Labor Day weekend is usually an opportunity for me to look ahead at the fall lineup of sweaty events, but this year’s different.
The month of September, one of the most under-appreciated months in the Lowcountry, has suddenly become jammed with an array of events, both new and renewed.
While the Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon on Sept. 15 is an inaugural event for the resort, a triathlon on Kiawah Island on the third Sunday of September has been a staple for endurance athletes for 19 years.
Kiawah decided to put on the event inside the gates in the months after the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission told the former triathlon’s race director, Mike Loggins, that he no longer could use Beachwalker County Park. The event was too big for a park that had become popular with beachgoers.
The resort, which has hosted the Kiawah Island Marathon and Half Marathon for nearly three decades, has experience putting on a first-class endurance sports event that entails nightmarish logistics.
Race director Elisabeth King says she was surprised at how the logistics of a triathlon for 400 people has proved to be as challenging as the marathon and half for a total of 4,000 people.
As expected, Kiawah is going the extra mile to turn the weekend into a celebration, hosting a Get Fit Festival on Sept. 14 at Night Heron Park to coincide with the triathlon’s packet pick-up and course briefings.
Among the activities will be yoga, a basketball clinic with College of Charleston Coach Doug Wojcik and family fitness activities. The event is free and open to anyone, including those not staying on the island or participating in the triathlon.
Another extra will be a “practice swim” in the ocean, set for 12:30 p.m. Sept. 7.
For triathletes, note that the inaugural Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon is nearing its cap of 400 individual and relay registrants. If you want in, you better sign up soon.
On the same day as the Get Fit Festival, Sept. 14, the inaugural Chucktown Showdown stand-up paddleboard races will be held, with the elite 8.5-mile and recreational 4-mile races starting and ending at Brittlebank Park.
Joe “SUP Joey” McQuaid, organizer of the event, expects to draw about 100 racers, thanks largely to prize packages and scenic but challenging courses.
“This is a race where the long-course overall winners will be winning cash prizes, while some of the other categories will be receiving prizes (items),” says McQuaid, noting that Lucey Mortgage Corp. is the presenting sponsor of the event, which benefits Special Olympics.
Chucktown Showdown also is tied to the BIC SUP One Design U.S. National Championship, to be held at James Island County Park on Sept. 15.
Most avid runners know their typical times for 5Ks, 10Ks, halfs and marathons. But what about the mile? That distance has practically died at the hands of the metric system.
But retro is in, and the mile, at least nationally, seems to be making a comeback.
Locally, mile races have come and gone, but in an ironic twist, the folks behind the Charleston Marathon seem to have a formula that can make it work in the Holy City, or the North Holy City.
The inaugural Montague Mile features seven one-mile races — kids (14 and under), high school (15-18), females (19-39), females masters (40 and up), men’s (19-39), men’s masters (40 and up) and elite (invitational) — from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 15 on the main drag of Montague Avenue in North Charleston.
Charleston Marathon executive director Liz Miello says the event is meant not only for participating but spectating.
“Given that it is a mile, it is open to all ages and running levels,” says Miello. “It is a chance to run an all out mile and then to watch the local elites duke it out. The elite heat is last, so the excitement will build as the evening progresses.”
Zombies are hot, and Charleston is getting its second zombie run in two years with Boone Hall Plantation’s inaugural Running Scared 5K Zombie Apocalypse on Sept. 22, which will send folks racing through the “zombie infested woods” of the plantation.
How does a zombie run work? Runners will venture into the woods with three “life flags” hanging from their waist band and will run an obstacle course. Like flag football, zombies hiding in the woods come and try to remove the flags. The goal of the runners is to have at least one flag left when they cross the finish line.
Participants can sign up as runners ($50), feasting zombies ($50), the zombie horde ($25) or as spectators ($10 in advance, $15 at the gate). For the budget conscious, note that prices for runners and zombies goes up $10 after Sunday.
Joining the zombies will be a zombie celebrity. Erin Bushko, who plays a zombie on the hit AMC TV series “Walking Dead,” will be on hand to meet participants and sign autographs during the Ultimate Zombie Bash that will be taking place from noon-8 p.m.
Boone Hall is using the event to kick off its Boone Hall Fright Nights, Sept. 27-Nov. 2.
ALS run moves
For 12 years, the ALS HOPE 5K Beach Run has been held in early June on the Isle of Palms by students in the physical therapy and occupational therapy programs at the Medical University of South Carolina.
When the students no longer wanted to organize it, the South Carolina Chapter of the ALS Association picked it up, but because of other existing charity events in the spring, the nonprofit decided to move it to September.
The 13th edition comes at 6 p.m. Sept. 21 on the Isle of Palms.