Today, it would be hard to imagine being among the 766 people running in the first Cooper River Bridge Run in 1978.

That race started at 10 a.m. Sunday at Patriot’s Point, headed over the river on a partially closed bridge and finished at White Point Garden.

No computerized timing. No musical bands. No sponsors plastered over the back of the official race T-shirts.

Nobody really knew what they were doing. It was grassroots raw.

On the flip side, it would have been unimaginable for those 766 people to realize that the Bridge Run eventually would grow into one of the biggest races in the United States, well lodged in the Top 10 for more than a decade.

It was unthinkable then how its impact and influence would bring together wellness and economics.

This year, the Bridge Run celebrates its 40th and The Post and Courier is taking a look back over the years at its heroes, special moments and challenges. This special section takes an in-depth look, and the newspaper's coverage will continue as the big race arrives.

Contact David Quick at 843-937-5516. Follow him on Twitter @DavidQuick.