Ravenel Bridge in Charleston SC during the Cooper River Bridge Run By Meagan Moore, Luxury Simplified Marketing

Each year the Cooper River Bridge Run draws more than 40,000 runners and walkers to Charleston SC for the world-class 10k race. From costumed-runners who offer a light-hearted feel, to internationally known marathon runners, accomplished local running stars, or people who run for the first time because it’s always “been on their bucket list, ” the Cooper River Bridge Run is an annual, much-loved event here in Charleston. This year’s race celebrates the 41st year since its inception. Always tagged as the “Cooper River Bridge Run, ” in the early years, runners crossed the old Silas Pearman Bridge, later replaced by the stunning and architecturally significant Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge in 2005. A day of fun, fitness and camaraderie, the race brings thousands of visitors and locals together to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

As the race gets underway, the streets line with supporters cheering on runners as they make their way down Coleman Boulevard and the entrance to the bridge. Costumes and themed runners are not an uncommon sight along the race route – be prepared to see some unicorns, Elvis impersonators, or even the occasional beer hat. Throughout the route, you’ll find a new band or artist performing every .3 of a mile to keep the energy and excitement going. A total of 20 local bands and artists are enjoyed by runners and spectators alike.

The race takes participants from Mount Pleasant, across the Ravenel Bridge, through historic downtown Charleston and finishes at George and Meeting Streets. All participants are invited to the “finish festival “ to celebrate with hundreds of vendors, held just a short walk away at Marion Square. Post-race festivities go beyond the finish festival in Marion Square where both runners and spectators can carry the excitement of the morning into the afternoon. Beyond runners and walkers, the event also holds a competitive wheelchair race early Saturday morning and a kids run, featuring the “toddler waddle, ” a 1/4 or 1/2 mile “race ” held on Friday. 

Many local restaurants and bars open their doors bright and early Saturday morning, offering breakfast, brunch fare, and Bloody Marys. For spectators, you’ll find drink specials, giveaways and live music from Bay Street Biergarten to The Alley and more. For race participants, you can get free or discounted drinks and gift cards just for running or walking. Find a full list of events and bib perks here.

Whether you’ve run the annual event for the past 41 years, participated as an organized group, walked the 6.2 miles with family and friends, volunteered, or even just cheered from the finish line, getting out and enjoying the energy throughout the city is a feeling you have to experience

Note: Whether you’re participating or not the same is true, “It’s not just a race, it’s an experience, ” but participating in the annual Bridge Run certainly offers a unique way to discover Charleston. Not only are you able to see many parts of the city from an amazing point of view, but you can get some exercise while you do it! So, whether you are heading to Charleston for race day, or just want to learn more about Charleston’s varied lifestyles…