This past Saturday was the 47th annual Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, South Carolina. This is a race that I’d heard about throughout the years of being in the Augusta area, but I’d never had a chance to run it. But a few months ago, my mom, sister, and I decided we’d sign up for it. So on Saturday morning, my fiancé David and I made the drive to Charleston.

The Cooper River Bridge Run

This is a 10K race, which is around 6.2 miles. It starts in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, crosses the Cooper River Bridge, and then ends in downtown Charleston.

According to their website, this is the “best organized and best conducted 10K race in the world.” The event includes world-class competition and serves as a model of health motivation.

The event has a huge impact on the community and supports the Lowcountry through its Charity Connection and Grants programs. It generates 33 million dollars, and 92 cents of every dollar goes toward its mission.

An Early Morning

My mom, dad, sister, and her family all stayed in North Charleston on Friday night. But without having someone to watch my pups, we just decided to drive up the morning of. It’s honestly not too bad of a drive, especially that early in the morning.

We actually left a little too early probably, but I’d rather get there super early than be scrambling to find where to go. Plus, the bridge was going to close to traffic, and David needed to get back over the bridge to find parking near the finish line.

My mom and sister weren’t planning to take the shuttle until 6 a.m. so I waited quite a while alone.  There were volunteers around, but not a lot of runners. Finally, I started walking down the starting corrals to find my start wave. That’s when I stumbled upon a fitness store that was open. So I was able to stop in there and stay warm for a while.

Once my mom and sister got there, we walked down to our start wave and tried to stay out of the breeze. Even though the race officially started at 8 a.m., we were further back so we didn’t start our run until about 8:45 a.m. David texted me around 8:30 and said the first runner had already crossed the finish line! That’s insane! The first runner ran 6.2 miles in 28:10.

My Cooper River Bridge Run Experience

I was a bit nervous about this race for a few reasons. First of all, I haven’t been running as consistently as I usually do. At one point, I was running at least 3 times a week. But I haven’t run more than 3 miles in quite a while. Also, my hip and thigh were still not 100 percent. I’d injured myself during dance practice for Dancing Stars of Augusta a few weeks ago.

On top of that, I don’t really like running in the cold. But I just decided to go and enjoy the experience, even if I had to walk it.

Once we finally made it to the start line, I was ready to just “get over it.” The wave we were in had a lot of people who were walking it… so I found myself dodging in and out of groups to get to an open spot. I get frustrated when I’m trying to run and get stuck behind walkers with no way around.

I managed to run the first full mile.  Then walked a little. By the time I got to the bridge, I walked the majority of the way up the incline. It didn’t seem that steep, but running uphill is never easy for me. Once I hit the peak of the bridge, I started doing a little more running. But it was a bit of walk/run for a while.

By mile 5, I decided that I was going to run, even if it was slow. So I managed to run at least the last 1.2 miles non-stop. I finished the race in 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 41 minutes. Not my best time, but honestly better than I expected.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience.  I wish it would have been a little warmer, but I will say I’m glad that it was a sunny day.  Cold and rain would’ve probably had me sitting this one out! Also, big runs like this are fun for me because I love to people-watch. This race draws over 30,000 runners, so there are plenty of people-watching opportunities.

You’ll see people of all ages and abilities running the race.  Some people even dress up. And running a race with so many people just has a whole different energy. It helps the race go by faster for me.

Photos From The Cooper River Bridge Run

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