Thousands participate in Cooper River Bridge Run By Ray Rivera | April 2, 2011 at 11:03 AM EST - Updated June 23 at 6:07 PM CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Cooper River Bridge Run had more than 40,000 people participating in the race, according to race officials. Lelisa Desisa won the 2011 Cooper River Bridge Run with a time of 28:59. Last year's winner, Simon Ndrangu, placed second. The female winner was Shewarge Amare at 33 minutes. Thousands of people were lining up at the start line early Saturday morning in Mount Pleasant. Organizers say that the run is expected to have the largest crowd to participate in this race since it began on April 2, 1977. Head over to Bridge Central for more coverage of the Cooper River Bridge Run. Copyright WCSC 2011. All right reserved.