Males

1. Michael Banks, Charleston

3. A.J. Fitzsimmons, Mount Pleasant

5. Steve Rivard, Goose Creek

7. Evan Abdullah, Goose Creek

9. Carlos Renjifo, Baltimore, Md.

11. Brian Johnson, Mount Pleasant

13, Jay Upchurch, James Island

15. Karl Walsh, Mount Pleasant

17. Tim Tyler, Isle of Palms

19. Mason Hazel, Summerville

Females

2. Lauren Goss, Mount Pleasant

4. Harriott Kelly, Atlanta

6. Caitlin Judd, Charleston

8. Jennifer Quigley, Wellington, Fla.

10. Kathryn Lazarchick, Mount Pleasant

12. Ann McGranahan, Blacksburg, Va.

14. Anne Wyman Cipolla, Charleston

16. Brittany Kropp, Raleigh, N.C.

18. Brooke Grice, Columbia

20. Brianna Blanton, Summerville

SOURCE: Charlestowne Road Race Services; Turkey Day Run

The No. 1 seeded runner in Thursday’s 36th annual Turkey Day Run lives in Charleston but has been posting times that rival those of the highly regarded athletes from Kenya, setting course records and nipping at state records along the way.

In fact, 27-year-old Michael Banks beat Kenyan Kennedy Kemei in the Governor’s Cup race in Columbia on Nov. 9, running his first half marathon in 1 hour, 6 minutes and 25 seconds. The time was just three seconds shy of a state record, set by Eric Ashton at the Governor’s Cup in 1996.

So far this year, Banks has competed in 17 races, winning 15 of them and breaking 11 course records.

Despite a busy road racing year, Banks has had his eyes on the Turkey Day Run for months and feels confident he can break the record of 14 minutes, 31 seconds, set by Tamas Kovacs in 2008.

All the signs show he can.

“I ran 14:29 by myself out on Daniel Island in May, and I’m in better shape now than I was then. My times in the 8K (23:41 at the Main Street Crit last Saturday) and half marathon show that I’m fit enough, as well,” said Banks, who works at the Charleston School of Law.

“I really want to test myself on Thursday because I feel like I haven’t really done that this fall yet — go out hard and work by myself.”

“It’s something I’m really, really looking forward to. I have been envisioning this for a while, and it’s something I’ve targeted in my training for the whole fall.”

And while Banks’ passion and work ethic is evident, he’s also blessed with running genes,.

His father, Mac Banks, was a sprinter at Virginia Tech and his mother, Lucy Hawk Banks, ran middle distance at Virginia Tech. His three older sisters ran for colleges in Virginia, including James Madison, Richmond and Radford. His younger brother and sister were athletic as well.

One reason Banks targeted Turkey Day this year is because his mother, who grew up in Charleston, won it in 1979 with a time of 19:50. At the time, she was coming off of field hockey season at Virginia Tech and wasn’t trying to win the race.

She recalls, “I ran it for the heck of it. Turkey Day (in 1979) was my first road race.”

Banks wants to win it, in part, to share the history books with his mom. It would be the first time a mother and a son were listed as winners of the race.

While Banks was a scholarship runner at Georgetown University, he seems to just now be blossoming as a runner.

All of his personal best times on the track came in 2012, when he narrowly missed qualifying for the Olympic track trials, with a 13:38.67 in the 5,000 meters, or 5K, at the Stanford Invitational, 3:40.51 for the 1,500 meters at the Virginia Challenge, and 4:00.71 for the mile at Columbia Last Chance.

His goals, for now, have shifted to the road and specifically the Cooper River Bridge Run.

Last April, Banks set the fastest time for a local runner — at 30:14 — in the history of the race, beating Ashton’s record of 30:32 in 1999 and Marc Embler’s outright win time of 30:54 in 1981.

Banks also is confident that he can improve on that record and thinks running faster than sub-30 is a possibility.

Top Runners

Males

1. Michael Banks, Charleston

3. A.J. Fitzsimmons, Mount Pleasant

5. Steve Rivard, Goose Creek

7. Evan Abdullah, Goose Creek

9. Carlos Renjifo, Baltimore, Md.

11. Brian Johnson, Mount Pleasant

13, Jay Upchurch, James Island

15. Karl Walsh, Mount Pleasant

17. Tim Tyler, Isle of Palms

19. Mason Hazel, Summerville

Females

2. Lauren Goss, Mount Pleasant

4. Harriott Kelly, Atlanta

6. Caitlin Judd, Charleston

8. Jennifer Quigley, Wellington, Fla.

10. Kathryn Lazarchick, Mount Pleasant

12. Ann McGranahan, Blacksburg, Va.

14. Anne Wyman Cipolla, Charleston

16. Brittany Kropp, Raleigh

18. Brooke Grice, Columbia

20. Brianna Blanton, Summerville

Reach David Quick at 937-5516.