MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A chilly but beautiful spring morning welcomed about 20,000 racers to the 45th annual Cooper River Bridge Run on Saturday morning.

The race was held about six months ago — after being canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the annual springtime race was postponed in 2021 to late September. But race organizers decided to return to its traditional setting after impacts from COVID-19 began to slow down.

Hermin Garic was the first to cross the finish line in the wheelchair division during Saturday’s race with a time of 22:34, setting a new record. Garic, from Utica, New York, was the first to cross the finish line in September 2021 with an end time of 22:58, breaking a record in the wheelchair division last year.

David Bett was the first to finish for the male elite runners, crossing the finish line with a time of about 28:16. Bett is from Kenya. He will earn a $10,000 prize for winning Saturday’s run.

Leonard Korir and Reuben Mosip finished second and third, respectfully, for male elite runners.

Biruktayit Degefa finished first among the female elite runners, followed by Dominique Scott finishing second and Gladys Yator finishing third.

Winners of the Dr. Marcus Newberry Award were Noah Woodbury and Erin Rasmussen.

Charleston – Tower Cam

There are 15 elite males and 11 elite females competing in the 2022 race.

Bridge Run organizers lifted most COVID-19 restrictions for this year’s race. Participants were not be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19. But they did provide masks and hand sanitizer stations for those who wished to use them throughout the event.

The starting line for the Cooper River Bridge Run is located just ahead of Simmons Street in Mount Pleasant, and heat markers begin near the Moultrie Shopping Center. About 25,000 runners and walkers cross the Ravenel Bridge, head down Meeting Street onto Woolfe Street before making their way down King Street, up Wentworth Street and back up Meeting Street to Marion Square.