Ellison Clary

Running in one of the nation’s biggest, best-known road races, Sharon Towers resident Ellison Clary did our community proud.

The Cooper River Bridge Run

Ellison placed 10th among the 51 men ages 75-79 who competed in the Cooper River Bridge Run on April 2 in Charleston, S.C. Ellison finished the 10K race – 6.2 miles – in one hour 11 minutes 54 seconds. He averaged 11 minutes 34 seconds per mile, surpassing his time from the year before. The nine runners in his age/gender division who finished ahead of him? They were all younger than Ellison.

It’s all pretty impressive for the 77-year-old former newspaperman and PR executive who remembers the day he took up running in 1987. He ran three miles on the Charlotte Country Day School track. “It almost killed me,” Ellison says.

Running Is Routine for Ellison Clary

Ellison and his wife, Linda Gallehugh, moved into their North Terrace apartment from their uptown Charlotte condo in late 2020. Four to five days a week, Ellison runs through our campus and surrounding neighborhoods, three to six miles each time, savoring the chance to clear his mind and enjoy the surroundings. The workout part of it is a no-brainer. “If you want to remain youthful,” he says, “you better do some exercising.”

Ellison has tackled the Cooper River Bridge Run five times, meeting up with a college roommate and enjoying the difficult but picturesque course. The race starts in Mount Pleasant, goes across the bridge and winds through historic downtown Charleston before finishing on Meeting Street. Ellison says it never ceases to surprise him how hard it is running to the top of the bridge and then onto dry land. This year’s event, the 45th, drew 20,000 runners and walkers.

Running offers Ellison and everyone else who laces up their sneakers a life lesson that never gets old. The race goes not to the swiftest but to the one who enjoys the journey. The 46th Cooper River Bridge Run is scheduled for April 1, 2023.

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