The Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series features five races from May to August every year with the championship round coming in the last one.
So No. 4, always held on the last Sunday of July, can be a throwaway for those who have already competed in two of the required three races to be considered a series champion.
But this Sunday will mark a first, of sorts, for CSTS in the 26-year history of the race.
Initiated by Blue Sky Endurance, the race will feature a triathlon team competition as a pilot for the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission to consider as a new category for the full series in 2017.
Blue Sky’s Kayla Edwards says the store, which opened in Mount Pleasant this spring, is hoping the triathlon team competition will help grow the triathlon series.
“Because the series is not a USAT-sanctioned event, we want to give triathletes across the state a good reason to bring more competitive triathletes to the series,” said Edwards.
Blue Sky is even thinking ahead to next year. Edwards said the store is envisioning hosting a tri team social on the night before the championship race in August 2017.
The team contest has not been broadly advertised. Instead, Blue Sky contacted representatives of a few triathlon clubs. So far, Blue Sky and Go Tri Sports of Hilton Head Island have entered teams. As of Wednesday, the commission had not received entries from the popular Summerville Tri Club and Myrtle Beach Triathlon Club.
Allison Riddick Foster, the commission’s fitness and wellness program manager, said the club competition requires a minimum of three open/elite or five age group registrants who both pre-registered and finish a race to qualify. The teams are co-ed but she says there is no minimum number of females required.
As for the championship series, last year’s champs, Ryan Hoff and Shelli Ciandelli, won’t repeat.
Hoff, who won the first race in May, has been called into duty with the Air Force. Ciandelli, a medical student, finished third in the third race and may be limited by a surfing injury.
So far, the leading contenders are George Moreno, 25, of Bluffton, and Sandy O’Keefe, 37, of Summerville.
Moreno is not pre-registered for Sunday or the championship race on Aug. 14, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be racing. In the second race, Moreno laid down the fastest time of this year’s series, to date, with a time of 57 minutes, 19 seconds.
O’Keefe is signed up for Sunday but not for Aug. 14 yet.
The sprint triathlon, which starts at 7:15 a.m. Sunday, includes a 600-yard freshwater swim in the park’s lake, a 12-mile bike ride through the park and out and back on Riverland Drive and 5K run. The fees to participate are $54 for Charleston County residents, $60 for non-residents and $43 Move IT! pass members.
For the last six summers, a Saturday morning bike ride, RIDEdwin, has been held in late July to remember Edwin Gardner, who was killed while bicycling on the Charleston peninsula in the summer of 2010.
Gardner was a civic-minded father who saw biking as a means of transportation and a better way to enjoy Charleston. RIDEdwin, organized shortly after his death, has evolved from a memorial ride into a celebratory one.
But because organizer Charleston Moves had to focus primarily on the Legare Bridge bike lane campaign this summer, it had to postpone organizing the ride until Sept. 10.
Those who enjoy participating in a “slow roll” have another opportunity to ride downtown at 6 p.m. Friday at Affordabike on King Street.
The bike store has been organizing “Commute on King” bike rides to raise awareness of the importance of cycling in Charleston. The last one, held in the rain, drew about 60 people. The 30-minute ride is following with free pizza and beer at the store.
The store also has three tandem bikes and invites seniors and people disabilities to participate on the back seat of a tandem.
While the ride does not have a police escort, a store staffer drives a golf cart carrying extra bikes behind the group in the event of mechanical issues.
The third of three Capers ECOrun events this summer will take place 9 a.m. to noon Sunday. The 10K and 5K run and walk are held on the “boneyard beach” of Capers Island. Transportation for the island leaves at 9 a.m. from Isle of Palms Marina.
Fees range from $25 to $40, but do not include the $3 parking fee for the marina. Proceeds from the event benefit Charleston Chef’s “Feed the Need.”
Reach David Quick at firstname.lastname@example.org