The phrase “Run Like A Mother” adorned the tee shirts of a number of the women who ran the Cooper River Bridge Run yesterday with me and tens of thousands of other people. Here are pictures of the crowd massed behind the starting line, can you spot me?
Here are the elite runners, who got to start at the head of the line:
Amane Gobena, a 26-year-old Ethiopian woman, won the women’s title with a time of 32 minutes. Tilahun Regassa, a fellow Ethiopian, won the men’s title in 28 minutes and 24 seconds.
The weather was wonderful, everybody was friendly and nice, and it was a terrific experience. One man had a tee shirt that said, “Not My Idea of A Fun Family Reunion” but he did actually seem to be enjoying himself, despite the fact that his cousins and children left him in the dust. One running club had tops that asked: “Does this shirt make my butt look fast?”
Driving into Charleston the night before, when I first glimpsed the Ravenel Bridge, my heart actually lurched.
You can’t really tell from the picture, but the Ravel Bridge, longest single span bridge in North America, is quite sloped. This means that crossing it during the race requires running uphill for about a mile and a half, and then back down for same. I was a little nervous about how I’d do, but as we got near the crest, people around me began chanting “We’re almost there! We’re almost there!” which lifted both my spirits and my feet. I ran the whole race as hard as I could, but it was difficult to pass given the crowded conditions, especially during the first and final miles. Every time I’d see an opening ahead of me, someone else would see it too, and we’d bonk into each other, then apologize. By the time we finished assuring the other we were unharmed, the space would have closed up again. Still, I turned in a chip time of 1:02:06, which all things considered I’m pretty proud of. Hope to beat it next year, though.