10K Thursday: Cooper River Bridge Run
This week’s 10K Thursday pick is the self-proclaimed “best organized and the best conducted 10K race in the world.” To make a statement like that, they obviously have a lot of history and great comments about the race and the organization. The proof is in the pudding – the race consistently has over 30,000 finishers! They must be doing something right to continue to draw that amount of participation!
The Cooper River Bridge Run takes place in Charleston, South Carolina. It takes place in early spring (this year was last week and next year’s race is at the end of March). Put those things together – South Carolina and March – and you have one of the convincing aspects of the race. Who doesn’t want to get away from winter in sunny South Carolina? 🙂
The course is a point-to-point course that has almost two miles in the middle of the race taking runners over the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge. This should give some great views of the city and the water and certainly will be a fun way to push you forward. One of the interesting aspects of the race actually takes place before the race. Not only are shuttle buses offered to bring racers to the starting line, but they also offer shuttle boats to ferry you to the starting line. That would certainly be a nice way to begin your morning as the sun begins to come up.
Another part about this race that may draw those numbers is the Taste of the Bridge Run. This costs $15 but then allows you to go around to 23 participating restaurants the evening before the race to sample many of the foods of Charleston. Some of the pictures of the food certainly are enticing! I would definitely sign-up for this part of it as you can choose to eat a full meal or just sample at all the different restaurants. It should be quite easy to get your $15 worth out of the experience.
One of the reasons I am writing about this race now is that the registration fee is due to go up on Monday. If this sounds at all interesting to you, it will save you $10 if you sign up before Monday ($35 as of right now).
Here are some of the details about the Cooper River Bridge Run:
- Registration information here
- Located in Charleston, South Carolina
- To be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015
- Start time is 8AM
- Fee is $35 through April 21 – after that it goes up to $45 (until October)
- 32,000 finishers
- Here is the course map
- This will be the 38th year running
Charleston has a decent sized airport with many airlines feeding it – American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and US Airways. The cost to fly there may be a bit high given that it is winter and many people head down to South Carolina. The good news is for travelers from DC, Philadelphia, and Miami as they will be able to use British Airways Avios to fly there for 4,500 points one-way (on American Airlines and US Airways). For everyone else, Southwest and JetBlue would be the next best options for award travel. Finally, if you are coming from airports within 700 miles of Charleston and flying with United, you can get award tickets for only 10,000 miles one-way.
If you prefer to use Delta miles, you can use them with their Pay-With-Miles program at a rate of 1 cent per point (as long as you have an Amex Delta credit card).
There are many hotel options in the area, both to use cash on or as award nights. I would encourage you to go ahead and secure your award night sooner rather than later as hotels fill up fast. Most reservations allow you to cancel later on down the road, so just grab a hotel now and then you can always search for something better later. If you want, you can also just pay with your Barclay Arrival card and use the points earned with that to pay for the hotel.
This seems to be a great way to kick winter goodbye for those of you fellow Northerners! Plus, it could turn into a nice family vacation destination as well. If you want to run a well-run 10K, this would seem to be the race to tackle.