Cooper River Bridge Run benefits 14 charities

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Are you ready to get over it?

We are less than three days away from the 41st annual Cooper River Bridge Run and thousands of people are starting to descend into the Lowcountry for one of the nation's largest 10k races.

The bridge run has approximately 33,000 participants registered for the 2018 race.

This number is slightly lower than last year but race organizers are not concerned.

"Last year was our celebratory year with our 40th so we had a little more," assistant race director Tami Bourne said. "There's a lot of construction going on near Coleman Boulevard. Jimmy Buffet is in town, a little less might not be so bad."

Handling such a massive crowd requires a lot of help.

Organizers received such an influx of inquiries for volunteering, they had to cut off applications earlier this week.

This year, nearly 4,000 volunteers will lend helping hands.

"The bridge run would not be the success it is without our volunteers," Bourne said. "It takes a troop of them."

A lot of those volunteers come from the charities the race helps.

Each of the 14 charities provides at least 100 volunteers for race day.

For the first time this year, the Lowcountry Food Bank is on that list.

"It's our first year. We're so glad to be a part of so many charities they support and really excited about the exposure to 30,000 people in the community," Lowcountry Food Bank chief development officer Kathryn Douglas said.

Douglas said she's not sure how much of a donation the Lowcountry Food Bank will receive, but that every single dollar has a purpose.

"For every dollar raised, we can create six meals for neighbors in our community that are food insecure," Douglas explained. "Those dollar donations mean the world to us."

Another local charity is the Medical University of South Carolina.

It is one of the founding organizations of the Cooper River Bridge Run.

"It started here at MUSC with Dr. Marcus Newberry. We have a rich history with the Bridge Run," director of MUSC Wellness Center Janis Newton said. "It promotes the health and wellness of our community and MUSC is committed to building healthy communities. It just goes hand-in-hand."

For 41 years now, Newton said this race helps the MUSC campus progress every single day.

"It means a lot to MUSC that's it's not just the Bridge Run day. We have 364 other days we can promote wellness through this huge 10k," Newton said.

The race isn't just a way to exercise, it's a way to give back to our community.

"Everyone wants to be healthy and run but now, at the same time they can do something great for the Lowcountry," Douglas said.

"Race day is always a great day in Charleston," Newton added.

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