By Danielle Snider for Island Eye News
It’s that time of year again, when the pounding of sneakers will be heard throughout Downtown Charleston on the biggest running day of the year. We are talking about the 40th Annual Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble. Known as the largest 5K in Charleston, on Thanksgiving Morning 8,000 runners will take to the beautiful streets of Downtown for this pre-meal event and family tradition that is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Rev. P.N. Lynch Council #704.
Cash prizes are awarded to the top three male and female finishers, respectively. First place Grand Master and Master also receive a cash prize, and plaque style trophies are awarded to the top three finishers in each age/gender group as well. The Top winners also receive framed artwork from a local artist chosen by the Turkey Day Run committee. This year’s chosen artist is Michael Gelsinger, who definitely has a story to tell.
Michael Getsinger, a disabled Marine Veteran, is no stranger to hardship, and over the course of three years from 2006 to 2008, he lost his mother, father, brother and sister all while making his way through an awful divorce. The strain of the loss caused him to lose his everything he held dear, and he quickly found himself on the streets. During his homeless days, he painted the fountain, that will be framed for the Turkey Day Run winners this year.
Michael Getsinger will be showcasing his artwork at the Packet Pickup Party on Wednesday, Nov. 22 in Marion Square, and will be on hand to sign the awards on Thanksgiving morning.
Each year the proceeds from the Turkey Day Run benefit non-profit organizations in the Charleston area including the Alzheimer’s Association, One 80 Place, Water Missions International, Respite Care Charleston, Wings for Kids, and many others around town.
New this year, the run will feature a Packet Pickup Party including music all day, giveaways, and a Vendor Village for participants to enjoy. And if that wasn’t enough, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary, every finisher will receive a commemorative 40th Annual Medal as they cross the finish line.
Post-race festivities include complimentary food provided by Publix, beer provided by Southern Eagle, Live Music by Permanent Vacation, and the Children’s Fun Run. The Children’s Fun Run kicks off at 10:30AM, and each child receives their own running bib, t-shirt, and medal for $10.00. Space is limited to 500 children so register early.
To register for the 40th Annual Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble please visit turkeydayrun.com for more information.