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Stories from the last bridge run bus to Chucktown

Last bus to Charleston (5).jpg

For a number of reasons, not everyone who starts the Bridge Run finishes it. While their stories may be different, they all end up in the same place -- on the last bus heading over the Ravenel Bridge.

It's a ride full of potential and personal promises to make it at least another step or push beyond their end point this year.

These are their stories.

Among the first on the bus were Megan Forman and Jennifer Fuller.

Fuller's story is a heartbreaking one for any runner. Her day ended with an injury on the first mile. She says she fell and landed on her knee. There was a pop, she thought.

Fearing she might do more damage, the fifth-year bridge run competitor said she didn't train the way she should have but decided it was safer to stop.

"I didn't finish but I'm glad that I listened to my body and I'm not hurting myself anymore,"

On the other side of the Ravenel Bridge, Fuller met up with her family who joined her in Charleston so she could make the run.

Forman says she joined friends on the journey to Charleston but said she never planned on running in the race despite good-natured ribbing from her runner firend.

"Seven miles is too many, or six, and I prefer to do yoga or some other kind of workout," Forman said. "I like to be part of it but not necessarily participate."

So Forman, donned in yoga pants and a fairly new pair of running shoes, stood on the side of the bridge enjoying the atmosphere and cheering on the people who did try to run the race.

"It was really cool to sit and watch all these people come through with smiles on their faces. It was also really cool seeing Adam come through," she said of Adam Gorlitsky, the man who is paralyzed from the waist down using an exoskeleton to walk the race course.

Forman says being from out of town she knew nothing about Gorlitsky's plans and was amazed to see him come up the ramp onto the bridge. Still, one man's historic walk isn't quite what Forman needs to run the race next year.

She compares herself to the group of sloths who ran this year. "I suppose I'm much like the sloths in that I would rather move slowly -- like this bus," she said.

And well after the last person made their way past Forman, she stepped onto the bus to make that journey over the bridge to rejoin her friends waiting at the finish line.

Hubert Reape was also nursing an injury of sorts sitting in one of several open seats on the bus.

"I wanted to walk it but I decided to try to run it, and that ended my day," he said. "I ended up in the ambulance."

Reape, who lives in Charlotte with his wife, made his way to the Holy City on Friday, like many other runners. It's their third year participating in the bridge run, he said.

But this year Reape admits he did nothing to prepare for the massive 10K. But he had fun, and that's what's important for him.

"It was an exciting day. I woke up and it was raining. I've been in the rain all day," he said.

As for his wife, she was not on the bus Saturday afternoon: "My wife is probably sitting at the finish line waiting for me now."

And there's Silvanus Ezra Brice and his wife, visiting Charleston from Columbia. They were joined by a doctor from Carolina Orthotics for the race and the last bus ride of the day.

See, Brice is a double amputee and has been trying out new prosthetic legs. He spent weeks walking around his neighborhood building up speed and endurance in the hopes of making his way across the Ravenel Bridge on Saturday.

While his run stopped a bit short of the finish line, he's not discouraged.

"It's been a very good day," Brice said.

And then there was Shelton Stewart, the first-year wheelchair race competitor. He says his body was responding well to the race course; he just wasn't going as fast as he'd hoped.

"It's been a pretty awesome day. I enjoyed trying to make it over the Cooper River Bridge," said the Navy man from Goose Creek.

Stewart says he's not upset by the end of his race this year either, instead he was looking forward to meeting up with his wife for a nice dinner -- and maybe planning for a second try at the Cooper River Bridge Run next year.

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