My first memory of the Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston, SC is from my senior year in college. It was about 11:00 on a Saturday and I had just rolled out of bed.I was trying not to noticed how dirty my house was from the previous nights activities when my roommate walked in the door wearing running clothes holding a box full of fruit and water. I asked him what in the world he had been doing up so early and why he was in running clothes. He explained he had run a 10k over the copper river bridge, I of course thought he was an idiot for getting up so early to run over a bridge.
Well, once I became an athlete myself one of the first races I added to my list of todo races was the Cooper River Bridge Run(I will use any excuse to get back to Charleston)! Year after year we have tried to make it, but have always had a conflict. Finally this year, it fit in the schedule.
We rolled into town Friday night about dinner time, where our friend Tracy had cooked an amazing meal(gluten free!!!) at her parents house on James Island. After dinner Tracy and I had to get to our pre race tradition.
Nail Art!!! We then got our stuff together for the next day and headed off to bed.
4:45 and we are all up and drinking coffee 15 minutes before the alarm was set to go off.
6:30 We pack the car with too many people to count and head over to the race site. Mind you this is a big race with 40,000 runners. I had never done it and was fully expecting to spend lots of time in crowds, waiting, and frustrated. Not at all how it went. We drove over the bridge made, several turns that got us lost, and then Tracy pulls right up to the start line. Crazy! We do a warm up and head to line. Again, Tracy pulls some crazy tricks out of her sleeve and I find myself almost in the front row of 40,000 runners. I was starting to hope that my race was going to go half as well as our logistics were working out.
8:00 The gun goes off! Go time. Since I pace poorly, I had decieded to pace off of Tracy and see what it felt like to run"smart." Miles one and two I felt a little tight but comfortable. Mile three, the climb was good, felt strong and was able to pass a few people. Mile 4 was down hill, where I opened up my stride and worked the down hill. Miles 5 and 6 are nice and flat and take you right downtown. I was able to find a nice pack to run with those last couple miles and felt strong.
8:40+ish I hit the finish line with a 1:30 minute PR (I had no expectations going into this race so I was very happy with this). I guess running smart works.
We easily found the rest of the sardines that had packed into the car with us,hit the First Endurance Ultragen, did a quick warm down and headed out for some brunch and mimosas! Perfect day all around.