Over the Hill RunPosted on February 6th, 2012 2 comments
Saturday, February 11 is my 50th birthday and to celebrate we’re going to run across the Cooper River Bridge at midnight. In other words, we’re running Over the Hill as I cross over the hill of life.
Here’s the particulars:
- Meet at the gas station at the foot of the bridge in Mt Pleasant.
- Date: Friday, February 10
- Start time: 11:45 pm (2345 for my Marine friends)
- Distance: 5.5 miles (but don’t feel obligated to go all the way across and back)
Please do join me and the rest of the Charleston Runs gang - even if you’re going to walk.
For me, running across the bridge is always a celebration of regained health. I first started walking the bridge with my friend, Todd. We would meet and walk as far as I could in 30 minutes and then walk back.
In 2006, I started doing the Boot Camp program at MUSC and part of the program was to meet on Wednesday mornings to run the bridge at 6 am. I was so beat up from Boot Camp and so overweight that I just walked the bridge while others ran.
Beginning in January 2007, Boot Camp no longer met at the bridge on Wednesdays but I still showed up. Every time I went, I started out running until I couldn’t run any farther and then I walked. There were some mornings it was so cold and windy that I didn’t see anybody on the bridge until 6:45 as I was heading back down into Mt Pleasant. Each week, I managed to go just a little further and one day I surprised myself by running all the way to the center of the span. I was so surprised that I practically skipped all the way to Charleston and back that day - it was the first time I had run to the center and the first time I had run across and back.
I did my first bridge run in over 10 years in 2007 and my friend, Steve (he’s also my boss and my pastor), along with some other friends were going to do the race together. He asked me if I had a time goal. I said, “No, I think I just want to run this as a celebration of regained health.” Running the race that year was pretty special. Steve, along with my friend, Laura, who was one of my big cheerleaders, ran it with me. Along the way, my doctor, Ed, who first convinced me to exercise, caught up with me and ran some of the race alongside me.
In the intervening years, I’ve run across the bridge many times. Every time I run or ride my bike across the bridge, I think of the people who have come alongside me to encourage me - whether it’s in Boot Camp, at the track on a Tuesday evening, or at the finish line of a race.
I am incredibly thankful for those who have been there and I give thanks to God for placing you in my path. Come celebrate my birthday with me and my regained health.
And now you inpire others everyday. You ROCK, COACH Greg. Keep getting your groove on for your next 50.