Monday, April 8, 2013

Cooper River Bridge Run

I've been wanting to run this race for a while now. I couldn't run last year because we had a wedding the same day, so I was excited to run it this year! The fact that it's in Charleston is an added bonus because it may or may not be my favorite city on the planet.

Luckily for me, I also convinced my girl Kathryn to become a runner so she could run with me and we made a girls weekend out of it!

We got into Charleston Friday afternoon and headed to the expo to pick up our bibs and race packets! It was very crowded!! The crazy thing about this race is how many people run it! It is the 3rd largest 10K in the U.S. and the 7th largest in the world! There are athletes from all over the place; Kenya, Russia, Ethiopia, it's so crazy! Like a mini Olympics (except you don't have to be a world-class athlete to participate)!

After the expo, we went to dinner to carb up! We found this adorbs little restaurant called Lana.

The pasta was really good! I can't remember what all was in it, but it was super yum! We may also have had some wine.... sorry, had to {oops.}

Ok, and gelato, too! I mean...chocolate gives you energy, right??

We had to get to bed pretty early to get up at 5AM (!!!) so we were unfortunately limited to just a few glasses of wine and could not live it up more in Charleston. Before sleep, though, of course we had to pick out our race outfits!!!

{Top is my pile, bottom is Kathryn's...obvi we take a page out of Rachel Zoe's book--we needed lots of options! Duh!}

5:00AM came super quick and we were less than excited to go stand out in the 45 degree cold for a few hours before the race! They said it was one of the coldest starts in race history! Of course it was. We lucked out and got a shuttle right from the hotel to the start line (we were going to have to wait in line for a shuttle from downtown to the start line in Mt. Pleasant)! We arrived around 6:30...and the race didn't start until 8! UGHHHHH. It was so freaking cold.

Here's the zombies us before the race!

If I look cold, tired and miserable, its because I WAS. 

And then I realized that I left my arm band (to hold my phone) at home. As in, Charlotte. FML. So I had to clutch my phone for dear life the whole race. Across a huge bridge. Less than ideal. 

At about 7:45, we went to line up. I somehow managed to qualify for the sub-45 minute group (using my 10K split from my half marathon), so I said goodbye to Kathryn and got in my corral (OMG, I sound like a farm animal). I was next to a 10 year old. I mean, seriously. 
Here was my view (10 year old not in this pic, sorry):

The gun went off for the really fast people (the sub-40 minute group...that's my next goal!) and then my group got to walk up to the start line. This is when I got really nervous. As soon as our gun went off, my Pandora station decided to STOP. WORKING. OMG...I mean, COME ON!!!!! So here I am, clutching my phone for dear life, that now has no purpose even being with me on this run. 
Luckily, they had music along the route, and after the first mile, Pandora decided to work again!

Here is a view of the start from above...I am in the second large group of people, kinda by the blue and white flags over to the side, and the tower for the shopping plaza. I had no idea how many people were behind me!! It just goes on and on forever!!! 48,000 of my best friends!

I liked this race because I got to start up at the front and didn't have to worry about passing slower runners.
 I did not like this race because I got to start up at the front and felt like, "Oh crap! I have to keep up with these people!" (i.e. the freaking KENYANS!) Thus, I was sprinting at the start. Ehh, I'm only running 6 miles, I can sprint, right?!? 

Then came the bridge. OMG y'all. OMG. I didn't really think about that fact that most bridges go up...and then eventually go down. I didn't think about the incline at all really. I kinda thought it might be relatively flat? I swear, I am so blonde sometimes.

You can kinda tell from this pic how BIG that hill up the bridge is. HOLY fdhjhdsjkf. That thing killed me! I just kept thinking if I could make it to the top, I'd be fine! The problem was, the top never seemed to come! The hill just kept going, and going, and going....

At least the views of Charleston from the bridge were gorge.
{not my pic...I was too busy running dying}

Anyways, I passed the 5K mark at around 20ish minutes. Halfway done! Then, I got to go down the hill!!! YAY! Except that it wasn't as exciting as I thought...I was so freaking tired from going up, that I had like, NO energy left! By the time I got off the bridge (and still had 2+ miles left), I was so done. I honestly don't know how I pulled myself together...oh wait, yes I do, water stops. Thank God for the water stops!

Mile 5 was my was down King Street, and all I could think about was how I'd so much rather be in those exquisite stores shopping instead of sweating my butt off (yeah, I wasn't freezing anymore!) running this stupid race!

{I'm not in this picture...but it makes me feel better than most people look like they were hurting along this stretch!}

Then, I FINALLY saw the finish line! It was a miracle!!!

Here is my official result:

Yay! I beat my best 10K time! I really think that had it not involved the hill from HELL and my water stops (oh, and holding my phone the whole time, and Pandora not working, and the fact that I got like 4 hours of sleep the night before, and that I had been standing out in the freezing cold for almost 2 hours beforehand), I might have been close to under 40 minutes! Maybe next time?? 
Hahah, also I love how the "similar athletes" are two Ethiopians...ummmm PROBABLY NOT

After the race, I was super sad that they not only did not provide Gatorade, but there were NO space blankets either! WTF?! I went from sweating to cold again in about .2 seconds, which you can see from my THO is this pic (oops!)

Kathryn also ROCKED it out (and also saw some hot firefighters on the bridge, which I apparently missed!) and now I have given her the running bug! We are running another 10K this weekend (yes, like in 4 days) because we are crazy, we wanted to try a flatter course and well, it sounded like a good idea? 


  1. GIRL!!! 41 minutes!? I think you are part Kenyan!!! That's awesome!!! And I just had to google THO. Bahahaha! You basically summed up my thoughts on this race exactly, but so glad I did it! :)

  2. Found you through Mrs. Shuck. Good wrapup!! I commented on her blog that alot of my friends who have done the race before said that they wouldn't do it again. Instead, they would take the money they spent on the weekend and just party down in Charleston :)

  3. You could have cropped out my pastey legs :o) Thanks for making me run it!!! Had SOOO much fun

  4. Yay great job Mindy and Kathryn! :)