Cooper River Bridge Run's board to evaluate delay and problems at 2012 race

Participants boarded shuttle buses on the downtown Charleston side after 8 a.m. (Natalie Caula/WCIV)

By Natalie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The Cooper River Bridge Run's board is expected to meet this week to discuss the delay that caused a ripple effect of problems Saturday.

The race started about an hour after the expected start time. Board Chairman Ken Ayoub says it's the first delay of that magnitude in 35 years but admits the board needs to evaluate what happened to prevent another mishap next year.

"It's one of those you really don't want to happen," Ayoub said.

Ayoub says the shuttle buses and a problem with the wheelchair race contributed to the delay.

"We had people still being transported over way past the 8 o'clock time. Then once the wheelchair race started we had a breakdown of one of the wheelchair races," he said.

The late start probably also contributed to the shortage of water bottles and longer race times, according to Ayoub.

More than 36,000 people crossed the finish line at the race, a record number according to Ayoub. The race has been growing steadily over the years and the board may have to take a look at whether or not it's too much, too fast.

"We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to look at it. What do we want? Do we want quantity or do we want quality? And I always side on the quality side. I think that's how you get people to come back, is to make it the best race possible," Ayoub said.

No one was seriously injured during the race, according to Charleston County EMS officials who said they responded to about 40 calls related to the race. Officials say most of the medical calls were related to dehydration, trips and falls, and one heart attack. That patient ended up in stable condition.

A victory was certainly won for the charities involved in the race, according to Ayoub. The amount given to each of the charities won't be available until Tuesday, but more runners mean more funds for the non-profit organizations.

Lowcountry Food Bank received about 2,800 pounds of left over food that had been donated by Bi-Lo for the race, about $60,000 worth of for the hungry competitors at the finish line including 25 palettes of fruits, 16,000 muffins and 16,000 bagels.