CRBR runners take to social media with complaints

Lines at the Bridge Run Expo (Lindsay Rotella/Facebook)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Runners waiting for shuttle buses at the North Charleston Coliseum took to social media Saturday morning to voice their displeasure at the lack of transportation.

While Alex Dupont and Travis Dodson crossed the finish line, first and second in the wheelchair portion of the race, thousands still waited to board shuttle buses at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Comments like "Still waiting, don't start without us!" and "Very unsat situation at the convention center" flooded the event's Facebook page while organizers went on with the show.

As of 11:30 a.m. there has been no response from organizers online who were still taking to Facebook to announce the winners for the wheelchair race. They did, however, address issues like where to find water and portable toilets.

Meanwhile comments like these continued to build:

-- "Such a disappointing start to my first Cooper River Bridge Run...terrible shuttle service. 2 hours in line. Can't believe such a large event was so mismanaged :(" - Whitney Foley

-- "Any update on the shuttles from North Charleston? The lines are still very long here, will there be cutoff??" - Eileen Duffy

-- "We need more busses at the N.Charleston location! They are few and far between." - Hope Steen

-- "If I would have known the bus would be a 40 minute ride from downtown to the airport then to mt pleasant... I would have found alternate transportation, this is ridiculous!" - Jennifer Maynard

-- "Not a single bus pulling in to convention center last 20 minutes? Where is your fleet of busses? If we don't start on time it's not because runners weren't in line!" - Shannon Oakes

-- "Major fail - where are the busses at the convention ctr??? Geez, get it together organizers!" - Christopher White

-- "Still hundreds, maybe thousands of people waiting at the North Charleston Coliseum and no buses in sight. (7 a.m.)" - Lindsay Rotella

With all of those people still waiting, the elite race started at 8 a.m. on the dot. As they crossed the bridge, runners stuck in North Charleston were tweeting updates.

-- "Still on bus heading to start line. Too bad it's not the Don Holt Bridge Run" - Gary Killough

-- "Okay, I'm sorry, but your set up for transportation is, for lack of better words, stupid. You need to get it more organized before someone gets killed. NYC has a better method than this and they have 8.6 million people. Do better." - Natalie King

Organizers at the Bridge Run Expo told our reporter they were not allowed to talk to media.

In a phone interview, Cooper River Bridge Run Director Julian Smith said that over 3,000 people had signed up to be transported from the coliseum and there were 30 buses running.

Smith said runners were told to be there between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. and if anyone was late "that isn't our problem." He said to accommodate the runners, they ran the buses an hour later than scheduled.

Last year, runners faced similar problems, standing in place at the starting corrals for over an hour due to delays cause by problems getting people onto the buses downtown and over to the starting line in Mount Pleasant as well as issues with the wheelchair section of the race.

After the public outcry from that delay, organizers issued an apology and the board met to rethink how the race is run.

When all was said and done, everyone "got over it" (a bridge run catchphrase) and finished the race, with some still taking to twitter to offer happier notes.

-- "Aside from the mess that is the shuttle service to/from N.Chuck Convention Center, the #BridgeRun{}has been on AWESOME event!" - DonaldsonSC

-- "The run was great. The transportation was lacking, yet again. Day of communication is just as important as the communication leading up to the event." - StevenRachel Infinger

And not all of the comments left were negative. Mixed in with the criticisms were notes of praise.

-- "Awesome job Staff and Volunteers! Of the 16 in a row that I've run, this was IMHO the best yet. So smooth. :)" - Stephanie Lawrence Lasek

-- "Thanks for setting up a very smooth and great race this year. Posted my best 10k time yet." - Rich Nazario

-- "Great job on the race this year!! Best one yet!!" - Shaughn Polensky Hutchinson

-- "Once you get started it's just you and thecourse. So, it really doesn't matter and the race is just fantastic. I will saythis year it was very well organized." - Ray James

-- "This year, I betthat there would be a delay and then we started on time, which was actuallyreally nice. I was almost late." - Leland Gross

We will update this story as more details become available.