Running The Cooper River Bridge

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I could go on and on about all the amazing running routes in Charleston. 
I’ve already showed you three of my favorite routes:
– the historic charm of Running Downtown Charleston
– the coastal beauty of Running the Beaches
– the back to nature feel of Running the West Ashley Greenway
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Now it is time to show you one of the most popular running routes in Charleston –
The Copper River Bridge.  (AKA – Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge or The Ravenel)photo 5 (2)
Ever since they knocked the old bridges down (there used to be two separate, very old, slightly, shaky, way too narrow, absolutely terrifying bridges) and put this new beauty up, complete with run/walk and bike lanes, it has been getting a ton of use. 
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It is a great place to run for a few reasons: 
1. We have no elevation to speak of in Charleston, there is a reason it is called the LowCountry, so this is about your only option when trying to do hill runs.
2. Being up so high over the water there is nothing to block the wind, which means you get a good breeze up on the bridge, great for those super hot summer months. 
3. The bridge is really well lit, and heavily traveled, which makes it a place I feel safe running at night. 
4. It is a great distance for a run. From one end of the bridge to the other is 2.5 miles, so an over and back is a perfect five mile run. 
5. You are likely to bump into some fellow runners/walkers who will keep you motivated with a head nod, wave, or hello.  photo 3 (1)
Hill work – love it, hate it, could go either way?
Have you ever run a bridge?
Would hill work be better if it looked like this?
Have I convinced you all to visit Charleston yet?
[Tweet "Running The Cooper River Bridge: One of the best places to catch a great view & a great run in Chs. Join me!"]
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*Side Note –
The Cooper River Bridge Run 10K happens every spring, next year’s race is March 28th, 2015.
It is the 3rd largest 10K in the USA with about 40,000 people entering each year.
Registration fees are currently only $35, it goes up to $40 next week. 
If you have even considered visiting Charleston this is a wonderful excuse.


  1. says

    I lived in Myrtle Beach for about 10 years, and looooved going to visit Charleston! We ran the Cooper River Bridge Run in 2007, it was a fantastic experience!

  2. says

    Charleston is a fun place to visit and not too far from me (Charlotte). I’ve thought of doing the race. Maybe next year :)

  3. says

    Wow – that sounds like a perfect 5 mile run for sure – I think I would be a little freaked out to run the bridge at first but after a bit I would love the view!!!

  4. says

    I would love to run the race one day! I am so jealous that you have no hills, especially right now with such hot temps. I feel like I’m slugging up and down them lately. Thanks for sharing your Charleston running thoughts and perspective! xo

    • says

      I am very lucky to have no hills this summer. I was shocked at how hilly GA was a few weeks ago when I was there.

  5. says

    I love hiking & walking up hills, but running, not so much! ha! If I run up a hill, it sort of feels like someone is pegging massive bricks at me! LOL

  6. says

    Charleston looks so beautiful. I enjoy hills (as much as you can really enjoy them!) because I know they make me stronger. My last half marathon we ran briefly over a bridge, I thought it would be a lot scarier than it was, but its not something I would want to do all the time! :)

    • says

      I think it depends on the size of the bridge too. I have run some that I didn’t trust very much, and then some big sturdy ones.

  7. says

    I love running the bridge! The wind can really whip you around. Once I did it and the wind was blowing so hard I was unable to close my mouth. drool flying out the side on my cheeks, it was disgusting. Later that day they had a high wind advisory for 45 mph winds. insane.

    My wife is scared to drive over that bridge. She refused the old one, and is just terrified of the new one but will drive over it anyway. And when I was down there on Memorial Day, I got to swim under that bridge! Now that was really cool. Nobody gets to see the underside of that bridge like that.

  8. says

    I love running the bridge. I used to run it probably once a week. I have never done the race/event, though… I’m hoping I can break 45 minutes in a 10K to seed at the front for next year. The race is just super crowded! I ended up going to BodyPump on bridge run day this year hehe.

    • says

      The old ones scared me because they were so skinny, old, and wobbly. However, larger bridges like this with walking lanes I can do.

  9. says

    I have never been to Charleston but it is on my list of places to visit. This bridge look like a great place to run!

  10. says

    What wonderful photos! Do you take those with your phone while you’re out running or do you take a spare camera?

    I’ve run a couple of bridges while doing races but they were rather flat. I think beautiful scenery like that would of made me do more hill running when I could run!

    13 Days and I’ll be landing in Charleston!

    • says

      I actually just upgraded to the iPhone 5S and was really impressed, the camera seems a lot better.
      I always use my phone camera when I run so I was glad it seemed like a big improvement from the old one.

  11. Brie says

    That’s really pretty! I agree that it’d be a nice 5 mile short run! The bike and walk/run lanes are so nice too. I had no idea bridges could be 2.5 miles long!! Wow!

  12. says

    That looks like a beautiful place to run! When I was running longer distances, I had a hard time finding good places to run around here. Not that there aren’t plenty of distances to run, but not too many interesting places to run. I would love to run across this bridge! Maybe I will make it over there some time :)

  13. says

    Running courses in Charleston is such a great idea! If I ever go, I’ll be able to get some pointers on where to go :) And yes I would totally do “hills” if it had that gorgeous bridge view!

    • says

      Awesome. I must admit I like it even more when it is not during the bridge run, no early wake up call or bus rides involved:)