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Running Races in Charleston, SC – 2023 Edition

2023 Running Races in Charleston, SC

Looking for Charleston, SC races in 2023? You've come to the right place. Here is a list of upcoming races in the spring and summer--stay tuned for fall and winter races later in the year. 

Running Races in Charleston, SC - Spring 2023

Spring is one of the best times to run in Charleston. It’s warming up from the chill of winter, but the hottest days of the Lowcountry summer are still months (or at least weeks) away. As a result, there are several spring running races in Charleston, from 5k and 10k road races to long-distance trail ultramarathons.

Whether you are a Charlestonian or you are vacationing in Charleston, you have lots of options if you are interested in running a race this spring. Here are 20 road and trail running races scheduled to take place in Charleston from March through June 20, 2023:

1. Palmetto Relay (March 24, 2023)

According to RunningintheUSA.com, “[t]he Palmetto Relay is an amazing relay adventure in which you and your friends can run 200 or 70 Scenic Miles through the Midlands of South Carolina finishing in the Lowcountry just outside of Charleston at the Firefly Distillery.” The race’s official website states that the 200-mile race starts in Lexington, while the 70-mile race starts in Moncks Corner. Team sizes can vary, and participants can choose between running several miles and running ultra-marathon distances.

2. Run Cane Bay Half Marathon (March 25, 2023)

The Run Cane Bay Half Marathon takes place in Summerville, South Carolina. The race also includes 10 and 5k distances. According to the race website, “Cane Bay Plantation is a well-established and growing community nestled in the heart of South Carolina’s Berkeley County, known for its natural beauty and historic landmarks. The site also notes that Cane Bay has “miles of meandering trails.”

3. Beaufort Twilight Run (March 25, 2023)

The Beaufort Twilight Run offers 10 mile, 8k, and 5k distances, as well as a 1 mile youth run and quarter-mile kids’ fun run. The races take place in the coastal community of Habersham, just minutes from historic downtown Beaufort. According to the official race website, “[t]he Lowcountry’s Running Festival courses are truly one of a kind, winding through charming neighborhood streets canopied with Spanish moss and among waterfront parks highlighted by majestic hundred year old oak trees.”

4. Cooper River Bridge Run (April 1, 2023)

The Cooper River Bridge Run (official race website here) is the largest running race in Charleston, and it is one of the largest 10k races in the United States. Each year, more than 40,000 runners sign up for this race from Mt. Pleasant to downtown Charleston across the Ravenel Bridge. The race includes an elite wave which starts first, and the current record of 27:40 was set in 2000.

Road running race in Charleston, SC

5. Race the Landing 5k (April 13, 2023)

Race the Landing is a three-race series that takes place at Charles Towne Landing in West Ashley. In 2023, the first race takes place on April 13. The official race website says that each race includes giveaways dinner, finisher medals, and five-deep awards in Overall, Masters, and age group categories. These are popular running races in Charleston as well.

6. Beat Beethoven 5k (April 15, 2023)

The Beat Beethoven 5k takes place in Summerville on April 15 and is run put on by the Summerville Orchestra in conjunction with its Concert in the Park. According to the official race website, the Beat Beethoven 5k is a “nature trail run/walk,” and there is a kids’ fun run as well.

7. Mullet Haul Trail Run (April 22, 2023)

The Mullet Haul Trail Run is one of several running races put on by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) throughout the year. The race takes place on the trails at Johns Island County Park, and there are 10k and 5k options. According to the CCPRC, “[p]reregistration is required and ends Monday, April 17. Space is limited, and the event is expected to sell out.”

Trail race runner in Charleston, SC

8. Cooter Creek 50 Mile Trail Run (April 22, 2023)

The Cooter Creek 50 Mile Trail Run is one of several ultra-marathons in the Charleston area organized by Eagle Endurance. Participants can run the entire 50-mile distance or complete a four-person relay. The race takes place on the Palmetto Trail, Awendaw Passage, and Swamp Fox Passage. It starts at the Buck Hall Recreation Area and runs through Francis Marion National Forest.

9. iFiveK (April 27, 2023)

The iFiveK takes place on the Charleston Peninsula, starting at the intersection of Conroy Street and North Hanover Street. It is hosted by the Charleston Digital Corridor; and, unlike most other running races in Charleston, takes place on a weekday evening (a Thursday in 2023). The Charleston Digital Corridor also hosts an afterparty with discounted food and drinks (for runners) from several nearby restaurants.

10. We Are Sharing Hope SC Race for Life (April 29, 2023)

The 18th annual We Are Sharing Hope SC Race for Life takes place on April 29, 2023 in West Ashley. There are 10k and 5k races, with age groups from 12 and under to 70 and up.

11. Lowcountry Emergency Services 5k (May 6, 2023)

The Lowcountry Emergency Services 5k is another Eagle Endurance event that takes place on May 6, 2023. According to the UltraSignup page, the race “hopes to bring together various emergency service departments from around the Lowcountry to honor the sacrifice of those on the job while also honoring those members that they have lost in the line of duty.” The Lowcountry Emergency Services 5k takes place at Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens in Mount Pleasant, and proceeds from the race benefit Southern Paws Animal Rescue.

12. HOPE Lope 5k (May 6, 2023)

The HOPE Lope 5k takes place on Johns Island at Mullet Hall. This is purely a fun run, and families are encouraged to participate. The race organizer also notes that parents should, “be mindful that the trail at Mullet Park is not paved and can be bumpy or wet in places.”

13. Race the Landing 5k (May 11, 2023)

The second race in the Race the Landing 5k series at Charles Towne Landing takes place on May 11, 2023. As noted above, all of the races in this series are among the more-popular running races in Charleston.

14. Wambaw Swamp Stomp (May 13, 2023)

The Wambaw Swamp Stomp is another Eagle Endurance event that takes place north of Charleston in the Francis Marion National Forest. It starts at the Witherbee Ranger Station in Cordesville. The race includes 50 mile, 50k, and 50k relay options, and the course is an out-and-back with aid stations roughly every five miles.

15. G.O.A.T. 5k (May 13, 2023)

The G.O.A.T. 5k takes place on The Goatery at Kiawah River on Johns Island. The 2023 edition is the third running of the event, and the race organizer notes that a “post-race goat selfie station will be available.” The organizer also notes that, “race participants will enjoy the beautiful trails and unmatched views of springtime in the Lowcountry at Kiawah River,” and that the race is “100% eco-friendly.” Race proceeds benefit The Lowcountry Farm Conservation and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Participants in a road running race in Charleston, SC

16. Moms’ Run 5k (May 13, 2023)

The Postpartum Support Charleston is hosting the 20th annual Moms’ Run at Philip Simmons High School in Charleston. According to the official race website, the Moms’ Run 5k is “Postpartum Support Charleston’s largest fundraiser, allowing the organization to further its mission of providing support and resources to women and their families struggling with maternal mental illnesses (such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and psychosis during and after pregnancy).”

17. Race the Landing 5k (May 25, 2023)

The third race in the Race the Landing 5k series at Charles Towne Landing takes place on May 25, 2023. As noted above, all of the races in this series are among the more-popular running races in Charleston.

18. Hell Hole Hundred (June 1 through June 4, 2023)

The Hell Hole Hundred is an Eagle Endurance ultramarathon multi-race event in Charleston that takes place over four days from June 1 through June 4. It includes distances from 50k up to 212 miles. The 212-miler starts on Thursday and the 140.6 miler and 100k night run start on Friday, with all other distances starting throughout the day on Saturday.

19. Floppin’ Flounder 5k (June 3, 2023)

The Floppin’ Flounder 5k takes place on the streets of Sullivan’s Island. It is hosted by the Charleston Running Club, and the 2023 event will be the race’s 27th running. The race website says that walkers and strollers are permitted, though the event takes place rain or shine.

20. Hot Pursuit 5k (June 10, 2023)

The Hot Pursuit 5k is hosted by the Goose Creek Police Department and starts at the Goose Creek Municipal Center. It is run on the road and paved trails. Along with the 5k, there is also a free half-mile kids’ run. Proceeds go toward the Goose Creek Police Department’s “Shop with a Badge” program, which allows police officers to go Christmas shopping with Lowcountry children in need. This is a popular running race in Charleston as well, with the organizers expecting more than 500 runners.

Running Races in Charleston, SC - Summer 2023

It’s summer. It’s heating up outside, and the humidity can feel oppressive at times. Due to the heat and humidity, there are relatively few running races in Charleston, SC during the summer months.

But, there are still plenty of races to sign up for; and, by the time September rolls around, the morning temperatures are already starting to cool back down. So, whether you’re looking for a race during your summer vacation in Charleston or you are a local looking for some tune-up races heading into the fall season, here are nine races in Charleston, SC between June 21 and September 22, 2023:

1. Bulldog Breakaway 5k Twilight Series (June 22, 2023)

The Bulldog Breakaway 5k Twilight Series takes place at the Citadel on the Charleston Peninsula. After late-spring races on June 1 and June 8, the series has two summer races at the end of June. The first of these takes place on June 22 at 6:30pm. Runners start with a loop around Wilson Field before hitting the streets and then returning to the field for the finish.

2. Bulldog Breakaway 5k Twilight Series (June 29, 2023)

The final race in the Bulldog Breakaway 5k Twilight Series takes place at 6:30pm on June 29. The series is open to runners of all ages, and includes a Masters' Division. The races in the Bulldog Breakaway 5k Twilight Series are among the relatively few running races in Charleston, SC that take place downtown on the peninsula.

2023 Running Races in Charleston, SC

3. Firecracker 4 Miler (July 4, 2023)

The Firecracker 4 Miler takes place in Mount Pleasant on July 4, 2023. Along with a four-mile race, the event also offers a “1 Mile…ish Kids Run.” This Charleston, SC race is run at Laurel Hill County Park, and is back for the first time since 2020 after a two-year hiatus. According to the race website, the Firecracker 4 Miler takes place on the shaded trails of Laurel Hill County Park, and music, hotdogs, and cold beverages are available to runners and their friends and family after the event.

4. Dog Days of Summer 5k (July 22, 2023)

The Dog Days of Summer 5k is another summer running race in Charleston, SC that takes place at the Citadel. (If you’re wondering why both events at the Citadel have dog-themed names, this is because the Citadel’s mascot is Spike the bulldog.) The Dog Days of Summer 5k starts at 8:00am at the Citadel Track before taking runners through scenic Hampton Park.

5. IOP Beach Run (July 29, 2023)

The 2023 IOP Beach Run is scheduled for 8:00am on July 29, 2023. This popular Charleston, SC 5k and 10k race takes place on the beach at Isle of Palms, with runners lining up on the sand in front of the Windjammer hotel. Along with 5k and 10k race distances for adults, the IOP Beach Run also includes a Youth Fun Run that starts at 8:30am. The races are scheduled to coincide with low tide, and all three races take place on flat, hard-packed sand below the high tide line.

6. Race for the ARK (August 26, 2023)

The Race for the ARK is an annual 5k sponsored by The ARK, Alzheimer’s Family Support Services in Summerville, SC. Summerville is just a short drive from downtown Charleston; and, with an 8:45am start time, you can cool off after the race and then enjoy lunch in historic downtown Summerville before heading back home (or back to your hotel room or beach rental). There is a one-mile fun run option as well. Both races begin and end at 206 Central Avenue and take runners on a scenic tour of Summerville’s historic downtown area.

7. Salkehatchie Shuffle (September 9, 2023)

The Salkehatchie Shuffle is the only summer 2023 ultramarathon currently scheduled in the Charleston area. With 50k, half marathon, 10k, and 5k options, the event takes place on the trails of Broxton Bridge Plantation. While Broxton Bridge Plantation is a bit of a drive from Charleston (a little over an hour and a half from downtown), the drive is well worth it for the scenery—and it is the only local opportunity to run a 50k during the summer months.

8. The Dirt Dash (September 16, 2023)

The Dirt Dash is an annual Charleston, SC running race that takes place on the trails of Johns Island County Park. There are marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k race options, with runners in the longer distances completing a multi-loop course. All runners have the option to camp in the park the night before the event; and, while this is a great option, it isn’t difficult to get to Johns Island County Park the morning of the race from anywhere in the Charleston area.

9. Run Like a Pirate 5k (September 19, 2023)

The Run Like a Pirate 5k is a virtual race event scheduled for September 19, 2023. According to the race organizer, Eagle Endurance, LLC, the rules for the race are as follows:

  1. Find the oldest pub in your town.
  2. Gather up your friends.
  3. Dress up like a pirate. (I'd say leave the flintlock pistols at home...)
  4. Drink your preferred beverage
  5. Run at least a 5k in ANY direction (that's safe)
  6. Return to the pub!

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day; and, while Charleston residents and visitors are encouraged to participate responsibly, Eagle Endurance, LLC hopes to have runners from all over the world sign up for this virtual event.


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