Guide to the 2021 Cooper River Bridge Run: Everything you need to know

State - Regional

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Thousands of runners and walkers will participate in the 44th annual Cooper River Bridge Run on Saturday.

The bridge run, which typically happens in the spring, was postponed to late September because of the coronavirus pandemic. Race organizers say they wanted to hold off on the race until large groups could safely gather.

THE BRIDGE RUN EXPO

This is where you will pick up your race day packet, which includes your bib number, computer timing chip, event information and myriad offers from event sponsors.

The expo will take place at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston on Thursday, September 23rd from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Friday, September 24th from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

It’s important to note there will be NO race day packet pick-up, so unless you’ve had your packet mailed to you, you will need to stop by the expo to pick yours up on either Thursday or Friday.

COVID SAFETY AND REQUIREMENTS

All participants will be required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result at the pre-run expo and must wear a face mask at the expo, during bus loading, on buses, and in start corrals on race day.

Bridge Run officials say prior to bib number pick-up, race participants will be required to provide either proof of a complete vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 test received within 72 hours of the start of the Expo.  Participants may bring an original paper copy, digital copy, photocopy, or digital photo of their vaccination card. 

There will be an increased number of handwashing stations at both the expo, along the race route, and in all port-o-lets. All participants and volunteers will receive a mask and personal bottle of hand sanitizer.

Participants will not be required to wear masks while wheel chairing, running, or walking the 10k course.

The post-race finish festival will be closed to spectators and only racers will be allowed to enter the park.

BUS SHUTTLES AND TRANSPORTATION

Buses will be available for transport between Charleston and Mount Pleasant on Saturday. Buses to the start line run 5:00 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. and you will need your race bib to board the bus.

Return buses will leave from downtown Charleston beginning at 10:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. to get racers back to their parking areas.

Buses will be marked according to the four parking areas.

Strollers will not be permitted. For more information about bus shuttles, please click here.

Organizers say racers who purchased boat shuttle tickets, your name will be on a list at the dock.  These tickets cost $10.00 and can be purchased with registration. Note: tickets typically sell out quickly.

Boat Ferry to Patriots Point leaves Fountain Walk Dock, (on Concord Street, just North of the SC Aquarium at the end of Calhoun Street)

Shuttle buses will transport participants to Coleman Blvd from Patriots Point to approximately 3/4 of a mile from the start. The return boats on race day cost $10 cash and tickets are not required (This is the route from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant) The dock is located about two miles from the start line.

SWEAT SHUTTLE

If you do not want to run with your bag, ‘sweat shuttle’ trucks will be located at the corner of Live Oak Drive at Coleman Boulevard and at Chuck Dawley Blvd. near the Sea Island Shopping Center. These trucks will take your bags (which must be pre-labeled with your name and phone number) until 7:40 a.m.

The truck will be parked at the end-of-race festival until 12:30 p.m.

THE STARTING LINE AND RACE ROUTE

The starting line for the Cooper River Bridge Run is located just ahead of Simmons Street in Mount Pleasant, and heat markers begin near the Moultrie Shopping Center.

Heats begin with the elite group, followed by Sub 40, under 45 mins, 45-50 mins, 50-60 mins, over 1 hour, and then walkers will round out the heat line up.

Organizers say you must wear your race bib number to be allowed on the course and on shuttles. Runners must position themselves by pace and color-coded heat numbers.

There will be porta johns’ stages along the race route, along with water and first aid sections for those who need them.  Bands will also be positioned along the race route to pump you up for the big race!

The finish festival, which includes entertainment, food, vendors, souvenirs, and refreshments, will take place at Marion Square immediately following the race.

The race starts at 8:00 a.m.

ROAD CLOSURES

Several roads will begin closing in both Mount Pleasant and downtown Charleston Friday in preparation for the Cooper River Bridge Run. See a full list of closures and times below:

CLOSURES BEGINNING FRIDAY

In Charleston, George Street between King Street will be closed at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, September 24th until 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 25th.

Meeting Street between George and Wentworth will close Friday, September 24th at 10:00 p.m. Traffic will reopen on Saturday following finish-line clean-up around 2:00 p.m.

Society Street and Wentworth Street will remain open.

In Mount Pleasant, expect delays and congestion on Coleman Boulevard as crews race day materials are put into place between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

CLOSURES ON SATURDAY (RACE DAY)

In Charleston, Calhoun Street between Meeting to Anson Street will be closed to all traffic 12:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.; traffic will be limited to residents only until 4:30 a.m. when the road will be closed entirely.

Calhoun Street between King and East Bay Street will close at 4:30 a.m. until either 2:00 p.m. or determined by Charleston PD.

The following streets will be closed 4:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.:

George Street – East Bay to King Street

Anson Street – Calhoun to Society Street

Alexander Street – Charlotte to George Street

Charlotte Street – Elizabeth to Meeting Street

Henrietta Street – Elizabeth to Meeting Street

Elizabeth Street – Calhoun to Charlotte Street

Meeting Street from John to Wentworth closes at 4:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. or determined by Charleston PD.  (Note: Wentworth and Society will be open until 7:00 a.m. unless pedestrian traffic forces an early closure)

Arthur Ravenel Bridge Wonderway Lane closes at 6:30 a.m. to clear the bridge of pedestrian traffic until the bridge re-opens following the race.

The race route and support streets will close at 7:00 a.m. until participants are finished and the roadways are cleaned (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.).

The entire Ravenel Bridge will be closed until all participants have cleared the bridge, support staff removed, barricades removed, and the bridge cleaned of any debris.

In Mount Pleasant, road closures on Coleman Boulevard from Fairmont to Hibben will begin at 3:00 a.m.

Coleman Blvd. from Chuck Dawley Blvd. to Live Oak at 6:00 a.m.

Ravenel Bridge – beginning at 7:00 a.m., diversion at US 17 at Houston Northcutt onto Mathis Ferry Road for all southbound traffic.

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