2013-09-06 / News

30,000 Walk Across Mackinac Bridge on Windy Labor Day

By Erich T. Doerr


Governor Rick Snyder throws his hands up in joy upon completing his walk over the Mackinac Bridge. He met his goal of completing the walk in less than an hour, and using the cell phone in his left hand to time himself, reached the other side in 57 minutes, 17 seconds, leading to a moment of celebration. Governor Rick Snyder throws his hands up in joy upon completing his walk over the Mackinac Bridge. He met his goal of completing the walk in less than an hour, and using the cell phone in his left hand to time himself, reached the other side in 57 minutes, 17 seconds, leading to a moment of celebration. A cold wind blew through the Straits of Mackinac during the 56th annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk Monday, September 2, as 30,000 walkers traversed the span between Michigan’s peninsulas.

“This was very successful,” Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney said. “Everyone who participated in it had a great time. Even though it was cool weather, it was the ideal temperature for a fivemile walk.”

Mr. Sweeney noted that the wind may have cut into the MBA’s projected attendance estimate of 40,000 people. The temperature was 56 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the morning and the wind speed reached 35 miles per hour.

Governor Rick Snyder led the walk, departing from St. Ignace behind a color guard at 7 a.m., with walkers following until about 11:30 a.m.

The governor dedicated the day to workers before heading across the bridge.

After finishing the journey in one hour, three minutes the last two years, the governor reached his goal to complete the walk in less than an hour this time with 57 minutes, 17 seconds.

The annual walk, he said, has become a symbol of Michigan.

“It’s one of those things where you look around the country and, when will you find tens of thousands of people coming together to do something fun and exciting?” Governor Snyder said. “And the bridge is a special icon to all of us, so it’s a great way to celebrate Labor Day.”

The walk was preceded by the annual Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run, a casual running event open only to 350 runners pre-selected through a lottery.

The Labor Day Run also includes a category for handcycling that leaves two minutes before the runners, making them the very first to make the crossing. Four people participated in that category this year.

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