Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cooper River Bridge Run

So, I knew we wanted to go to Charleston again this year, and I got the bright idea to do the Cooper River 10k Bridge Run, which takes place in Charleston.  You can read all about it here and here.  And if you want to read all about the mess it was this year, you can read an article all about that here.  The race is the 6th largest race in the U.S....and the 3rd largest 10k.  Over 36, 000 people ran it this year...lots of folks!

The drama of the event started before we even left when I had bad chest pains and went to urgent care.  The doctor felt I had strained something and suggested I not exercise for 2 weeks since she felt the push-up challenge I was doing was probably the cause.  Well, sometimes I'm stubborn, and I decided we would forge ahead with the trip, even after we had to pull over with me anxious about the pain.  Yeah, I know, pretty stupid.  We got to Charleston on Friday afternoon just in time to make it to the park where Little Man participated in his first ever registered race.  It was so exciting! The kids run was done in different segments based on age, and it was so well organized with lots of free vendors, treats and activities.  It was really hot, and Little Man felt a little under the weather, but we all enjoyed the park, which we hadn't been to before, and the festivities.  We picked up his bibs, bag, t-shirt and towel, he enjoyed a donut and some other fun, and before we knew it, it was time for the race!

Little Man was super excited because all the kids got a medal!

After the kids fest, we headed to the hotel.  We had a great location for the race, it really helped that after we checked in we didn't have to drive anywhere again during our stay.  We headed off to the expo to pick up my packet, and wow, did we not know what we were about to experience! People were close to throwing free stuff at you! Free cases of Greek yogurt, tons of fitness bars, pretzels, was crazy the stuff we saw people leaving with! My co-worker who also ran the race wasn't able to get anything so Hubby and I grabbed and I split it with her later, after all, no one needs 24 containers of yogurt, right?

There were so many people in Charleston we dang near didn't eat.  We ordered from a place that never got our food ready...and wound up ordering pizza delivered to the room.  Still, I had no idea the pandemonium I'd experience the next day!

A 10k is 6.2 miles.  For this race, they bus you from historic Charleston across the river to Mount Pleasant and then you run back over the bridge.  I got up at 4:30 AM to get ready, eat an apple, and then head to the bus lines where the masses were all headed.  It was so crazy to see all those people, in the dark, walking about.  And at 5 AM it was humid enough that I didn't need a jacket...not a good sign!

Even with soooo many port-o-johns the wait was 30 minutes.  At one point I was so worried I wasn't going to make it!

There were TONS of people! And we waited over an hour PAST when we were supposed to start, after being there QUITE a while beforehand already.  And it was warm, and cramped.  And then it started.

It was so weird running over that bridge. It was also hot as Hades.  And me, wearing black. And nervous about running with my injured chest. AND THEY RAN OUT OF WATER!!!!!  It felt unbearable at times.  And stupid. And then, I knew where we were and that we were almost done.  And I thought to myself, I may never run again....why did I do this to myself?!?  And then we turned the corner, and I saw the finish line.  And I didn't know if Little Man and Hubby would see me, and so I finished strong...and seriously thought I might cry.

And when I saw this photo of me later, I REALLY thought I'd cry...look what the humidity did to my HAIR!!

I quickly found Little Man and Hubby at the fountain where I told them we should meet afterwards, which was a good plan since I can't remember the last time I experienced chaos like that.  We walked back to the room (me kind of hobbling) I washed, changed and we started speed walking to our lunch the wrong direction! We would have been fine, but time wasn't on our side since the race started sooo late, and with roads closed we got turned around.  We couldn't even get a call through to the restaurant because there was no service (freaked me out a bit...if a national emergency happens we're all screwed).  It all worked out though, they were very understanding, and the food was delicious! Which is good, since I still had had only an apple to eat at this point!

I'll finish sharing about our Charleston adventure and what happened with my chest pain next post!

P.S. My chest did not hurt the day of the race at all.  

P.P.S. And, I'm so crazy, I haven't ruled out doing the Bridge Run again...I feel like I have more to give it!

1 comment:

Sinéad said...

Wow, what a race! It must have been great running over that bridge. But the crowds? Uh no, not for me. I'd panic in a crowd that big. Well done to you & Little Man for running!