So how do you run with 46,000 people?
ANSWER: Very sporadically....
This weekend my sister Heather and I did the 30th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run. It was an experience I will never forget and that I am not likely to repeat. 46,000 people can NOT spread out into an even pace over the course of 6.2 miles and since our race bibs seeded us in the 20,000 - 30,000 Bib section, we were stuck behind 20,000 people who chose to either *slow down* or *walk* the uphill portion of the race. That was very frustrating. How *walkers* end up in the top 20,000 when you are supposed to submit estimated finish times is a mystery to me. I believe some folks **considerably underestimated** their paces!!
When that many people choose to slow down on a hill, just like traffic on the highway, you get a ripple effect and suddenly everybody is walking! But for such a big race, that was my only complaint.
The course was great! The first 1.5 miles leading to the bridge were flat and then you had a 2.5 mile stretch of the Cooper River Bridge. It was about 1.25 mile up a moderate grade at best - and then 1.25 miles down! (WEEEE!!) That downhill was followed by 2.2 miles of flat downtown Charleston, SC.
The water stops were well placed and well stocked and the after-party had plenty of water, fruit and tasty muffins. More than enough food and port-o-potties for runners, walkers and all their family and friends!
Heather and I dress up as "Easter Bunnies" and got quite a few compliments. We may have also gotten our picture published in Charlestown Magazine! With so many people, I would have thought there might have been more runners dressed up but they were few and far between. Even so, we did see the following:
* Several men in Bananna Suits
* Chicken Man
* Cigarette Pack Man
* USO Gals
* 12 Bowling Pins and a Bowling Ball
* Team "Death by Sexy"
* several other Bunnys (though not as cute as us!)
Heather kept track of our intervals (5 run/1 walk) and kept the camera flashing for some great pictures! I kept track of our mile splits but my watch was *full* and I lost them in the end. It took us 10 minutes from the start of the race to officially cross the START line.
Our final time was 1:18:47 - nothing fast but considering that we were at the mercy of the 20,000 runners who started ahead of us, it was just fine. For the record, we passed at least 2,000 of those runners who started ahead of us. We were ranked 18,385 out of 28,640 official finishers. Nice solid *MIDDLE OF THE PACK* pace. Not too bad considering that we didn't even get under a 12 minute per mile pace.
Here are some photos for you to enjoy. All photo credits are Heather except for the picture of Heather ...which I took and the finishing picture with the Chik-Fil-A Cow which a stranger was kind enough to take for us!