To the editor:

On a beautiful Sunday morning on Aug. 4, Heritage Days in Salem kicked off with more than 300 runners, volunteers and spectators participating in the seventh Annual Bridge & Back 10K to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem.

The Bridge & Back 10K race gives a nod to the original Heritage 10K road race, which kicked off Heritage Week in Salem for about 35 years before ending in the 1990s.

On behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, thank you to all the runners who participated in our event, which spanned the cities of Salem and Beverly, including members from the Wicked Running Club, North Shore Striders, Notch Runners and the Mystic Running Club, which included our race in their grand prix club series. This is the only race to use the Sgt. James Anthony Ayube II Bypass Road, and traverses over the challenging Salem/Beverly Bridge in both directions.

This community event would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, including lead sponsors Flatbread Company, New England Running Company and Analogic. Additional sponsors include the Stephen M. O’Grady Foundation, SalemHaunts.net, Octocog, Maloney Properties, Atlantic Ambulance, In Memory of Tom McDonough, the Thelen family and SalemRoadRaces.com.

We are grateful to the many volunteers who donated their morning to help out at this community event, including: Stephanie Hagyard, Kelly Pheulpin, Amy Johnson, Kim Murtagh, Ed Zielinski, Jason Carraro, Emily Hayden, Anne Sousa, Mark Kilczewski, Beth O’Grady, Ann Sousa, Ana Gordan, Katrina Vassallo, Mara Mendelsohn, Suzanne Clements, Amy and Brendon Walsh, Grace Duran, Angelis Segura, Ned Hawkins, Amy Durbin, Tim Short, Annie Miller, Dave Menosky, Diana DeLeo and Joanne Scott, the Boys & Girls Club executive director.

A huge thank you to the Salem and Beverly police for keeping our runners safe and controlling traffic during the race, and the Salem and Beverly residents who cheered along the route and encouraged our runners on the course.

Again, thank you to everyone for making this a fantastic event to benefit programs at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem.

Doug Bollen

Bridge & Back 10K Race Director

Chief of Operations

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem