Oktoberfest 5K kicks off a busy, active weekend

Done your best German ensemble and take part in the Oktoberfest 5K.

Oktoberfest always seemed to me to be the fall version of St. Patrick's Day. Both celebrate the culture of European countries with beer.

So it seems fitting that a local runner in a civic club saw the same parallels and came up with a run banking on the success of the Catch the Leprechaun 5K held on the Thursday before St. Paddy's: the Oktoberfest 5K to be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park.

"Catch the Leprechaun was an inspiration for it. I saw how successful it was at tying the competitiveness of a 5K run with a more festive mood of an evening run," said Mike Bloser, the race director and a member of the East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club.

The club is using the event to raise money for East Cooper Community Outreach, a nonprofit that provides "safety net" services to the area's low-income residents.

The event will include a German band, beer provided by the local Westbrook Brewing, bratwursts on the grill and - break out your lederhosen - an Oktoberfest costume contest.

The race day fee is $40, not much more than going to a German restaurant for a dinner of brats and beer. And you can save $5 on the fee by not getting a race T-shirt.

Registration and packet pickup is 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday at On The Run, 920 Houston Northcutt Blvd. in Mount Pleasant, or 4-6 p.m. at the park.

Check out www.oktoberfest5krun.net.

It's 5K season, and for those who are more into the conventional Saturday morning race, two are on tap this Saturday. Both benefit children's causes.

The third annual Avondale 5K Run + Walk for Special Kids will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on Magnolia Road, in front of Triangle Char & Bar in West Ashley. The event benefits the local special needs day care the Charles Webb Center.

Much like Oktoberfest, Triangle Char & Bar will host a party after the 5K with live music and all-inclusive food and drinks.

Go to avondale5k.com.

North Area residents don't have to drive far to participate in the Crowfield Plantation 5K Run and Walk, also at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The race will begin and end at Middleton Park and uses the Goose Creek community's paved trail system.

The event, which costs $25 to enter, benefits the Callen-Lacey Center for Children, which opened in 1998 and provides a secure, protective and nurturing environment for abused, abandoned and neglected children.

Check out www.crowfield5K.com.

Two cycling events, a short one Saturday and longer one Sunday, will benefit cancer causes.

The annual Trek Breast Cancer Awareness Ride is a national event organized by Trek and 100 store dealers with a goal of having more than 10,000 people participate in organized bike rides to show support for breast cancer patients and survivors.

The local event, organized by Trek Bicycle Store of Mount Pleasant, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday starting from Awendaw Green and Sewee Trading Post, 4853 U.S. Highway 17 in Awendaw. The event features 10-mile and 25-mile rides. The cost to participate is $25. All registration fees go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Online registration closes at 3 p.m. Friday. Registration on Saturday before the event also will be available.

Go to trekbikesofmountpleasant.com.

The fifth annual Jerry Zucker Ride for Hope, set for 8 a.m. Sunday also at Awendaw Green and Sewee Trading Post, is expected to surpass the $500,000 mark in money raised for local cancer causes.

There will be several routes ranging from a 3-mile family ride to a 70-mile road course.

To participate in the adult ride, individuals must raise a minimum of $500 or be an event sponsor. While relatively pricey, participants will receive an eco-friendly T-shirt from Asheville, N.C.-based RecoverBrands.com, a George Hincapie cycling jersey valued at $100, custom-made Defeet socks, lunch from Carrabba's Italian Grill and music by Gracious Day.

Go to charlestonrideforhope.com for more.

Also on Sunday, the Capers Island ECOrun 10K and 5K beach runs will return to the barrier island noon-3 p.m.

Getting on the island requires a ferry trip, so participants must arrive at the Isle of Palms Marina, 80 41st Ave., by 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The marina parking fee is $3 cash.

The cost to participate is $45. and a portion of the proceeds goes to Charleston Chefs Feed the Need.

Check out capersecorun.blogspot.com.

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