You would agree that the “Bridge Run” from 2012 was probably your low point. Forty thousand people waited 45 minutes after the advertised start time to begin their run. Politicians often do this wrong, and I think you did too. You kept people in the dark (literally, and then figuratively) as to why we were not moving. You announced the start many times, and then did not follow through. You let the seeded runners go off somewhere to rest, and then called them back many times. You almost threatened us through the sound system: “We have been very patient with you!”. All you got was booing in response.
What really happened? There was a screw-up in the bus system from Charleston out to the island, we found out the next day. All the runners who had been promised a ride did not get to the start side until 8:45. You could have told us that. And then cranked up the music and let everyone dance in place. That’s what a person feels like doing at the beginning of a race. Seems simple.
For me, something wonderful happened that year, however. I became an athlete. Early in my sixth decade, outlasting many my age who used to run, I won my first medal for a sport. The top five percent of each age designation get medals, who knew? In this group of more than forty thousand, there were approximately 500 women aged 60-64. I came in 19th, comfortably within the top five percent. Now running was something different for me, not just a personal little reverie about filling lungs and stretching legs, but a time to beat. Something to do again, or top.
My medal from last year came unexpectedly. Heavy, and on a grosgrain ribbon; “It looks like a beer bottle opener”, I would say, sharing my delight at winning this medal. Who knew it actually WAS one?
Coming in 19th again in my age group in 2013, but with a faster time, I could not wait for my second medal! Giddy about it really. Was of course going to write a post about it. Here is me, in my imagination:
Yes, Mark Spitz. Me with my two medals. But what do I get this year?
A chalk trivet with a heat applied plastic picture on the surface. Broken. No ribbon attached. On the back is says “Homemade” (not even “Handmade”). For the top five percent, you, Cooper River Bridge Run, give athletes domestic items. Stinging, stinging disappointment!