Bett, Degefa win 45th Cooper River Bridge Run

Garic breaks own record in wheelchair race
Published: Apr. 2, 2022 at 4:38 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 2, 2022 at 4:16 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Approximately 20,000 runners and walkers took part in Saturday’s 45th Cooper River Bridge Run.

David Bett took a large lead ahead of the rest of the elite runners to claim victory in the 45th Cooper River Bridge Run.

Bett’s unofficial time is 27:40. If that were to hold, it ties the record for the fastest run ever, set by James Koskei in 2000.

“I’m happy I won the race and I’m hoping to come back next year,” Bett said moments after crossing the finish line. “From 5K I was feeling very confident, and I said I have to push, push.”

Biruktayit Degefa was the first elite female runner to cross the finish line.

Minutes earlier, the man who set a record in 2021′s Cooper River Bridge Run race broke his own record Saturday morning.

Hermin Garic, 32, broke his 2021 record Saturday in the 45th Cooper River Bridge Run Wheelchair...
Hermin Garic, 32, broke his 2021 record Saturday in the 45th Cooper River Bridge Run Wheelchair Race.(Cooper River Bridge Run)

Hermin Garic, 32, of Utica, New York, had a finish of 22:34. That beat last year’s record of 22:58 that Garic set in September at the 2021 Bridge Run.

The wheelchair race began at 7:25 a.m. Bridge Run officials say a total of 12 people are set to compete in the wheelchair race.

The 45th Cooper River Bridge Run kicked off at 8 a.m. with participants ready to take part in one of the best-known 10K races in the world.

The starting point was on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant and the course takes runners across the Arthur Ravenel Bridge into downtown Charleston and to the finish line on Meeting Street.

Runners were loading up buses early Saturday morning to make their way to the starting line.

Live 5 Meteorologist Chris Holtzman’s forecast called for sunshine and temperatures warming into the 60s by the end of the race.

Festivities at the starting line began at 7 a.m.

READ MORE: Road closures, drone and boat restrictions ahead of Cooper River Bridge Run

Road closures began Friday night ahead of Saturday’s start time. Another wave of road closures began at 4 a.m. in downtown Charleston, with much of the racecourse set to be closed to traffic by 4:30 a.m.

The Ravenel Bridge’s Wonderway Lane, the pedestrian lane, closed at 6 a.m. and police closed down the bridge at 7 a.m.

Roadways are set to begin reopening in Mount Pleasant at around 10 a.m. and the Ravenel Bridge reopened shortly before 11 a.m.

All downtown Charleston roads were opened by 4:30 p.m.

Edward Cheserek, shown here holding up the trophy for his victory in the men's NCAA Cross...
Edward Cheserek, shown here holding up the trophy for his victory in the men's NCAA Cross Country National Championships, on Nov. 21, 2015, in Louisville, Ky, was the first Male Elite runner to complete the 44th Cooper River Bridge Run Saturday.(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

A 27-year-old Kenyan man was the first to finish the 44th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run, which was held back in September. Edward Cheserek completed the race with a time of 28:25, a pace of 4:34 per mile. Cheserek is a 17-time NCAA champion at the University of Oregon.

Nell Rojas had the fastest finish among women at 31:52.

The 2021 event was the first in-person Bridge Run held since April 6, 2019. The event planned for 2020 was changed to a virtual run because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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