Downtown Charleston's Turkey Day Run looking to be most popular yet again

Image by Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble

There's no disputing it, Charleston's Thankgiving day 5K is popular.

The race has been growing for eight years and broke turnout records in 2010, 2011, and already online signup for the 2012 installment on November 22 at 9 a.m. has surpased 2011.

Registration for the 35th annual Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble closes on Sunday, November 18, ($30) after that you'll be able to register in person or on race day, but the cost goes to $35. 

Here are more race details:

Organized by Knights of Columbus #704, the race raises money for local charities including MUSC Children's Hospital, Bishop England High School and Crisis Ministries.

The Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble is the largest 5K in South Carolina and 28th nationally in addition to being the largest of any distance held on Thanksgiving. Race Director Rob Wills attributes the race's popularity to the longstanding tradition and family atmosphere.

"There are so many families that I've spoken to that have three or four generations participating," Wills said. "This type of loyalty from the community helps us grow continually and we even broke the 6,000 registration mark last year."

This year's race will include a wave start with participants broken into three corrals to accommodate the growing size of the race and ensure the safety of all runners. Since the race uses both gun and chip timing, participants' start times will be recorded when they cross the start and finish time.

While the 5K is an enjoyable family experience for most, there are a host of serious runners who travel from all over America to compete for cash prizes given to the top three male and female finishers as well as the winners of the Master and Grand Master age groups. Beginning this year, Charlestowne Road Services will offer a $500 bonus for setting a new course record.

After the race, the party begins with music by local band Blue Dogs and free beer for those over 21 years of age. People can enjoy complimentary Krispy Kreme donuts at the dunking station, scale the climbing wall brought by Charleston Parks & Recreation and pose for photos with Mr. Pig and Tom the Turkey. Kids can participate in the Children's Fun Run and jump in the bouncy castle.

The weather forecast currently calls for a sunny Thanksgiving with highs in the upper 60s.