Cooper River Bridge 10K Recap

Let me get this out of the way first - I SET A NEW PERSONAL BEST!!!
2010postersm
Garmin (48:45) / Official Chip Time (48:59).  Either way, I broke 49 minutes!!!


What's so special about the Ravenel Bridge? The new Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is 2.5 miles long and 200 feet high (about 30 feet higher than  the old bridges). The slope is 4%. The towers are 550 feet tall, and the bridge was completed well ahead of schedule and under the budget of $700 million. It offers dramatic views of Charleston and the surrounding areas.


The race sold out this year and with a cap of 40,000 that is a pretty big deal.  There were 33,030 finishers (not sure where that ranks for races, but it seems like a lot for a 10k).

CRB Starting Line

The race start was a little cold (about 46) and never really warmed up (even at the finish festival).  I was able to start close to the front (about 4,000 back).  The only thing  that really sucks about this race is that there are a ton of walkers that jump in from the sides, at the last minute, and hold hands while people are trying to run.  I even saw a runner crash into two people walking near the starting line. 


Anyway, the race was awesome.  Even though I cross the Bridge every day to go to work and run over it at least twice a month, I sill love racing over it with so many people.  The mass of people flowing up the Bridge is amazing. 


I spent a lot of time looking at the route and just tried to visualize a perfect race.  When I went to the track yesterday I tried to picture myself running the race at that pace.  Amazingly, my pace was right on for the whole race.

Runner on the Cooper River

The first mile is pretty crazy, there are just so many people you have to run around.  You do get to run over the Shem Creek Bridge and that's pretty cool with so many   people (8:10).  The second mile is a little better as people start to spread out, but then you hit the Bridge (8:18).  For the next mile, you run straight up the Bridge.  I was only hoping to keep my pace under nine minutes, but ended up running better than my first two miles (8:06).  The fourth mile is the best.  I have always taken it easy on the downhill, thinking that I needed to save it up for the end, but not today.  I attacked it and just had fun running downhill (7:13).  The fifth mile is through Charleston and the fan support is awesome.  There are plenty water stations throughout the entire race (although, I only grabbed water once). I was able to keep my pace under eight minutes and that really got me excited for the end (7:42).  The sixth mile is my second favorite of the race.  The course goes down King Street and it is just so cool to run down this part of Charleston (7:44).  The last two tenths is a turn towards Meeting Street and then a sprint to the finish.  When I realized I was not only going to set a new PB, but break 49 minutes I pushed even harder.  I ran through the finish line and could not stop smiling!


After I finished the race I walked around and met some friends.  I was on a huge high.  If it was not so cold down there, I could have stayed all day.
After the Bridge Run 2010 Group Pic

I have to give a big shout out to my running coach Greg Shore of Charleston Runs!  Not only is he my coach, he is a good friend.  He is not a baby sitter and does not make you feel better when you are sucking wind.  He pushes me every time we hit the track.  He helped me set my pace and never acted like it was too fast and never made me doubt that I could achieve my goal.  He even made a workout for my son when I had to bring him to a Friday morning workout.  Thanks Coach!


Finally, I want to say thanks to my wife Jennifer.  She has really been a huge supporter of my running (I know that not everyone can say that about their spouse).  I called her right after the race and she knew exactly what it meant for me when I told her my time.  Her excitement for me made the race even better...




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