Boston Strong at the Bridge Run

CHARLESTON, S.C.(WCIV) -- Local runners were out in full force at Saturday's Cooper River Bridge Run. Some were in costumes, others, more serious in trying to hit race goal times.

For local runner Bill Rowell, getting in the pre-race zone is a routine he's done hundreds of times.

"Think about your strategy, a little 10K over the bridge and down, what times you want to get, and mentally get in the race," Rowell said as he described his preparation. "I've been running all my whole life pretty much."

At 59 years old, Rowell is at the front of the pack in his age group and competes in running events across the country -- including at last year's Boston Marathon.

"Once you realize what had happened and what occurred you get that sick feeling and there is nothing you can do about it," Rowell said, thinking back to Boston.

Rowell had already finished the race and was safe in his hotel room when the bombs went off in Boston. He said he feels lucky to have avoided injury and is set to go back to Boston's historic race this year.

"I don't feel like there is going to be any danger whatsoever,"he said.

Saturday's Cooper River Bridge Run is something of a warm-up for the marathon runner whose goal is a Boston comeback pounding in his every step.

"I'll be thinking about the experience last year, the folks that didn't finish, the tragedy, and the folks that have overcome that and turned it into a positive experience," he said.

From the Bridge Run, Rowell will head to Boston in just a couple of weeks. The Boston Marathon takes place on Monday, April 21.