2014 Cooper River Bridge Run Forecast - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

2014 Cooper River Bridge Run Forecast

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By Dave Williams

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- After such a cold winter, it's finally been nice to get a warm stretch of weather now that the calendar flipped to April. This time of year brings many of the Lowcountry's outdoor festivals, before the scorching summer heat sets in.

It's also Cooper River Bridge Run time, where roughly 40,000 participants line up along Coleman Boulevard early on a Saturday morning to merely"get over it!"

The run is one of the United States' top five largest 10K races and attracts runners from all over the world.  It's a relatively flat course except for the unique feature near the middle of the race, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the western hemisphere.

Not only can the climb to 150 feet above the Cooper River play havoc with the runners, but weather can also be turbulent late in March, or early in April. The race has been run every year since 1978, creating 35 years of climate data to analyze.

Averages for a typical race day from Mt. Pleasant to Charleston would be an afternoon high of 72 degrees, a morning low of 50 degrees, 0.04" of rain for the day, and early morning winds around 10 mph.

The warmest weather for the race, with a start time 10 a.m., the inaugural year 1978, when the temperature was 76 degrees at the gun. Some runners had to be hospitalized with heat related illnesses.

Also there were no water stops along the course. Lessons learned, have water, and push the starting time earlier to 9am, and eventually 8 a.m., where it currently sits.

Coldest Cooper River Bridge run at the onset was 1987, incidentally the first year the race began at 8 a.m., when it was a mere 39 degrees.  There were some winds gusting from 20 to 30 mph, chilling the runners even further.

To date, rain hasn't been much of an issue. 

There have been showers and thunderstorms in the early morning hours well before the race, obviously dampening the course.  Also there has been afternoon rain, well past the conclusion of the event.  The wettest running was 2005 with light rain at the start, 0.72" came down on that particular April 2. 

Other times there has been some fog, drizzle and mist.

Alas, the prognostication for the 2014 Cooper River Bridge Run: a weakening cold front will be nearby.  That will introduce the slightest chance of a spotty shower. Generally skies will be mostly cloudy.  The morning low will be 63 degrees, one degree warmer, 64 at the starting gun at 8 a.m.  Winds will be from the west-southwest at around 7 mph.  Afternoon highs will top off around 79 degrees.

Don't like this year's forecast? I say, "Just get over it!"  Enjoy yourself, run well, and have a great race!

  • Dave Williams

    Email: dwilliams@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile

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