In what has become the largest single triathlon in the Charleston area, the fourth annual Kiawah Island Triathlon is serving up even more to the 500-plus athletes registered for the event this year.
Registrants are coming from 27 states and Canada for the triathlon, which is a quasi-Olympic distance event. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. Sunday with a .7-mile ocean swim, followed by a 25.1-mile bike and 6.1-mile run. The staging area is Night Heron Park.
In 2013, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort stepped up when the triathlon faced an end to a two-decade run due the limited capacities of Beachwalker County Park. It has grown steadily since then primarily via word of mouth and social media.
Kiawah’s Elisabeth King said the courses for both the bike and run have changed this year. The bike route accesses more of the eastern end of the island, known as Ocean Park, and more roads that have less car traffic.
King said the run route was changed largely because a 7.1-foot high tide at 9:40 a.m. made the beach portion of the run iffy.
“It turns out people are really excited about not running on the beach. I would have thought otherwise,” said King, noting that the segment was known for being notoriously hot for the final leg of the triathlon.
In addition to optional, 30-minute course overviews on Saturday, King said the resort is offering a few more activities for participants.
A practice ocean swim, which in past years was held the week before, will be 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday. Blue Sky Endurance tri shop will be offering a transition clinic at 3-3:45 p.m. Saturday and a yoga class ($10 fee) geared for triathletes will be 5-6 p.m. Saturday.
Late registration is available for individual triathletes, not relay teams, at packet pick-up 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Night Heron Park Pavilion. The late fee is $145. The registrant cap for the race is 535.
Preceding the area’s largest triathlon event is the area’s largest stand-up paddleboarding race.
Last year, the Chucktown Showdown drew a couple of hundred paddlers, including those who like to paddle “prone” with their hands and those who use sleek, small boats called “surf skis.”
The fourth annual Chucktown Showdown, presented by The Carolina Paddle Board Co. and benefiting Special Olympics of South Carolina, starts at 8 a.m. Saturday on the Ashley River at the Brittlebank Park pier.
Chucktown Showdown includes 9-mile “harbor” and 4-mile “battery” courses (as well as a kids race). In the former, cash prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in two male and female divisions. The race is the World Paddling Associations Region 6 Championship this year
Registration fees are $90 for the harbor course, $70 for the battery course and $10 for the kids race. Online registration ends on Friday.
Also, three clinics will be offered on Friday at Bristol Pier, on the southern end of Brittlebank Park. A women’s only stand-up paddle clinic ($70) with video analysis taught by three-time Chucktown Showdown female champion April Zilg will be 4-6 p.m. A paddle technique clinic ($40) taught by last year’s male champion Jeramie Vaine$ will be 5-6 p.m. He will also teach a sunset SUP yoga clinic ($40) 6:30-7:30 p.m.
That’s not all on this last official weekend of summer.
On Saturday morning, there are three races, including the Barrier Island 5K at Camp St. Christopher on Wadmalaw Island.
The race, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. helps fund a program that brings thousands of school children, many who can’t afford to pay, to a nearly three-day Barrier Island outdoors program
Other races include the sixth annual Bohicket Marina 10K and 5K on Seabrook Island and the fifth annual CrossBridge 10K and 5K at Laurel Hill Plantation in Mount Pleasant.
For links to all three races, go to http://www.charlestonrunningclub.com/
Want to give back to the Lowcountry?
Help out by heading out 9 a.m. Saturday for the 28th annual Beach Sweep/River, the state’s largest one-day litter cleanup of beaches, marshes and waterways
Last year, more than 4,500 volunteers removed nearly 32 tons of litter from the state’s beaches, marshes and waterways. In the cleanup’s 27-year history, 1,209 tons of litter have been collected, and much of it was recycled.