For the first time in 26 years, an American crossed the finish line of the Cooper River Bridge Run first.

Shadrack Kipchirchir of Colorado Springs, Colorado completed the 6.2-mile course Saturday in 28 minutes, 12 seconds.

"That's the best feeling you'll ever get," Kipchirchir told the media after winning the race.

Born in Kenya, Kipchirchir became an American citizen in 2010. The 28-year-old joined the U.S. Army in 2014, and would participate in its World Class Athletes Program.

+4 
Cooper River Bridge Run

Shadrack Kipchirchir of Colorado Springs, Colorado completed the 6.2-mile course Saturday in 28 minutes, 12 seconds.(Brad Nettles/Staff)

After running from Mount Pleasant and over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge with an average 4:32-mile pace, Kipchirchir crossed the Meeting Street finish line in Charleston wearing a runner's singlet with the word Army printed across the chest.

Nearly one second later, Edwin Rotich of Kenya crossed the finish line. Last year's winner, Dominic Ondoro of Kenya, came in third place with a time of 28 minutes, 32 seconds.

The last American to win the Cooper River Bridge Run was Jeff Cannada in 1991.

In the women's division, Monicah Ngige of Kenya defended her title. Ngige finished the race in 32 minutes, 40 seconds — 16 seconds faster than last year. 

Elvin Kibet of Ethiopia came in second place with a time of 32 minutes, 45 seconds. Kibet is married to Kipchirchir, and after the race the two were seen hugging. 

Check back for updates to this developing story.

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.