. Also, as mentioned above, SOUTH side (finish area) check-ins will need bus transportation to the North side (stating line) of the Bridge the morning of and we need to plan how many busses to have. 

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] and allow 48 hours for a response. 

Friday packet pickup

Memorial building 4pm-8pm

Racers are highly encouraged to pick up their chip number and racer packet Friday between 4pm-8pm in downtown Fayetteville at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building:

200 West Maple Ave Fayetteville WV 25840

Parking is available throughout town in free public street parking and parking lots.

Racers can also pick up packets the morning of the race. These packets will be placed at the designated morning check in location — it is important to have your correct morning check-in location so chip numbers are in the right location.  

South side Saturday morning check-in

Memorial Building 7:15aM

The south side of the New River Gorge Bridge is for anyone coming from Fayetteville or farther south (Beckley, Route 64, Route 77). Please email our office if you need further clarification; [email protected].

We will meet in downtown Fayetteville at the Sailor and Soldiers Memorial Building at 200 West Maple Ave Fayetteville WV 25840. If you arrive before 7am, note that vendors for Bridge Day use the side streets by the Memorial Building for parking prior to set up. Please allow them the right of way.

Everyone needs to be checked-in with chip number and ready to load on the shuttle buses by 8:15am to ride to the start line. When unloading from the shuttle bus at the start line, racers should move to the side of the highway where Active SWV staff and flagging will be waiting.

The race will finish in downtown Fayetteville on N Court St in front of the historic Fayette County Court House one block from the Memorial Building. The 2-hour street parking is enforced Mon-Fri during business hours.

North side
Saturday Morning check-in

Starting Area on Rt 19 Saturday 8:15AM

Saturday morning racers can pick up race numbers and walk to the start line. The race staff will be set up with a table and balloons on the north side of Route 19 in the south bound shoulder just before the New River Gorge Bridge. A bus will be provided at 11:00am from the finish area to bring racers back to the North side. Racers can also walk back from the finish to the start area. Racers and their families can not drive from the start to the finish or the finish to the start between the hours of 6am-4pm. 

Start line and 5K Course

The Bridge Day 5K Course starting line is just North of the New River Gorge Bridge (South side check-ins will be bussed over in the morning). Racers will cross the bridge then head in to town towards the N Court Street finish line in front of the Fayette County Court House.

While on course, make sure your race number is visible on the front of your shirt. This is a running event only. There is no walking permitted due to the heavy traffic on Rt 19. Headphones are discouraged.

We do our best to keep this course close to a 5K distance, but with a point to point course there could be slight variation in distance. This course is on open streets. West Virginia University Institute of Technology student volunteers will be stationed throughout the course to assist racers. Yard signs with arrows and “Active SWV” will be placed throughout the course along with chalk on the road. It’s an easy drive to scout the route if you get into town Friday evening.


The only running event across the New River Gorge Bridge hosted by Active Southern West Virginia during West Virginia’s largest one day event, Official Bridge Day West Virginia. This event is made possible by sponsorship from West Virginia University Institute of Technology and WATERSTONE.

The road between the start line and finish line for the 5K RUN is closed to vehicle traffic and we would like to accommodate those traveling from both directions to the event. So, we are offering two options Saturday morning; a North Side check in and a South Side check in. Basically, if you are staying in the Fayetteville or Beckley area you should check in on the South Side. If you are coming from northern WV such as Morgantown or Summersville, you should check in on the North Side. Here are the finer details with maps:

The start line of the race is on Route 19 south bound lanes just north of the New River Gorge Bridge. The south bound lanes are reserved for emergency vehicles and commercial permitted vehicles for Official Bridge Day. When we start the race, all traffic is held back until all racers have exited Route 19. We are asking that everyone maintain a quick pace for this first mile. After the first mile, racers are welcome to take walking breaks. We will not stop the timing until everyone finishes.

Official Bridge Day is West Virginia’s largest single day festival celebrating the 1978 completion of the western hemisphere’s longest single span arch bridge, the New River Gorge Bridge. Commonly known as “Bridge Day” around the Mountain State, it serves as one of the largest vendor and BASE jumper events taking place from 9am-3pm. Take a look around the Official Bridge Day website for all the details.

Keep it simple! Small bags are allowed such as fanny packs with needed medications, phone, keys, money. Bags are subject to a search prior to the race. Clear bags are highly encouraged, especially if you plan to spend time on the bridge after the race per Official Bridge Day regulations. Learn more here.

Avoid Wearing Headphones.

The first mile of the race is through the Official Bridge Day event and awareness of your surroundings is important. The route into town to finish is on open streets with vehicle traffic. Racers need to be aware of their surroundings at all times while on the course. 

You can wear extra clothing to the start line and we will provide drop bags and transport your items to the finish. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please do not drop valuable items.

This is a little tricky because of the bus shuttle and possibly waiting in the weather for the bus shuttle. Additionally, the stroller has to be collapsible to fit onto the school bus shuttle. The stroller has to fit in a seat and not block the isle or back of the bus. Registration must be purchased for any children to guarantee a bus seat. Please contact us directly to plan your bus accommodations – [email protected]. Strollers are subject to a police security searched prior to the race. Review the Official Bridge Day regulations on strollers here

We highly encourage the Friday evening packet pick up if you can make it. We will have the option for Saturday morning packet pick up as well, which will be packed Friday night to go to your designated check in location — North Side or South Side. Hence, the importance of indicating where you will be Saturday morning before the race. Friday pick up will be hosted at WATERSTONE from 5pm-8pm

WATERSTONE address for FRIDAY packet pick up only: 101 East Wiseman Avenue, Fayetteville, WV. 25840

Yes! Please bring a photo of their driver’s license as permission to pick up their race chip number.

No, this is impossible as this is a point to point race and the road the course is on would not be passable to vehicles past 7am. If you will have spectators at the race, we recommend they be at the finish line on the SOUTH side. Note: If your family intends to be at the finish line and you are staying North of the Bridge, you will want to switch your check-in location to the Southside check in and be there before the Bridge is closed for driving (7am will be the latest time to drive across the Bridge until Official Bridge Day is over in the afternoon.  The Official Bridge Day gates open at 9am). 

Yes, we will provide clear bags to leave items at the start line. These items will be transported as fast as possible to the finish line.

Yes, we would like to share some of our favorite West Virginia snacks with you; pepperoni rolls, home made pickles, and fresh Appalachian apples. Fayetteville is well known for local restaurants within walking distance from the finish line. Check out this list of unique yummy options. There will also be a Chili Cookoff in downtown Fayetteville from 3pm-5pm.

The timing staff with Appalachian Timing Group will print and post the full results 20 minutes after the last racer crosses the finish line. These results will be physically posted on the Town Hall wall behind the timing banner. Photos will be shared in the following week on the public Bridge Day 5K RUN facebook page (not the calendar event page). Make sure to give that page a follow to receive updates!

You will have two options!

Option One comes highly recommended – Join in the festivities of Official Bridge Day and walk back across the bridge while enjoying vendors, taking in views, and getting an up close experience of the BASE jumpers. If planning to attend Bridge Day straight from the race, make sure to abide by the Official Bridge Day regulations regarding bags, strollers, etc. 

Option Two – One bus shuttle will be provided at 11am from the finish area to the North side. The bus pick will be at the Memorial Building – 200 W Maple Ave, Fayetteville, WV 25840. 

The finish line will be on Court Street in downtown Fayetteville which is a 1.3 mile walk to the entrance gate to Official Bridge Day. You should have great parking since you were early for the race! If there are folks coming out later in the day, there are Bridge Day shuttle busses for $3/person making the rounds. You can view the bus locations and rates here.

Finish line details

Historic Fayette County Courthouse 9:40am-10:15am

A giant red arch will display the finish line on Court Street (Rt 16) between City Hall and the County Courthouse. Racers need to pass over the chip pad for their time to register. This race includes a finisher medal and top finisher medals in these age groups: 0-12, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+  for Male AND Female.

Awards will be given at the finish line unless the weather becomes windy, rainy, or cool. In this case, we will move the awards to the Memorial Building. Announcements will be made at the finish line if awards move to the Memorial Building.

Please stay as you finish to cheer on all the racers. Racer times will be posted within 48 hours with Appalachian Timing Group and repeatedly shared throughout the Active SWV communication channels.


There are no refunds for those that do not show up for the event. We are unable to mail hats and medals after the race. There will be one week following the race for hat and medal pick up at our office in Beckley, WV. 

For questions, please email [email protected].

Photos and social media

Please use the hashtags; #activeswv #bridgeday5k #almostheaven #bridgeday

If the weather cooperates, we will have drone footage at the start line! 

Area attractions and restaurants:

Thank you!

This is a really unique race with every racer bringing their own story of running, relationships to the New River Gorge Bridge, and a united appreciation for the state of West Virginia. Thank you for being part of this with Active SWV.

Thank you to our volunteers, event partners, sponsors, event staff, and first responders. Your efforts contribute to a healthier southern West Virginia. It is a privilege to bring this event to Bridge Day with your support.