Nov 17 2014

Turkey Day Run Celebrates 100 Years of Racing

By Danielle Snider for Island Connection

John Severance & Carton Poulnot were 1955 Relay Winners.

John Severance & Carton Poulnot were 1955 Relay Winners.

On Thanksgiving morning, thousands of runners will fill the streets of Charleston to run the 37thAnnual Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble Presented by Earth Fare, on the biggest running day of the year.   Runners and walkers will wind through the streets of downtown before crossing the finish line at Marion Square, where the post-race party will serve up live music, food, and plenty of family activities.


This year the Turkey Day Run is celebrating 100 Years of Racing on Thanksgiving Morning!  Even though the 2014 Turkey Day Run is named the “37th Annual”, the Turkey Day Run was first sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in 1914.  It was organized as a relay from Summerville to Charleston and dubbed the “Turkey Day Races.”    The inaugural winner was Rudolph H Ortmann, who covered a half-mile stretch of King Street in two minutes flat.  In 1934, the race was relocated to the Battery on Murray Blvd, and a record time of 2:02.50 was set by amateur Harry Hoppman, who went on to win the race three more times, but never with a better time. 


In 1950, the race was restricted to local high school participation, which started a tremendous rivalry that drew crowds who lined the Battery on both sides of Murray Blvd.  In 1978, the event was re-established to what we know now as the “Turkey Day Run” 5K, and continues to be an event that draws both locals and visitors alike.  In honor of the 100 Years of Racing, the Turkey Day Run Committee will have a historical display available for spectator viewing at the Expo in Marion Square on Wednesday November 26th from 8am to 8pm. 


The Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble is organized annually by the Knights of Columbus Council 704 with the goal of raising funds for local charities.  Last year the council donated more than $88,000 to more than a dozen different charities including the Lowcountry Food Bank, Crisis Ministries, Camp Happy Days, and MUSC Children’s Hospital.  


Registration for the run is $35 until November 23rd, $40 at the expo on November 26th, or $45 on race day.  To register for the 37th Annual Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble or to sign up as a volunteer, please visit  for more information.

For more information, please contact Danielle Snider at

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