Walking To Achieve My American Dream The Coopers Bridge Run….Charleston, S.C. 6 April 2013









Last August I booked a two week holiday to see my friend Lori in North Carolina and quickly received a call to say ‘but I forgot to mention, we’re participating in the Coopers Bridge 10k run while you’re over here. Would you like to join us?’ Without a thought I signed up and received an email announcing my registration for the 36th Coopers Bridge Run/Walk in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.


  Typically for me, the realisation of the task ahead did not sink in until a few days later when I realised, the last time anyone had entered me in a race was in 1963 for the inter-schools egg and spoon race!  Not a naturally gifted Olympian but enthusiastic

PREPARATION: By September, my ‘training’ had begun and I ditched the bus to walk to work. The race would be 6.2 miles long and my daily route to work was around a mile and a half. Immediately I felt more energised. Good start!! Over the next few months, Dr Luke and Dr Danny were there to support me with advice on sensible exercise, diet and goal setting. As we headed into 2013, my general health and mobility had improved and the combination of chiropractic care with regular exercise meant I had every chance of achieving my American Dream.

RACE DAY 6 APRIL 2013: There were in all 31,459 competitors in the race, including many top runners, whom I suspect were preparing themselves for the main event a week later, the Boston Marathon. Everyone gathered in Mount Pleasant to sing the Star-Spangled Banner and a huge roar went up as the elite runners set off. I was in Corral I (slow walkers), along with my friend’s husband George, to await the start and head off along Coleman Boulevard. The distance to the Coopers Bridge was approximately 2 miles and everyone cheered as we finally took off in a carnival atmosphere, with bands playing and crowds lining the sidewalks. Water stations were on hand and everyone smiled as we made our way up the approach and onto the Coopers Bridge. The Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge (as it was formally named), was inaugurated in 2005 and overlooks Fort Sumter, the location of the first Civil War battle. Its modernistic cable construction can only be described as breathtaking and for us this was definitely a once in a lifetime moment to be savoured. Race times were of no interest, just taking in the view and experiencing the moment gave us the momentum to carry on. Across the bridge, the 4mile marker appeared and in no time we were heading left into downtown Charleston. Approaching late morning, the heat was starting to rise and without the sea breeze, the walk began to hurt. Undeterred, we kept our pace and headed along King Street, alive with pumping music and crowds cheering. There in the distance, was the 6mile banner and the determination to succeed kicked in. With only 0.2 miles to the finish line, the dream was nearly done. My friend Lori appeared, having completed the run much earlier with her daughter to give George and I one final push. Yippee, at last we cross the finish line in blazing heat clocking 2:2111 (rank 31,075) to emerge victorious. The end of MY GLORIOUS DAY!!! I’m so proud that my American Dream is complete.  

Would I do it again? Probably not the Coopers Bridge run but the walk has inspired me to look at similar events back home. As we head towards walking awareness week, it’s always a good time to consider taking the ‘alternative route’ to regular walking and exercise. My advice is, ‘keep it light and don’t forget to add some fun’. You never know where your dream will take you!

 C.A. Pauline

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