I am one of the 36,710 finishers in the 2012 Cooper River Bridge Run/Walk.
This was the first and last time I will participate in the Run/Walk and I am sure the officials are very sad to hear of my exasperation over how this race was handled and mishandled.
I am a middle-aged woman who loves the Ravenel Bridge, loves Charleston and am blessed to have fibromyalgia. I say blessed because my life could be much worse.
We knew the weather would be a big factor on how the race played out.
What I could never have anticipated was the rude behavior of so many of the participants.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but we were told of the weather, the parking, the procedures, the anticipation, the fun and the chaos. My mistake was that I really believed that even with my FM (fibromyalgia), I could have fun doing something I had never done before, a 10K.
I have filled out a survey about the race on the bridge run’s website stating my horror at the things I saw and experienced.
David Quick’s article in the April 2 Post and Courier was very aptly named, “How did so much go so wrong?”
I don’t know how so much went so wrong, but I know that there were entirely too many people on Coleman Boulevard, the bridge, and downtown on Saturday.
From the delays, to the mix-ups, to the lack of water, to the shoving, pushing and being stepped on, I can only think that I would never be able to prepare for that again.
As I was trying to get into Marion Square, I had a panic attack and couldn’t get air in my lungs. I was able to successfully get myself under control only to find out that nothing was left for me. I wanted a banana.
That was it, just a banana to replenish my potassium, get my head together and maybe start enjoying the after-race celebration.
There was nothing to celebrate as I watched people taking boxes of food away. I had nothing left to give.
I know that the bridge run officials do not want people like me (first-timers) to go away vowing never to return again, but I cannot subject my body to that abuse again.
I will continue to walk the Ravenel Bridge whenever I want (I cannot run as I have two prosthetic knees) without all the anxiety.
Monica M. Murgatroyd Iroquois Street
On behalf of all of us associated with the management of the Bridge Run, as chairman of the board of directors and as race director, we offer our most sincere apologies to each and every one who endured the unprecedented problems that you were faced with during this 35th and largest edition of the Bridge Run.
As a testament to our continued efforts for perfection, we will be taking the necessary steps to help ensure this will never happen again. We pledge to do our very best to present to you the highest quality 10K race that Charleston area residents and visitors deserve, and nothing less.
At this time we are working to confirm the details and facts surrounding the delayed start. We do know that transporting runners to the start line did not occur in a timely manner, which was the initial cause of the delay that we all experienced.
There have been numerous reasons reported and discussed on various social media and news outlets, but until we determine exactly what happened, it is all speculation and rumor and it would be irresponsible for us to act on anything other than facts. The board and staff are meeting this week to work on confirming the causes of the delay and to develop appropriate solutions.
The loyalty of the thousands of runners and walkers who return year after year is one of the reasons that the Bridge Run has grown and attained the level of success and recognition that it receives. Those of you who have been involved with this race before know that we have always worked hard to provide the very best experience possible.
To those new to the race, let us assure you that what you experienced at this year’s race is not typical. We, the CRBR staff, board members and supporting agencies, appreciate your participation and we owe it to each and every one of you to do our collective best to provide you with the highest quality 10K race anywhere.
We know that many were inconvenienced by the delayed start. Not only the participants, but the various businesses, vendors and residents of Mount Pleasant and Charleston and surrounding areas were affected by the delayed start which in turn delayed the opening of the bridge and roads.
All play a part in the great success of the Bridge Run and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding during this time every year.
Your high expectations for this race and our commitment to meet those expectations are what drive us toward perfection in planning and providing for your safety. Keep those expectations high and don’t settle for anything less.
Whatever the causes were, we will fix them.
Ken Ayoub Chairman, Board of Directors
Cooper River Bridge Run Julian Smith
Race Director S. Shelmore Boulevard