Interesting Facts about the Cooper River Bridge Run

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This Saturday, April 6, Charleston will open its doors to the Cooper River Bridge Run for the 43th year.  This event, which is heralded as one of our most prestigious events in the area, is saturated with history and traditional.  An event where fitness, Southern hospitality, family, silliness, music and spectacular achievement come together for one memorable weekend.

As you prepare for this weekend, we want to share stories of hope, inspiration, accomplishment and just unique little facts about this most rewarding event.

Facts, Achievements, Accomplishments and Milestones

  • The first Cooper River Run occurred on April 2, 1978
  • In 2011, Cedric Jaggers published  Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run: A Complete History in Words and Photos
  • 766 Runners finished the first race in 1978
  • The first entry fee was $3.00 and that included a tee-shirt designed by the race director
  • In the first seven years, the winners of the men’s and women’s division were all Americans
  • The last American to win was Laura LaMena in 1995 on the women’s side and Jeff Cannada in 1991 on the men’s side
  • Race records:  James Kimutai Kosgei (Kenya) – 27.40 (2000) / Elana Meyer (South Africa) – 31.19 (1997)
  • A Cooper River Bridge Run app was launched in 2016
  • Hanahan’s Leroy Miller did the Cooper River Bridge event in 2015 at the age of 93
  • Adam Gorlitsky will become the first paralyzed man to walk the Cooper River Bridge event ever in 2016 – Follow his I Got Legs Story
  • The Cooper River Bridge is the 3rd Largest 10K in the United States
  • The first person to break the 30 minute barrier occurred in 1983
  • Average starting temperature of the race is 58.6 Degrees
  • 1986 was the first year over 1000 women registered and completed the race
  • First year where prize money was awarded was 1984.  That year, $800 was awarded to top male and top female.  In 2016, the winners will receive $10,000.
  • Oprah Winfrey ran the race in 1994 and finished with a time of 55.48
  • First year of using computer timing chips was 1997 and Bill Murray served as starter that year firing the cannon at the start of the race
  • The first year of the wheelchair races was 2012.  The winner broke 29 minutes
  • The first race related death occurred in 2004
  • The first time it rained during the race was 2005 and 6183 registered runners did not participate
  • The first year that more women registered than men was 2006
  • Zettie Little, the Ridiculously Photogenic Male got national attention after 2012 run
  • The first year a cap on registrants was placed was 2013
  • Four runner (4) has broken the 28 minute barrier
  • 36,755 runners registered in 2012 – Largest single year registration for this event
  • 1980 was the only year there was a tie for the win.  Florida Teammates Kim Burke and Steve Littleton finished at 31.26.
  • Benji Durden who won the first race in 1978 with a time of 30.22 was on the 1980 US Olympic Team for the marathon but did not participate because President Carter boycotted the Olympics that year held in Moscow, USSR.

Personal Blogs / Accounts

Cooper River Bridge Run – The Tiny Terror – Personal Blog

Cooper River Bridge Run 2014 (That’s One Big Bridge)

10K to the Bar: Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run

Cooper River Bridge Run Tips (from a local)

Cover Photo Credit:  Eas Coast Aeriel

Where's the finish
Where’s the finish
Look from up above
Look from up above
Zettie Little
Zettie Little

Charleston Waterfront Park – More than just a park…

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

What can you say about Charleston Waterfront Park. ?So many wonderful things.
It is like frolicking through Wonderland or skipping through OZ.
Maybe I am laying this on a bit too thick.? Ok, I will scale back a bit.

Each day hundred of people flock to the park for a job, picnic, nap, swing with someone you love, fishing off the pier, practice gymnastics, walking the dogs, watching sailboats in the harbor, taking pictures, posing for pictures, dancing in the fountain or just people watching.? It is a flourishing strip of palmetto trees, green grass, harbor winds and comforting thoughts.

For those that take pride in this scenic haven or those that have yet to experience its beauty, here are a few things you may not know about Charleston Waterfront Park:
1. ?Beautiful view of the harbor. ?Whether you just want to lay on a blanket with someone you love and watch the sailboats or have a family picnic, the view in perfect.? There are several blocks of green grassy pasture to plot your butt down on or benches by the Pinapple Fountain and dirt path.? Maybe even take a swing on the pier.

2. ?A giant pineapple fountain. ?If I need to say more, you should stop reading.? This iconic fountain is the fabric of our community.? It is a symbol of Southern innocence and tradition.? With a backdrop of palmetto trees, blue skies and harbor waters, this fountain has posed for many pictures in its day.

3. ?Free city operated art gallery. ?See we even toss in a little culture.? This two floor city owned and operated galleries offers exhibit from sculpture to photography to paintings that change on a regular basis.? If you have only visited once or twice, take a walk through next time you are at the park.

4. ?A fountain for the kids to run in and get wet. ?Fun Fun Fun especially in the heat of the summer.? Don’t get scared in October when the water turns pink.? That is in respect for breast cancer awareness.

5. ?A pier with swings. ?What can be more romantic than that.?? A cool breeze and someone you care about in your arms.? This is a great activity for right after a downtown dinner as the sun is setting.

6.? You can fish off the pier. ?Lots of options there.? Don’t forget, you need a permit.

7. ?Great people watching. ?Lots of photography sessions, runners, walkers, kids and even a few silly things.

8. ?Free WiFi. ?I said it. ?FREE WiFi. ?Grab it now.

9.? Dirt path for bikers, runners, walkers, strollers and pets.

There you have it. ?The top reasons to enjoy Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston.? Some of you may have already been aware while others may have learned a thing or two.? Either way, I hope we kindled a fire and get you to spend a nice fall day or evening by the water.