Hibernation is over; March kicks off with three trail runs and Charleston's toughest "mud run"

The Mullet Haul at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center features trail runs of both 5 and 10 miles.

On Saturday, March roars in like a lion with the fullest slate of weekend fitness events since before the New Year.

And while temperatures are forecast to be far from spring-like this weekend, March is here and the promise of warmer, longer days is in the air.

Mullet Haul


Kicking off the weekend is the fourth annual Mullet Haul trail race, which was listed in the hot-off-the-presses book "The Runner's Bucket List: 200 Races To Run Before You Die" by Denise Malan.

The race, held at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center on Johns Island, encourages runners to wear real or imitation mullet hairstyles (typically short on the front and sides and ridiculously long in the back) during the race. While sporting a mullet is not required, the best mullet and themed costumes will be awarded prizes along with the top runners.

The event features a 10-mile and a 5-mile trail run on the horse paths of Mullet Hall, which is usually closed to pedestrians. Both races start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The post-race celebration includes food by La Ti Da Catering, beer by Palmetto Brewing and live music by The Dunder Chiefs.

Fees are $28 and $34 for the 5-miler and $36 and $44 for the 10-miler; the less expensive fees are for Charleston County residents. Online registration is open until 3 p.m. Friday at www.charlestoncountyparks.com/mullethaul.

Late registration and packet pickup will be available on-site from 7-8 a.m. Saturday at Mullet Hall off of River Road.

18th Bulldog Challenge


Talk about lions; you have to have true courage to take on the most challenging and longest running "mud run" in the Charleston area.

The 18th annual Citadel Bulldog Challenge starts at 9 a.m. with four-person teams being sent out in two-minute intervals. The event requires the teams, made up of military, police, fire or civilian members, to perform more than a dozen physically and mentally challenging tasks on a nearly six-mile course while the team manages to carry three 20-pound sandbags.

Participants also have to navigate, as a team, through a military-style obstacle course. Among the "highlights" is the "Battle of Inchon," where participants "low-crawl" under rope through pluff mud for a distance of about 50 meters.

As of last week, race director Marine Capt. Marcus Gillett said about 110 four-person teams had signed up and that he expects more before the deadline at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

www3.citadel.edu/bdc

Tree Church 5K


For those wanting something a bit less challenging, there's the inaugural Tree Church 5K at 8 a.m. Saturday at Laurel Hill Plantation in Mount Pleasant.

The event, organized by Christ (Episcopal) Church Mount Pleasant, seeks to raise money to build churches in Africa. This year' beneficiary is the community of Marsabit in northern Kenya.

Christ Church plans to use the money from the 5K to build a church for the community.

Online registration and additional information is available on the Christ Church Tree Church Project Facebook page. The fee is $25 in advance and $30 the day of the race.

Early packet pick-up and in-person registration will be 3-7 p.m. Friday at Christ Church, 2304 North Highway 17. Race day registration and late packet pickup will be 7-7:45 a.m. Saturday at Laurel Hill Plantation.

www.christch.org

Race & Roast


If you miss your chance to run or walk the trails on Saturday, you have another chance Sunday at an event I heard rave reviews about last year: East Cooper Land Trust's Race & Roast, a 5K trail run followed by an oyster roast.

The 5K Trail Run will begin at 12:30 p.m. and winds through the 132-acre forest at Oakland Plantation.

The run is predominantly on hard-packed dirt trails or road. Strollers are not recommended. Also, dogs and other pets are not allowed.

Tickets for the race and roast are $55 and limited spots are available. The fee for just the oyster roast is $30 for land trust members or $40 for nonmembers. It includes all-you-can-eat oysters, hot dogs, chili, coleslaw and beer or wine.

Early packet pickup is 4-8 p.m. Friday and 1-6 p.m. Saturday at Triangle Char & Bar, 1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd., in Mount Pleasant.

www.eastcooperland.org/events/upcoming-events/race-n-roast

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