Bristol man first to finish Pell Bridge Run


Bristol resident Geoff Nelson was the first to cross the finish line of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority’s Citizens Bank Pell Bridge Run Sunday.

It was the second year in a row Mr. Nelson won the event. This year his time was 22:25.

Of the 3,559 people who entered, 3,024 athletes crossed the finish line of the 4.2-mile course.

Despite the dark clouds and threat of rain, the views of the sunrise over Narragansett Bay were a reward for the runners and walkers, especially after they completed the ascent to the top of the Newport Pell Bridge.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (55:08), Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed (1:06:25), and State Rep. Peter Martin (1:26:28) all completed a race much easier than any political race.

The top female finisher was Sandy Spitler of Newport (24:31) and she placed third overall. The second place finisher was Matthew Wilks, a 15-year old from Warwick who ran 24:21.

Event proceeds will benefit not-for-profit organizations such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center of Newport, Special Olympics of Rhode Island, Meeting Street, The Samaritans of Rhode Island, American Heart Association Rhode Island Chapter, and March of Dimes Rhode Island.

A complete list of participants and their times can be found here.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.