Ready for the Reindeer Run? You’ll have to wait a week

David Quick/Staff Rudolph and his reindeer are going to have to wait an extra week before this year's Reindeer Run, set for second Saturday in December for the first time in 25 years.

For a quarter century — yep, 25 years — the Charitable Society of Charleston has held its popular Reindeer Run on the first Saturday of December.

The festive 5K, with all its holiday-themed costumes, and kids, and dogs, and free beer, has become such a holiday kickoff tradition that some out-of-towners book airplane flights months in advance based on that reliable date.

But last September, the city of Charleston’s special events committee saw that the date conflicted with another event: the arrival of a cruise ship.

The committee gave the society’ Race Director Amanda Mahaffey two choices: move the race or move the date.

Because of the loyalty and teamwork the society has forged with Southend Brewery and other sponsors over the event’s history, Mahaffey says they wanted to keep the East Bay Street start and finish location and chose to move the date. The Reindeer Run will be held on Dec. 12.

The city’s ultimatum came during the special events meeting in September, two months after the society submitted its permit request and shortly after a committee member mentioned the cruise ship’s scheduled arrival.

And while that date change may not seem like a big deal to some, it puts the Reindeer Run in conflict with another long-standing running event, the Kiawah Island Marathon and Half Marathon.

So now, for the first time, the Reindeer Run and 38th marathon will be held on the same day, not to mention another holiday-themed race, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis in Mount Pleasant.

Many local runners, including myself, have used the Reindeer Run as a fun tune-up race for the half or marathon. In the past, I’ve called the Turkey Day Run, Reindeer and Kiawah the triple crown of Charleston running, a perfect bookend for a year of running. Oh well.

Low on totem?

The precedent for kicking races around the calendar seems to have been set earlier this year. The same committee had the organizers of the James Island Connector Run move its race up two weeks because of a Veteran’s Day parade and a Citadel football game.

But in that case, it turned out better and the organizers are going ask for the third Saturday in October in 2016. (Good luck!)

Stella Fruit, chairperson of the special events committee, insists that race events are not low on the totem pole, but that the committee has taking a harder line on any events that close streets, including parades and walks, for years. The events are proliferating and have an impact on residents and businesses.

But something else has changed. Earlier this year, the city passed a new tourism management plan with the goal of keeping the city “liveable.” So don’t count on races being held at regular times on the calendar anymore.

Fruit adds, however, that other concerns have arisen since 2011, notably security issues in the wake of a slew of terrorist attacks and that police resources must be used more judiciously.

Maybe like the James Island Connector Run, a different date may be a better fit for the Reindeer Run this time around. After all, the Society President Cristen Jones says the event’s to-date registrations are “up a little.”

Yogapop 6: Joy

The sixth Yogapop — an event featuring yoga, live music, healthy food and local vendors that routinely draws about 500 people together to practice — will back indoors starting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Memminger Auditorium.

The event comes on the heels of the first Yogapop held without a roof over its head, a six-hour, multi-class, daytime event held at The Grove at Patriot’s Point in September (my personal favorite, to date).

Yogapop co-founder Becca Finley says the event will feature two firsts, including the first male to lead the yoga session. She describes Steven Willard, who teaches at Holy Cow Yoga, as “embodying joy.”

As with other Yogapop events, today’s event will have a theme: joy. To that end, the event will feature the first-ever comedy improve group, Hot Pants, which Finley anticipates will poke a little fun at yogis themselves.

The fee for Yogapop is $25-$30. A portion of the proceeds benefit This is Noteworthy and the Beagle Freedom Project.

Polar explorer talk

Robert Swan, considered the world’s most celebrated polar explorer, will present a longer version of his “TED Talk: Let’s Save the Pristine Continent” at an event to be held 6-9 p.m. Dec. 9 at Half-Moon Outfitters, located at 94 Folly Road.

He also will offer information about his upcoming 2016 International Arctic Expedition.

Swan was the first person to walk to both poles, the South Pole in 1984 and the North Pole in 1989.

During his explorations of South Pole, Swan witnessed firsthand all negative effects of global climate changes. He devoted his life’s work to make sure that Antarctica will be preserved and free of exploitation.

His organization 2041’s mission is to inform, engage and inspire the next generation of leaders to take responsibility, be sustainable, and know that now is the time for action in policy development, sustainable business generation and future technologies.