For more than a dozen years, one event, the Save the Light Half Marathon and 5K on Folly Beach, has focused on one of Charleston's most iconic landmarks: the Morris Island Light.
And while much work and millions of dollars has been put into saving the historic lighthouse, the folks with the nonprofit Save the Light say there is still more to do. And they are promoting the latest effort at this Saturday's event.
Doug Oswald, an organizer of the race, says the motto "Take a Step," which encourages people to pay for a step of the lighthouse ($3,500), will be emblazoned on the race this year.
"We're ready to take the next step in preserving the lighthouse by renovating the whole thing," says Oswald.
Last year's 11th event drew 327 finishers in the half-marathon and 262 in the 5K. The question this year will be the fatigue of local runners who have been brutalized by cold and wind during the Charleston Marathon and Half Marathon on Jan. 18 and the Charlie Post Classic 15K and 5K last weekend.
This Saturday's conditions, however, appear to be milder, with temperatures in the upper 50s or low 60s.
The Save the Light races both start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday near the pier on Folly Beach.
The fees are $60 for the half and $35 for the 5K. Packet pick-up and late registration is 4-7 p.m. Friday and 7-8 a.m. Saturday at The Tides hotel, which is offering a special room rate to runners of $99.
February is National Heart Month, and efforts continue to raise awareness of women's heart health issues through the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.
Kicking off the month is the fourth Go Red Heart 5K Run & Walk, in memory of Robin Seay, at 9 a.m. Saturday. The race starts and finishes near the pavilion at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, 20 Patriots Point Road in Mount Pleasant.
Last year's event, also held the same weekend as Save the Light, drew 224 finishers.
The fees are $30-$40 and runners are encouraged to wear red. The post-race celebration will be held at the pavilion with awards, music and raffles. Free on-site parking is available.
Surfing in the winter takes special dedication, and for the second consecutive year, the Ocean Surf Shop's Icebox Open will recognize those die-hards.
The event is held at the Folly Beach Washout.
The shop, in conjunction with the Eastern Surfing Association, has announced the "hold dates" for the second annual Icebox: Feb. 15-16, Feb. 22-23 and March 1-2.
The contest, which drew 40 surfers last year on a cold, dreary afternoon, will start at 8 a.m. on the chosen day, selected about four days in advance by Ocean Surf Shop's "expert forecasters."
The top cash prizes will be $1,000, along with a $400 prize for top female and other prizes for the runners-up.
Open divisions will be held for men and women. There will be four-man heats of 20 minutes, with top surfers advancing to a final, cold, big-money showdown. There also will be an open grom division this year, which is for novices or youths.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.