On April 6th, I’ll hopefully be celebrating two big events: my 29th birthday (ahh, 30 is way too close) AND a successful Cooper River Bridge Run PR.
It’s absolutely beautiful, extremely crowded, and a pain in my butt. Charlestonians take great pride in our bridge, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world during construction (not any longer though) and the views from the top are breath taking. The only problem… having to get to the top.
It’s a steep incline (4.1%) and with the wind, I tend to avoid training on it simply because I
am lazy don’t like it.
But I love a challenge so I continue to sign up for the BIG race. I love being able to run through the finish line and the amazing atmosphere along the roads. Sure there are a ton of people to elbow as you start the climb up the bridge (33,000), but the energy is contagious and makes up for the crazy crowds and claustrophobic starts .
Because I am so pumped for the race, I want to share a bit more history, fun facts, and records that go along with the run. It’s all part of the plan to start getting excited and keeping the ultimate goal in mind.
Check out these stats!
Cooper River Bridge Run History And Stats (Click to see full size in a new window)
Are you participating in any crazy crowded events this year? Do you like crowded run or more intimate races?
For a lot of locals, the bridge run is a personal goal to strive for. It’s something that they work towards each year, perhaps for the first time. For those motivated bridge running newbies (all race newbies really), here are my tips for Bridge Run Eve and Day!
Tips For A Successful 10K Cooper River Bridge Run
Forget “Carbin” Up.
Don’t get caught up in the idea that you need to show down on an all you can eat pasta buffet. There is no need to “carb load” for this distance. Your body naturally has plenty of fat and sugar stored that will get you from start to finish. Instead, eat a balanced meal that incorporates a healthy dose of protein, fat and carbs. Chicken with a side of brown rice and steamed veggies is a great idea.
Don’t try anything new.
Do not wake up for the race and celebrate race day with a stack of pancakes. Stick to easy to digest foods that you know you’re stomach can handle: oatmeal, toast with nut butter; cereal, etc. Now is not the time to try something new or indulgent.
Hydrate now, not later!
Do not wait until the day before to start drinking water. The week before the race, make sure to drink up at least 64 oz of water per day. You’ll feel refreshed, more energized, and your body will adjust to the extra intake of water (instead of needing a pit stop at the top of the bridge).
Dress ready to run.
Do not dress to what the temperature is at 7am. Whatever the 8 am weather time is expected to be, add 10-degrees to it and dress for that temperature. Your body will warm up quickly, so if the start time temperature is expected to be 55-degrees, dress as if it’s 65.
Wake up for private time.
Ideally, the best situation for race day is to wake up with plenty of time to each breakfast and allow your food to process. Having a cup of coffee or tea can help speed up a bowel if needed, but again if you’ve never experimented with it then just stick to what you know. But I do recommend waking up at least an hour before having to leave.
Go to your corral.
Corrals get busy and it can be frustrating to have people mingling between them when the starting gun is about to go off. be courteous to those around you, go to where you’re suppose to be.
My Personal Bridge Run Plans
Last year, the bridge came out victorious when I tweaked my knee on the decline and didn’t come close to my goal.
This year… that bridge is going down.
My mind is in a good place, my training has been great, and I have spent some QT just picturing the time I want to see as I run through the finish line.
Oh yes, my friend… you’re not going to beat me this year.
What’s my goal? I have a PR goal that I am really dreaming about, but I really am not quite ready to share it. I will say that my #1 priority is to beat Dan’s PR from a few years ago. It was right around 50-something. So there you have it, I want to be faster than 50-something.
I know I should be training with this fast lady, hopefully she’ll motivate me to move my tush faster this week! After all, she did chase down a leprechaun and steal his gold.
Anyways, to help get my mind in the right place (running is 90% mental), I am sharing this amazing historical story of the Cooper River Bridge Run.
Have you ever been to Charleston?
What race day tips do you have for someone that has never run before?