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Pawleys Island: Turtle Strut race remembers late police chief

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

In the 10 years he ran the Pawleys Island Turtle Strut, Guy Osborne was always looking for ways to boost the turnout, convinced that the race, like its participants, could always do better.

A field of 100 to 120 runners is expected for the 24th annual race on Saturday, which was renamed the Guy Osborne Memorial Turtle Strut following the death of the former Pawleys Island police chief in June. It will be the biggest turnout in recent years.

But it won’t be easy. The Georgetown Bridge 2 Bridge Run, a half marathon, was rescheduled to Saturday because of October’s major storm. “That’s hurt us a little,” said Town Administrator Ryan Fabbri.

But registrations continued to come in this week, and there is always a contingent that signs up on race day, he said.

Chandler Martin wasn’t taking any chances of missing this year’s race. He signed up in September, the first runner on the list.

“I love the fact that it runs on Pawleys Island, a really nice place to run,” he said.

Osborne became the organizer of the race in 2004 after running in several previous struts. “It’s one great run,” he said on taking charge. “We’ve even had people come out and walk it”

At the time, there were 5K and 10K races. He narrowed the age categories from 10-year to 5-year brackets to make it more competitive for older runners.

He also had the course certified to increase the Turtle Strut’s appeal to runners on the state’s Palmetto Grand Prix circuit.

“Chief Osborne did a really good job,” Martin said. He moved to a home off the South Causeway and started running in the Turtle Strut the same year Osborne took charge. Martin runs on the island three times a week. He got to know Osborne from his runs and from seeing the chief at the early-morning fitness boot camps he held around the area.

“I hope they get good participation,” Martin said. “It’s not big crowds, but enough people to make it competitive.”

The cost to enter is $25 today and tomorrow at Town Hall and includes a T-shirt. On race day, the cost is $30 and T-shirt selections will be limited. Runners can also register online.

The race begins at 8 a.m. from the Pawleys Island Nature Park at the North Causeway and Pavilion Drive. The course follows Myrtle Avenue along Pawleys Creek.

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