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Skyway 10K guide: Everything you need to know to race

Find out how to pick up your race day packet and be prepared to hit the pavement.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Participants say there's something special about the Skyway 10K.

Perhaps it's the sense of accomplishment at the end of the race or a chance to see a sunrise over Tampa Bay on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge -- a view unique enough by car but all the more stunning from the outside.

Above all else, it's the sense of doing something good for military families.

10News is a proud sponsor of the third annual Skyway 10K on Sunday, March 1, 2020, in support of the Armed Forces Families Foundation

Can't be there in person? Watch our exclusive live coverage starting at 7 a.m. Sunday on-air, on WTSP.com and on our Facebook page.

If you're running the race or part of the handcycle event, let us be your guide...

☀️ Are you ready?

Participants must pick up their race packet and bib number during the pre-race expo at Tropicana Field, located at 1 Tropicana Drive, a day before race day -- no exceptions.

You must pick up your own packet between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, and there will be no opportunity to pick up a packet on Sunday. Bring your photo ID and have your bib number handy -- those numbers will be available closer to race weekend.

No packet, no race.

☀️ It's race day

Good morning, sunshine: Though, really, you'll be up well before the sun rises!

Head on over to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg for all the events at parking lot No. 7. During race weekend, parking is free at the ballfield but is a first-come, first-serve basis.

Skyway 10K organizers suggest carpooling or ridesharing might be a better bet for a smoother morning. Street parking might be available, and it likely won't be free.

Plan ahead, and be early if possible. 

☀️ Get to the bridge!

Before jumping onto the 6.2-mile course, you have to get there.

The only way to get to the starting line in Manatee County is by bus. They will load people on at Tropicana Field and bussed over to the starting point in Terra Ceia.

Following the race, buses will transport participants from the finish line back to Tropicana Field.

Regardless of whether you're participating in the Skyway 10K, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge will close to northbound traffic from 3:30-11 a.m. The southbound lanes will remain open to traffic.

Credit: 10News
The northbound side of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge will be closed from 3:30-11 a.m. Sunday, March 1. The southbound lanes will remain open to traffic.

Some fun facts as you make the trek across: The flat trestle span is 26 feet above mean sea level, and when you're at the center of the main span, you're more than 200 feet up!

It'll be tougher going up the incline than down, but the slope on either side of the main span is a 4-percent grade.

☀️ What to bring... and what not

Cell phones and GoPro cameras -- with chest and head straps -- are allowed on the course. So, too, is water, but bottles can be no larger than 24 ounces and race officials must be able to clearly see through it.

Here's what organizers say aren't allowed: 

"Animals, backpacks, strollers, anything that is a weapon or could be construed as a weapon, water bottles that race officials cannot see through, glass and glass water bottles, GoPro extensions, and selfie sticks are NOT permitted on the race course."

Baby joggers, strollers, skateboards, rollerblades, bikes and the like also are not permitted.

☀️ Keep up!

Download the 10News app for complete coverage of the Skyway 10K leading up to and on race day.

Before You Leave, Check This Out