Nearly 40,000 people ran across the Cooper River Bridge Saturday, and I was one of them. Waking up at 5:30 a.m. was no treat, especially after fooling myself that staying out the night before was a good idea. But it was easy to forget the fatigue when I saw all of the other early-bird runners lined down Calhoun, around King, and all the way up George Street waiting to get on a school bus to take them to the starting line. Eventually everyone made it to Mt. Pleasant, and by 8:30 we crossed the starting line right before Shem Creek, amidst an endless crowd of bobbing heads. While I thought that I might die/walk the whole thing, it was surprising how the camaraderie of the event pushed us all the way to the end without stopping. Notable costumes included a guy dressed as Gumby who cheered us on as we passed him, a pack of jailbirds, Dubya and his Secret Service agents, and a group of ’70s basketball players. On the way in helpful onlookers cheered us on and one van blasting “Soulja Boy” amped us up to reach the finish line at Meeting and George streets. Fruit, muffins, and bagels provided by Bi-Lo awaited us at Marion Square and prepped everyone for the next segment of the day: drinking. Most of the champs went straight to the bars. Some folks took siestas and were ready to rage Saturday night. Day drinking-turned-night drinking usually spells exhaustion, but not for these all-star athletes. It was a triumphant day, to say the least.

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