The Cooper River Bridge Run For Dummies

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If you haven't heard, the Cooper River Bridge Run is tomorrow! If you don't know what that is, you've never ever, ever, been to Charleston, or have been living under a rock. The Bridge Run is one of the biggest races in the country, with nearly 40,000 runners participating. It's one of the most looked forward to events in Charleston, and starts off the Spring festival season with a bang. Here are a few valuable tips and tricks for the race. If you've never run it before, it's such an awesome experience, and lasts much longer than the race itself. Here are just a few things to remember, as you gear up for the best Saturday of your 2014 spring.

1. If you're from out of town, book your hotel well in advance. (Pretty weak advice seeing as how the race is tomorrow, but for future reference.)
2. 
Get a good night's rest. (Obviously) Running a 10K hungover is unbelievably uncomfortable.
3. TAKE A SHUTTLE! Parking everywhere in Mt. Pleasant will be atrocious. The shuttles are free, and a great way to meet your next best friend.
4. Bring cash or a credit card. After the race, there are thousands of people downtown and all restaurants have specials. Spend your day taking advantage.
5. Dress light. It may be chilly early in the morning, but it's always warm by race end and you don't want to be shedding layers while running.
6. Don't wear earphones. There are bands every few yards. It's great music.
7. Don't take yourself too seriously. Let's be honest. You probably wont win. Have fun and take in the sights and sounds. 
8. Find the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Get a picture. Get a hotdog. It'll be there, and it's awesome.
9. Take a stroll around Marion Square after you finish. There are tents of food and art, and concerts, and a beer garden. It's a fun time!
10. Vow that after almost throwing up even from a very mediocre finish time, you'll do so much better next year, but instead of trying to start your olympic career, you just repeat leisurely jogging the first 9.9K and then sprint down the last 100 yards of Meeting Street to the finish, so you almost throw up. Again.

Solid advice on all counts. There are some people who take the race very seriously, and sprint almost the entire way. They might be having fun, but if you take your time, enjoy the sights, sounds, and people of Charleston, you'll have a much better experience.

(Images via Bridgerun.com)