As more people seek to seize control of their health by eating healthier food and exercising, the world of fitness is going through what I can best describe as a democratization, a shift from a focus or emphasis on a fit elite to the less fit masses.
A perfect example of that was Saturday’s 24th annual Floppin’ Flounder 5K, which set a new record of 455 finishers.
Conventional wisdom would have that the more people racing, the better chances of having faster runners show up. With the exception of the last three years and 2008, this race ranged between 100 and 200 runners and the times were notably faster.
Saturday’s crowd seemed more diverse than ever, too.
Louie’s Kids, a locally based nonprofit that seeks to combat childhood obesity, made Floppin’ Flounder a goal race for its relatively new Fit Family Five training program.
Volunteers with Racers for Pacers, a group that gives children with disabilities the gift of a virtually runner, had participants.
And youth were a bigger part of the crowd, including members of the Mount Pleasant Track Club and parents pushing strollers designed for running.
Another sign of the democratization of fitness, particularly running, are the growth of non-competitive runs — mud and obstacle runs, zombie runs, color runs and night-time glow runs — some of which border more on fun than fit.
The latest of which comes to North Charleston on Saturday night with the inaugural Cosmic Glow Run, created by local Mega Mud Run Challenge founder Glenn Herring.
The event starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at Park Circle, specifically from DIG in the Park at 1049 E. Montague Ave. Packet pick-up and late registration also will be held there 6-7 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s a 5K nocturnal adventure with glow apparel, colored powder, different genres of music and specialty lighting all along the way,” says Herring, of the untimed event. “It’s also family-oriented and dog-friendly.”
While the fee is $50, children ages 6 to 10 get in free but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A portion of the proceeds will go to LEARN Horse Rescue, a Ravenel-based nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates horses in need with the goal of placing them in responsible adoptive homes.
MUSC Heart Health and the Team Richardson Foundation are joining together to host the Heart Health Family Fun 5K event 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Hampton Park, starting with a group warm-up, healthy snacks and raffles. The run and walk starts at 9:30 a.m.
The foundation was created by former Clemson and NFL offensive tackle Barry Richardson, who will meet participants.
The event raises funds to benefit the Heart Health Program of MUSC’s Children’s Hospital and the Team Richardson Foundation.
The program is a nonprofit that teaches a behavioral approach to weight management for children who are overweight or obese.
The purpose of the program is to help children learn to be healthy and reach a healthy body weight through an active lifestyle and good food choices.
The cost is $20 per individual but there are discounts for groups of four or more.
Meanwhile, a group called the Seniors of West Ashley will hold a fitness event that will include indoor and outdoor games, line dancing, Zumba Gold, chair exercise, pickle ball and more 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the Jewish Community Center and the Sherman House.
The event is free. For more information, call 573-1810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fourth of five races in Race the Landing 5K series will be today at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.
The Thursday evening running series includes a kids fun run starting at 6:15 p.m. and a 5K at 7 p.m. The cost is $10-$12 for the kids run and $30-$35 for the 5K and includes a post-race dinner, drinks, music and more.
The final race is set for July 9.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.