Taste of the Bridge Run
Making Waves in the Charleston Culinary Scene
If you ask Race Director Julian E. Smith III what makes the Cooper River Bridge Run special, he certainly would mention that the event is now 35 years in the running. Pardon the pun. He might also mention that the Cooper River Bridge Run, with its estimated 43,000 participants, is the 3rd largest 10K in the United States, 6th in the world. He might also speak of the fact that in the last five years the run has also become a philanthropic endeavor, helping to raise $350,000 for various causes such as The Susan G. Komen for the Cure — Lowcountry, MUSC Children's Hospital, The American Diabetes Association, Semper Fi Fund and The Lowcountry Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. But there is an added twinkle in his eye when he talks of the race's uniquely staggered start, which releases wave upon wave of runners — 3000 to 5000 at a time — upon the streets of Mt. Pleasant.
Those aren't the only "waves" that Race Director Smith is excited about. Though this is its second year in the making, this is the first year that he and his staff have taken charge of "The Taste of the Bridge Run". Smith plans for the 2012 event to celebrate many of Charleston's top restaurants, while also throwing a little limelight on some of the city's hidden gems. There are countless culinary events which take place upon the peninsula's shores, so what makes Smith believe that this young contender will become a standout? Well, just look at their 35 year track record. Again, pardon the pun.
The 2nd Annual Taste of the Bridge Run, which takes place Friday, March 30th, is an ambitious event operating on dual fronts. Like last year, the event will be held downtown outside the Gaillard Auditorium on Calhoun Street. This year's second location will be Harborside East in Mt. Pleasant, with the dramatic backdrop of the Cooper River Bridge. With Blue Moon Beer as a sponsor and restaurants such as Rue de Jean, Hall's Chophouse, 17 North Roadside Kichen, Bricco Bracco and the Arts Institute of Charleston's Culinary Department in attendance on both sides of the Cooper, the event is sure to attract both race and foodie fans. In addition to the savory, carb-friendly offerings, there will also be the sweet indulgences of Cupcake, Moon Pie Company and more to seal the deal.
Smith is projecting to serve 1000 dinners this year at each location of The Taste of the Bridge Run. In fact they are actually limiting the event to that manageable number. So if you'd like to enjoy the creations of some of Charleston's culinary wonders while mingling with some of the race participants and reveling in some awesome local music (Did we mention that Ship City Slim will be performing at the Gaillard location?), then you might want to purchase your tickets in advance. Tickets are $15 and a portion of the proceeds will be dedicated to establishing a Culinary Scholarship at the Art Institute of Charleston. Music, food and a "feel good" time!
by Antonia M. Krenza and Laney Roberts