Big event weekend to draw thousands in Charleston area

Charleston is gearing up for the tens of thousands of people who will be in town for the Cooper River Bridge Run and the start of the Family Circle Cup.

Both events are organizing and getting ready for two of the biggest events the Lowcountry has to offer.

More than 40,000 runners and their families will be spread out between Mt. Pleasant and downtown Charleston on Saturday morning. This year's bridge run is expected to bring in the biggest crowd since its started back in 1978.

"It's getting nationally known and last year sold out the Monday before," said assistant race director Tammy Bourne. "This year we sold out last Wednesday."

Bourne says the crew of organizers is moving their Mt. Pleasant office to the Galliard this week and keeping up with packets for the 40,000 runners isn't easy.

"This is our crazy time, the Monday before," she said.

Bourne says it's not just the mass of runners who take up street space, she says the race also brings out a bunch of on-lookers.

"Tons of spectators, people come by and line up King street to watch their family members come by. There's a huge event at Marion Square," Bourne said.

A lot goes into making the event a huge success.

"I wake up at 5:30 race day and think. 'Who told that officer to be there?' But they're always there, closing roads and preparing. It's a huge team effort," Bourne said.

If you plan on sprinting to the finish line, make sure to save some energy to celebrate afterwards.

"It's a big party at Marion Square," Bourne said.

Runners aren't the only ones in town. The Family Circle Cup begins Saturday and is expected to bring in more fans than last year, more than 95,000.

So if you are in town this weekend, keep your running shoes and tennis rackets close by.

Bourne says the roads downtown and in Mt. Pleasant will close around 5:30 a.m. Saturday. There will be buses to take people from downtown to the start line in Mt pleasant.

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