GET OUT: Crazy array of events kicks off first spring weekend
Obstacle race mania returns to Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant on Saturday with the second Rugged Maniac Adventure Race and Music Festival.
Last year, about 2,000 people, many driving in from other states, participated in the event that featured about 15 obstacles on a 5K course.
This year, at the end of the online registration deadline last Friday, the event has 4,000 people signed up for a course expected to have up to 25 obstacles.
"It's going to be bigger and better this year," said Brad Scudder, president of the Boston-based Rugged Races, which puts on the Maniac series.
Last year, Scudder had to forgo a fire pit because of a severe drought. And while he's asked for one this year, he doubts he'll get it. But the quintessential element of obstacle races -- mud -- will be a part of it, and grown-ups, for some reason, love to get muddy.
The popularity of obstacle races continues to grow. Charleston's own Citadel Bulldog Challenge set a record with 181 four-person teams in its 6-mile obstacle race three weeks ago.
Scudder's business has gone from one Rugged Maniac in 2010 to 10 in 2011. And this year, he has 14 on the books and six more in the works.
If you missed the online registration, in-person registration is still available Saturday, but it'll cost you: $88.
Waves of participants start in 30-minute intervals from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Some waves already are at capacity, but Scudder suggested arriving an hour before the wave time that a participant wants to join. The total capacity of the event, though, is 4,600, so arriving in the morning may assure you a chance to pay to get muddy.
Because the event is a festival that includes food trucks and music by Ben Fagan & The Holy City Hooligans and T.J. Kong & The Atomic Bomb, spectators will have to pay $10 to get in.
Want something a bit more clean, calm and less costly?
Charleston's Race Judicata will be at 8 a.m. at Hampton Park and involves racing lawyers for three loops around the park. Many use it as a last minute tune-up for the Cooper River Bridge Run, which is March 31.
Registration is $25 and will be 4-7 p.m. Friday at the Charleston School of Law lobby, 81 Mary St., and starting at 7 a.m. Saturday at Hampton Park. The event raises money for the Lowcountry Housing Trust.
Walk for Water
One of the impressive global charities based in Charleston (actually Mount Pleasant) is Water Missions International, which seeks to provide sustainable safe water and sanitation to impoverished communities around the world.
One of its big local events is the annual Walk for Water, the sixth of which will be at 9 a.m. Saturday. It will be staged from Cannon Park. Cost is $15.
More charity opps
Also walking Saturday is The ALS Association South Carolina Chapter, which will hold its Lowcountry Walk to Defeat ALS at Riverfront Park in North Charleston. The event begins at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m.
Money raised through pledges helps fund patient care for people with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in South Carolina, as well as cutting-edge research to find a cause, treatment and cure for this devastating neurodegenerative disease.