The Mission

Running should be an adventure...

Thursday morning I ran out to the Ben Sawyer Bridge in an attempt to be the first person to run over the new span. I was dressed in my winter running gear (which just happens to be all black).

I ran the three miles out to the bridge and slowly made my way through the construction trucks, caution barrels and then up to the beginning of the span.  I was almost to the middle of the bridge when a group of SCDOT gentlemen began yelling at me to stop and get off the bridge.

Apparently, the bridge was not open yet.  Oops...  I did my best impression of a tourist and said something like "Oh, is it not open?".  They were not impressed.  They stated "NO", so I made my way back off the bridge.

If I would not have had to run back over the span to get home I would have just kept going, but I was not prepared to run another ten miles to get home (or be arrested).  I did manage to get in a six mile run, but I was not happy with the attempt and was already planning my next try.

I took my running clothes with me to my conference and was waiting to hear if the bridge would be opening soon.  No news all day.  I picked up my six year old son and took him to track practice and to my delight got the news that the bridge would open at 10:00pm.  With very little effort, I was able to recruit my son to join me in my mission (now it was our mission).

We drove as close as we could to the bridge and waited in the car.  The bridge was still closed.  We watched as several cars drove up and were turned back.  As the time ticked away, my son was slowly losing steam and finally fell asleep.  No luck this time either.

With more determination than ever, we woke up very early this morning and made our way back to the bridge.  We were not going to be denied today.  We parked near the bottom of the bridge, bumped fists and started our run.

The bridge had only been open for a short time and there were no government officials there to stop us.  We ran up the beginning of the bridge, marveled at the work that had been done, and then ran over the rest of the Ben Sawyer Bridge.

The bridge is not that big, but it is special.  It is an icon of the Low Country (anyone who has seen pictures of Charleston during Hugo will recognize it as the bridge that was turned on its side).

It felt awesome being there with my son, knowing that we were the first father and son to ever cross that span.  As we turned to go back over the bridge, my son looked at me and said, "You are the best dad in the whole world!".  It was one of those moments that can not be scripted, can not be artificially constructed, there was pure joy and excitement in his voice.  This was an adventure.

Mission accomplished!

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