This Saturday, April 6, Charleston will open its doors to the Cooper River Bridge Run for the 43th year. This event, which is heralded as one of our most prestigious events in the area, is saturated with history and traditional. An event where fitness, Southern hospitality, family, silliness, music and spectacular achievement come together for one memorable weekend.
As you prepare for this weekend, we want to share stories of hope, inspiration, accomplishment and just unique little facts about this most rewarding event.
Facts, Achievements, Accomplishments and Milestones
- The first Cooper River Run occurred on April 2, 1978
- In 2011, Cedric Jaggers published Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run: A Complete History in Words and Photos
- 766 Runners finished the first race in 1978
- The first entry fee was $3.00 and that included a tee-shirt designed by the race director
- In the first seven years, the winners of the men’s and women’s division were all Americans
- The last American to win was Laura LaMena in 1995 on the women’s side and Jeff Cannada in 1991 on the men’s side
- Race records: James Kimutai Kosgei (Kenya) – 27.40 (2000) / Elana Meyer (South Africa) – 31.19 (1997)
- A Cooper River Bridge Run app was launched in 2016
- Hanahan’s Leroy Miller did the Cooper River Bridge event in 2015 at the age of 93
- Adam Gorlitsky will become the first paralyzed man to walk the Cooper River Bridge event ever in 2016 – Follow his I Got Legs Story
- The Cooper River Bridge is the 3rd Largest 10K in the United States
- The first person to break the 30 minute barrier occurred in 1983
- Average starting temperature of the race is 58.6 Degrees
- 1986 was the first year over 1000 women registered and completed the race
- First year where prize money was awarded was 1984. That year, $800 was awarded to top male and top female. In 2016, the winners will receive $10,000.
- Oprah Winfrey ran the race in 1994 and finished with a time of 55.48
- First year of using computer timing chips was 1997 and Bill Murray served as starter that year firing the cannon at the start of the race
- The first year of the wheelchair races was 2012. The winner broke 29 minutes
- The first race related death occurred in 2004
- The first time it rained during the race was 2005 and 6183 registered runners did not participate
- The first year that more women registered than men was 2006
- Zettie Little, the Ridiculously Photogenic Male got national attention after 2012 run
- The first year a cap on registrants was placed was 2013
- Four runner (4) has broken the 28 minute barrier
- 36,755 runners registered in 2012 – Largest single year registration for this event
- 1980 was the only year there was a tie for the win. Florida Teammates Kim Burke and Steve Littleton finished at 31.26.
- Benji Durden who won the first race in 1978 with a time of 30.22 was on the 1980 US Olympic Team for the marathon but did not participate because President Carter boycotted the Olympics that year held in Moscow, USSR.
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Cover Photo Credit: Eas Coast Aeriel