Driving over the Talmadge Memorial Bridge, one has few expectations. You can expect to see the port to the north, a container ship chugging through, under and away. The spires at The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The cobbled and tabbied River Street.

But toros, toreros? Unlikely.

With tryptophan-induced food comas subsiding across esta ciudad, runners, joggers and walkers such as Chad Brock, Jessica Smith and friends are stretching, preparing for the Dec. 7 Savannah River Bridge Run.

Dressed as a mix of toros and toreros - or bulls and bullfighters - the coterie will run the 15 kilometers adorned with horns, nose rings, mustaches and white clothing with red sashes, respectively.

"We have 11 bulls confirmed," said Brock, 39, a psychiatrist at Savannah Psychiatry. "We had about 16 toradors, or people in white, but now I think we're up to 40 plus."

Smith hopes for more, even going as far as encouraging anyone on Facebook to join through their "open" group.

"I'm shooting for 40. I was shooting for 80, but that's a bit of a stretch," said Smith, 42, a professor in the fibers department at Savannah College of Art and Design.

"I'm hoping that we'll at least get 30 runners and 40 total."

As a collaboration between the Savannah Striders and the Savannah Triathlon club, the group will participate in the Double Pump, the 15K portion of Saturday's run, the most challenging of all the races.

To compete in the Double Pump, runners must run the 5K portion in less than 40 minutes before the start of the 10K.

In total, runners of the Double Pump cross the Talmadge Bridge, with its 5.5 percent incline grade, three times.

The Savannah River Bridge Run formed in 1991 by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. When the Savannah Sports Council formed in 1993, it officially took over the responsibilities of the event. Once held in May, the council moved it to December, hoping to host a cooler event.

With the help of Fleet Feet Sports and Enmark, the run has grown the be the largest local running event with more than 6,000 participants, according to Ben Wilder, director of the sports council.

"We promote the race as 'The South's Toughest' because of the Double Pump, which is a total of 9.3 miles and three times over the bridge," Wilder said. "But there are a lot of first-time runners and walkers that do the 5K, which is 3.1 miles and one time over the bridge."

For intermediate runners, there's the 10K, which boasts a total of 6.2 miles and two trips over the bridge.

"And, yes, a lot of people use this as a motivation to run during the holidays," he said.

Though both Brock and Smith ran the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon in early November, this event holds a little more in the way of satisfaction and accomplishment for the two and their group, eschewing their normal competitive natures of lap-logging and strict timing for something more personally rewarding.

For the past two years, the group of friends and runners have sought a first-place win in the costume contest part of the race. Each year, they've failed to win the vote of the crowd, the judging based on cheers.

Dressed as Forrest Gumps - donning Bubba Gump Shrimp hats and slacks one year - and as a mixture of "Rocky" characters such as Mr. T., Apollo Creed and Drago (Brock dyed his hair for the role) another year, the group placed third each year.

"We're gonna be pretty sad if we go through all this and get third again," Brock said.

The first-place prize for the best individual and group costume, both separate categories, is $400.

Second-place winners in both categories receive $200 and third-place winners get $100. All participants are welcome and encouraged to dress up.

In past years, the team has drank away its winnings.

This year, with a win, they can do something more with the prize.

"A number of our people that we train with volunteer and do stuff for the Girls on the Run," Smith said. "So we figured that if we got first place, (the prize money) would go to them."

Regardless, proceeds from the event each year benefit the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion.

"We have donated no less than $10,000 per year for as long as I can remember," Wilder said.

But it isn't a race exclusively for running enthusiasts or triathletes.

The race is open to anyone, even children, with a quarter-mile race for those 9 and younger.

Throughout the day of Dec. 6, an expo at the Savannah Civic Center will feature visitor information, health- and running-related merchandise and serve as a pickup point for race packets.

To conclude the event, a party at the finish line will include food, drinks and a concert by Chuck Courtenay.

"I think it's a super fun way to get into running. It's just fun; it's a little bit silly. There are people who are doing it competitively, but there are also people who run once a year," Brock said. "We run the bridge (regularly), but most people have never been on top of the bridge. Technically, you're not supposed to be running or walking up there, so you get to get up there and snap some photos."

"It's beautiful," Smith added.

Wilder has not run the race yet, but he has been on the lead vehicle before.

"It is an awesome sight to see all the runners coming up the bridge and, yes, the view is worth it," he said. "Several people tend to stop and make pictures, but we encourage you to keep moving at all times."

Above the 185-foot clearance over the Savannah River, you can expect to see both the starting and ending points of the race. The spire at Independent Presbyterian Church on Bull Street. Docks below.

And, perhaps, mustachioed toreros, raging bulls in tow.