Race #416 – Cooper River Bridge 10k – Charleston SC – 04/07/18

It’s by far the largest race in the Carolinas, and one of the largest races in the United States with around 30,000 participants each year. I’ve always had it on my radar but for one reason or another I missed it every year until now. This was its 41st year and it’s organized beautifully with every aspect from the expo to the post-race party running smoothly.

For all of its grandeur, it’s a bit much for me so I probably won’t be back anytime soon, but not due to any faults with the race. Lately I prefer being home over traveling, and I enjoy the small local races as much or more than larger destination races.

The race itself was a lot of fun. The bridge was tough and even though I tried to stay within my heart rate goal, I couldn’t do it and keep any momentum at all so I just did my best, walking for 30 seconds or so three different times while going up the bridge. Coming down was a lot easier, of course, and the crowd support in Charleston was great. The post-race party was spectacular, with plenty of free food (I had barbecue, muffins, fruit, watermelon, and donuts) and lots of entertainment.

I’ve lost enough speed over the past couple years that I knew I didn’t stand a chance of placing in the top 3 in my age group, but from past results I figured top 10 was a possibility. I finished 8th out of 386 in the 65-69 age group with a time of 47:58, so I was pretty happy with that. Fortunately I qualified to start in the 45- to 50-minute corral, just ahead of the masses in the corrals behind us so there wasn’t a problem with there being slow people to have to dodge.

My wife Linda’s first race in a while… She did great!

Next week marks the beginning of the Run Gaston series, which is 18 local races in Gaston County where I live. I’m looking forward to settling into the small-town races.

Race Number:  416

Race Name:  Cooper River Bridge 10k

Location:  Charleston, South Carolina

Date:  April 7, 2018

Race Rating:  125

Winners:

Course:

Elevation:  *Note that the elevation as measured by Garmin is not correct because it doesn’t measure the height of the bridge but rather the ground (or water) underneath the bridge.

Weather at Start:

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My Stats:

Time:  27:58
Pace:  7:43
Age Group:  8 of 386
Overall:  1140 of 27,447
Average Heart Rate: 163
Maximum Heart Rate: 173
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:55 (72.38%)

Thanks to Tim Baucom for catching a photo of me along the course!

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* RACE RATING *
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RACE COURSE
3 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
5 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
9 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
3 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
5 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
10 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
9 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
5 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
1 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
0 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
0 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces [remote]: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking [remote]: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
5 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:   125

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