Cooper River Bridge Run, Get Over it!

Join thousands of runners in one of the most anticipated 10k runs in the world.


The Cooper River Bridge Run brings thousands of runners to Charleston every year.

On April 7th 2018, Charleston will host the 41st annual Cooper River Bridge Run. Recognized as a world-class race, the Cooper River Bridge is a phenomenally organized event that draws thousands of people from around the world every year. The race is a 10k, 6.2 mile, run that begins in Mount Pleasant and continues over the Cooper River Bridge Run into Downtown Charleston. Serving as an event to promote community involvement and health awareness, the run includes a health and wellness expo, a kids run and Wonderfest, competitive wheelchair race, and the classic run/walk 10k race. Participants can choose to partake in any one of these events.

I started doing the bridge run with my dad when I was 7 and I look forward to it every year!

— Campbell Daffin

Founded in 1978 the Cooper River Bridge Run has become the third largest 10k in the United States with over 40,000 participants. The growth of the race has greatly impacted Charleston over years, brining over 30 million dollars into the economy. However with the race increasing in size, officials are also taking more security precautions. Runners are encouraged to bring as little as possible with them and keeping everything in clear backpacks. Law enforcement will also be increased with more officers at the start and finish lines. More runners also means more water and food for participants after the race. The race had a few issues in 2016 that included a late start and a lack of water bottles for participants who finished later than the majority. After receiving many complaints, the race now supplies over 82,000 bottles of water.

The bridge run began as a way to encourage people to focus more on health and wellness. The Charleston Running Club President  Terry Hamlin was a major advocator for the event and helped the race through its first and second years. Hamlin along with a committee of representatives from the running club, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the College of Charleston worked with the state to close the bridge for the run. This request was met with some backlash as the highway commissioner said that bridges were for vehicles and wouldn’t close them for people, however after lots of discussion the state would allow the race to take place. This moment was critical for the bridge run to ever become successfully and had it not occurred, April in the city of Charleston would not be the way it is today. The first race had only a $3 entry fee and 4 award categories and around 600 participants. Though the entry fee has increased drastically, people still travel from other states and even countries to participate.

If you are looking to participate in the race it is important to preregister to avoid increases in entry fee prices and ensure a bib number. Participants can sign up on the race’s website ahead of time or at the health and wellness expo. Those choosing to participate are encouraged to note any cardiovascular or general health issues that could present a problem during the race. In 2017 three participants had heart attacks, one of which did not survive. While emergency medical help is readily available during the race it is important for runners monitor their own health during the race and fill out the emergent contact information on the back of their race bib. One heart attack survivor is planning on attending the race again this year to help promote cardiovascular health. The race serves to raise awareness of the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle and caring about ones wellness.

This April 7th join thousands of runners in the 41st annual Cooper River Bridge Run to celebrate and promote healthy living.  Whether you participate in the health expo, the kids race, the wheelchair race, or the 10k run the Cooper River Bridge Run is a great way to become involved in the community and better ones health.