Marie McAden



Sign up soon for Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run

Posted 1/27/2013 11:22:00 AM

You’ve got plenty of time to train for the 35th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run, Charleston’s famed 10K race set for April 6. But you’d better hurry if you want to find accommodations in town.

Last year, 36,650 runners and walkers turned out for the event to vie for the $10,000 top prize. Well, at least the serious competitors in the crowd were contending for the big money. The rest of us were there for the party and the view.

Racer or reveler, if you’re not from the Lowcountry, you’ll likely need a place to stay — and hotels are filling up quick. Once again this year, the Cooper River Bridge Run and the Charleston Metro Sports Council have partnered with T3 Travel to provide a convenient hotel booking service. Click here to check out the listing of hotels and room rates.

The 6.2-mile race, which starts about a half-mile east of Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant and ends in the Historic District, takes participants over the 200-foot high Ravenel Bridge, offering dramatic views of Charleston Harbor and the downtown skyline.

Billed as the longest cable-stayed span in North America, the 2.5-mile bridge features a 4 percent slope, making the run that much harder. To keep participants going like the Energizer Bunny, some 20 bands will be playing upbeat music all along the route.

And then there’s the unplanned entertainment. Last year, some of my fellow runners included Fred Flintstone and his Bedrock entourage, a brigade of men in red dresses, a group of beauty pageant posers and Elvis.

Here’s another reason to sign up early. If you register by Feb. 15, the race fee is $40. After that, it’s $45. To register online, visit www.bridgerun.com. You can also download a printable application and mail in your registration. Shuttle buses and shuttle boats will be available race day starting at 5 a.m. Remember, 38,000 people need to get to the starting line.

Participants will be assigned to one of 15 different “waves” that will start at three minute intervals from 8 a.m. The fastest runners will be placed at the front of the pack, the walkers at the end.

The Finish Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at Marion Square and will include entertainment, refreshments and the party to end all parties.

For details on the race, click here.