Great River Bridge Race

GRBR Cover Photo

The Great River Bridge Race was established in 1995 and continues to be a legacy event in the Burlington community year after year. This event provides a unique opportunity for participants to cross the Great River Bridge on foot, as it is typically closed to pedestrians.. This race offers multiple events; including a 5K / 10K race, as well as a 1.5 mile Bridge Walk. The 28th Annual Great River Bridge Race is scheduled on September 21, 2024.

Race Course

The Bridge Race gives participants the opportunity to experience a route like no other.  The route includes both hills and flat terrain. Participants will proceed through Burlington's historic downtown, up Snake Alley (Ripley’s Believe It or Not! #1 Odd Spot), into the Heritage Hill Historic District, past North Hill Park, across the Great River Bridge and Mississippi River, through Illinois, with a finish along the Burlington Riverfront.
Route Through Downtown

Race Options

The race features 5k, 10k, and 1.5 mile walk options.  While the 5k and 10k are both timed, participants may run, jog, or walk these routes as well.  This event is for all ages and abilities.

 5K – This route experiences all aspects of the race course, just making it into Illinois. Participants return to the finish line soon after crossing the Great River Bridge. 
Route Map

10K – This route experiences the full complement of the race course and has the opportunity to venture further into the natural landscape of Illinois, before returning across the bridge to the downhill finish line at the Burlington riverfront.  
Route Map

Bridge Walk – This approximate 1.5 mile route (participants can turn around sooner if desired) starts in front of the Port of Burlington and travels across the Great River Bridge, experiencing the amazing views of the Mississippi River and downtown Burlington before turning around after the bridge and venturing back with more amazing views.  
Route Map

Race Features

Participants receive the following items (pre-register to guarantee shirt):

  • SoftStyle Ring Spun Cotton t-shirt;
  • GRBR Bottle Vinyl Stickers / Sponsor items;
  • Results posted online; and 
  • Breathtaking views of the Mighty Mississippi River! 

After the event head over to The Drake Restaurant across from the Port to enjoy their outdoor patio!

Race Proceeds

Great River Bridge Race proceeds support Burlington’s Parks & Recreation Department to provide and support new park amenities, programs, and activities for our community.  

The 2024 Great River Bridge Race proceeds will support the Dankwardt Park Playground Improvement Project.  This playground will be seeing a large-scale upgrade in 2023-2024. The design and elements will make this playground a destination, with inclusive play events, accessible play elements, and improved site amenities for all ages and abilities. This playground will be unique in the community and the Southeast Iowa region. Proceeds from this race will be used to help reach fundraising goals to make this project a reality! 

To learn more or how to donate, visit our Dankwardt Park Playground Project webpage.

2022 Great River Bridge Race Video - 09/17/2022

Video by: Don Myers

Find us on Facebook - @GreatRiverBridgeRace

2024 GRBR Save the date

  1. Brad Selby

    Recreation / Golf Course Manager

  2. Ryan Gourley

    Parks Superintendent

  3. Jocelynn Krebill

    Project Coordinator

  4. Eric Tysland

    Development & Parks Director