Paul Zoeller // Special to The Post and Courier

A malfunctioning shoelace forced this runner to take a break from Thursday’s Turkey Day Run 5K.

Charleston's 34th Turkey Day Run 5K set an attendance record for the eighth year, with 5,554 runners and walkers crossing the finish line -- nearly 250 more finishers than 2010.

"We're excited to see more and more families coming out and making this a yearly tradition," race director Rob Wills said.

The race is the biggest Thanksgiving Day 5K in South Carolina, organizers said.

A.J. Fitzsimmons, 20, of Mount Pleasant, won the race with a time of 15 minutes, 4 seconds.

Lauren Goss, 23, also of Mount Pleasant, was the first female finisher with a time of 17:01. Goss, a professional triathlete, also won the women's race last year.

Money raised during the race, organized by the Knights of Columbus, is donated to Lowcountry charities.

Last year the Knights gave more than $35,000 to a dozen charities, including MUSC Children's Hospital, Crisis Ministries and the Hospice of Charleston Foundation.