This is the first time I’ve done the Connector. It’s a pretty simple race. You run over the James Island Connector Bridge, turn around and then come back. Ten kilometers altogether.
It was pretty cold in the morning, so I wore gloves and a sweatshirt jacket. I warm up after maybe a kilometer during a good run, so I figured that I could ditch the warm stuff just before the race. There were a few vendors, and I spoke to a few nice folks. Again, a pretty simple and standard race.
My only mistake was changing my mind about the jacket. The temperature was a bit lower than I expected so stayed bundled up. I was worried about wind coming across the bridge and sucking the life out of me. Of course, I warmed up after about a kilometer. First I unzipped the jacket. When that wasn’t enough, I tied it around my waist. After that, I was comfortable and enjoying the scenery.
We Suddenly Start
There wasn’t a buzzer. The police motorcycle just sort of started and we followed. I’m sure that somebody said “go” or something, but none of us heard it. The crowd started so we did the same. As usual, I started chatting with a few of the folks in the crowd. Some of the more attractive ones were more than happy to have their photos taken.
The race took us up Calhoun Street and onto the Connector. The scenery was nice, and the three hills were pretty gentle. We ran all the way to James Island, but we didn’t stick around. The course had two sharp left turns which put us right back onto the bridge.
I had expected the return trip to be a bit boring, but being on the other side of the bridge offered a different view of the scenery. The hills weren’t too bad, and the downhill portions weren’t too steep. The only negative effect upon morale was being able to see so far ahead. Some people don’t like to know how far they still have to go. For my part, I kind of liked it.
The Big Finish
This was a hell of a surprise. I stopped twice during the race, once to check my camera and once to make sure that my car key was still tied into my shoe laces. That only cost me about five seconds between the both of them, and the jacket around my waist was catching the wind over the bridge. I never expected to finish with a personal best of fifty minutes and… uh… okay, so I got a little frisky at the end. I took a quick photo of the Finish Line and then poured on the speed. I didn’t actually check the clock as I crossed. My Start Time is indicated above, but it’s not a true chip time since there wasn’t a sensor at the beginning.
After I finished, I took a few shots of other people finishing, and I took a bit of video. The loud beeping sound you hear is the noise made by the chips registering at the Finish Line.
After the Race
There wasn’t really a festival afterwards. Folks just checked out the vendor tents, grabbed up snacks and drank water. One interesting note was the massage therapist. I’ve seen tables at a race before, but she was all alone and almost without a line. I thought maybe I was early or something, but she was never very busy.
I just walked up to the table after she finished with the previous guy and stepped up. Nobody was waiting for her. The session was maybe five minutes long, but it was effective.