Saturday, November 5, 2016 • Port Arthur, TX • Course Map
This fast and very flat island just off the coast of the East Texas city of Port Arthur — which lies just a few miles from the state border with Louisiana — plays host to the 5th annual Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon in 2016, a race that features a back-and-forth run across the city’s MLK Jr. Bridge among the highlights of the course.
Organized and hosted by Sports Society for American Health, which also stages the annual late winter/early spring Gusher Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K in nearby Beaumont, the Pleasure Island Bridge race is part of the organization’s effort to focus awareness on the national fight against obesity, by encouraging runners to come out for whatever distance or pace suits them, from the challenging 13.1-mile run to the two-mile walk.
Runners and walkers start all three races in the event on the 18-mile-long island, which was created from sand and soil deposits that were dredged in the creation of the Port Arthur Canal in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
Over the years, the island has served on and off as a recreational playground for nearby Port Arthur, with a golf course and amusement park in the 1940s and 50s that were abandoned by the late 1960s. Thanks to the reopening of the golf course and many new condo developments starting in the late 1980s, the island has once again become a popular vacation spot.
The race follows an out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the island’s Logan Park, which is nestled between the shore of Sabine Lake and the Sabine-Neches Intracoastal Waterway.
From there, the course takes runners southwest toward Riverfront Park, where they’ll follow the roadway as it curves around to head onto the 5,032-ft.-long MLK Jr. Bridge, which rises more than 130 feet over the waterway.
The bridge’s curved steel and gradual incline offer up some of the race’s best views, as runners will be able to take in the water, the island and downtown Port Arthur in a panoramic view from the top of the bridge.
And they’ll get to do that twice — coming and going — as once they make it over the bridge and into Port Arthur, they’ll reach the turnaround point shortly after completing the bridge run, only to head back over it onto the island again.
The remainder of the course is spent on Pleasure Island, following Ellison Parkway up and down the length of the island, out to the race’s second turnaround point between mile markers 8 and 9. Runners then head back south along the route they’ve just run, back to Logan Park for the race finish.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along the shore of Sabine Lake on the Texas Gulf coast, just miles from the Texas-Louisiana state line and roughly 90 miles east of Houston, Port Arthur typically sees November temperatures that average between 51°F and 71°F, while rainfall totals average about 4.75 inches for the month.
On race day (Nov. 5), the average low is 53ºF and the average high is 73ºF.
- 2015 Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon Results
- $80 for the half marathon
- price subject to increase as race day grows closer
To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of the Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon, 10K & 2-Mile, register online at AthletePath.com here.
Official Race Website
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