"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Finally, Cooper River Bridge!

The Cooper River Bridge Run is a world class 10k held every April since 1978. Attracting elite athletes, this race used a series of different bridges to run the route from Mt. Pleasant, SC to downtown Charleston, SC, between '78 and 2005. However, the event was forever changed in 2006 with the opening of the longer, higher, wider 620 million dollar Arthur Ravenel, Jr bridge; a.k.a. the new Cooper River Bridge. In fact, the popularity of this event forced organizers to cap entries at 45,000 that year.  It has been a "must do" race ever since.

I distinctly remember the race in 2006.  I was planning on running it.  We were living in Florence, SC at the time and I had circled the registration date well before the holidays.  Unfortunately, just prior to the race date we were relocated to California and I never made it over to Charleston.  Bummer.

An 8-10' wide running and biking lane across the bridge
Fast forward to this past weekend.  In Charleston for a three-day volleyball tournament, and fresh off of my previous blog post on sight-seeing via run routes, I was determined to get this long overdo run in the schedule.  So, Sunday afternoon, during volleyball downtime, I headed over the bridge to begin in Mt. Pleasant.  As I  drove across I quickly realized how long and steep this thing was. I had no doubt going up and down once would be no issue, but the plan was to run through Charleston and head back at a point that provided a 13.1 mile run (in honor of my brother's near PR in the Phoenix half-marathon earlier that morning).  I started thinking about the up and down that would come with miles 10.7 - 13.1!!!

In short, it was a really awesome run.  The bridge was extremely active on the first go-around.  Runners, walkers and bikers, all out on this absolutely gorgeous afternoon to huff and puff across the Cooper River Bridge.  The bridge is 2.42 miles long and provides an elevation rise of approximately 180 feet.  Once on the Charleston side it was a flat track along the waterfront and through the city streets.  Again, a plug for "Sight-Running", as you pace along the boardwalk, through the markets and along the streets of historical homes.

No, it wasn't the official10k race, but maybe someday.  And if you ever get to the Charleston area, you must take your shoes and head for the bridge.

The 13.1 out and back (Mt. Pleasant - Charleston, right to left)

The iconic profile 


  1. If that photo of the run lane is from your day there, then I think you've done much better than you ever would on race day. Charleston is a great place to visit and the Cooper River Bridge Run is certainly a fun race, but it's oh-so-crowded. Glad you were able to run it without the mobs.

    1. You know, I have seen the race photos and it seems like aside from the elevation changes, you might not even realize where you are; packed in without a view. I take it you have run the 10k? As to my day, it was funny. I went over about 3:00 and it was moderately crowded in the running / biking lane. You really have to be careful with cyclists coming downhill behind you when you run around walkers, etc. It might as well be a Swiss Alp downhill during the tour. When I returned over the bridge around 5:00, I only passed a handful of walkers and a couple of cyclists for the entire bridge. I would guess that most of the year, these lanes stay pretty busy. I know I would be out and over at least once a week if I lived there.

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