36th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run

Tomorrow 40,000 people will be participating in the Cooper River Bridge Run. Having lived here for 7 years now, I think this is the largest event held in Charleston, along with Spoleto. While the run itself only lasts a few hours Saturday morning, most runners stay in Charleston for the week leading up to the race, and there are numerous other festivities surrounding the event. The Cooper River Bridge Run is a 10K, one-way running event that takes place over the Ravenel Bridge on the first Saturday in April. The start line is in Mt. Pleasant on Coleman Blvd., and goes all the way over the bridge into downtown Charleston with the finish line on Meeting St. at the 6th mile.

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An MUSC employee, Dr. Marcus Newberry, started the event as a way to encourage fitness and health in Charleston. Since the Bridge Run began, the start and finish lines have been placed in many different spots around downtown and the times have changed. 1995 was the first time that over 10,000 runners participated and the current limit is 44,000 people.  In the tradition of historic Charleston’s Civil War and Revolutionary War heritage, a cannon is fired to start the event.

I’ve never braved the run, but it looks like a ton of fun and brings more people to Charleston than most other events held here. It also is usually around the same week of Easter and Spring Break for some. Tons of restaurants and bars all around Charleston (Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley, downtown) hold Bridge Run pre-run and post-run parties with live music and specials. If you’re visiting from out of town, a runner, or a local, I highly suggest cruising around downtown and checking out everything going on in honor of the Cooper River Bridge Run!

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