Weekend warriors head to McClellanville

The New Primal Games features tests of strength, endurance and agility. While the event was held the first two years on Daniel Island, organizer Jason Burke thinks he’s found a permanent home for the games at Thornhill Farms.

McClellanville is one of those Lowcountry coastal villages often described with the adjectives “sleepy” and “little.”

Well, the town, known for is shrimping industry, colorful history and families, and its remoteness, will be a little less sleepy as two high-energy events take place Saturday morning on its outskirts.

The third annual New Primal Games will be held at Our Local Foods at Thornhill Farm and is expecting to draw 200 to 300 mostly CrossFit-trained, Paleo-diet-eating competitors along with about 200 spectators. And the inaugural Awendaw Passage 14K Trail Run at Buck Hall Recreation Area in McClellanville is expecting to attract about 150 runners.

Not bad for the second day of official summer when the odds are high for stifling heat.

The Primal Games has evolved quite a bit after organizer Jason Burke held his “test runs” on Daniel Island. “I really wanted to create a festival atmosphere,” says Burke.

Staying true to its paleo theme, this year’s event kicks off Friday with an all-from-the-farm dinner, including a freshly slaughtered hog, a bonfire and overnight camping at Thornhill. Burke expects about 100 people to participate Friday.

Another change for Primal is the elimination of individual competitors, which isn’t very tribal. Instead, teams of three compete as one, underscoring the need to cooperate.

Saturday’s action kicks off with kayaking through a course on an 11-acre lake, with two of the three paddling and the third serving as dead weight. That’s followed by a 1.5-mile trail run, in which teams must carry a 40-pound sandbag.

Then there’s the usual obstacles — low crawl, scaling walls and the Slip ‘n’ Slide — and the strength tests, such as picking up and carrying a super heavy, spherical “Atlas Stone,” and pulling tire sleds. That’s followed by a new skill: archery. The team has two minutes to shoot three arrows, scored on precision.

Seemingly emulating the TV show, “Survivor,” after getting physically fried, the teams then have to solve a jigsaw puzzle in a certain amount of time.

Sound like fun? Well, if you want to do it, too late. Registration closed last week. But you can drop by to watch and start getting psyched for next year’s Primal Games.


Or you can get primal with a 8.7-mile trail run at 8 a.m. Saturday at Buck Hall.

The Awendaw Passage 14K is the dream of Dr. Adam Allie, who often hits the trail that originates at Buck Hall in training for ultra runs. The 34-year-old family physician competed in last’s year Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile race in Colorado, and is preparing for the 40th annual Western States 100-mile Endurance Run on June 29.

“I’ve always wanted to start a race, and I fell in love with the Awendaw Passage,” says Allie, who grew up in Mount Pleasant but got his start in trail running while living in Tennessee.

He also wanted to tie the race in with a charity, the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center.

Packet pickup and late registration will be 4-7 p.m. Friday at Fleet Feet Sports in Mount Pleasant and 6-7:30 a.m. Saturday at Buck Hall.


Like the Primal Games, Saturday’s Pint Pedal, a police-escorted bike parade from Palmetto Brewing Co. in Charleston to Coast Brewing Co. at the old Navy base in North Charleston and back, is sold out. It was only $5 and was capped at 125 participants.

Still, it’s worth noting because it ties together two of the great things in life: bicycles and beer, notably local craft brews.

And the Pint Pedal highlights, in my opinion, one of the most underutilized and unappreciated biking corridors in the area: the upper Meeting Street and Spruill Avenue corridor. The distance between the breweries is only 5.5 miles.

Christopher Winn of Palmetto Brewing says the Pint Pedal was dreamed up by Steve Werner, Robert Prioleau, Jamie Tenney and himself to celebrate the passage of a law allowing breweries in South Carolina to serve up to 48 ounces of their craft to customers. Previously, they could serve only 16 ounces.

“So why ride bikes? Well, we have a number of bike-likers in this group and some pretty sustainability sensitive principles to adhere to, so pedal power had to be a part of the fun. It’s only 5.5 miles each way, and that is what we felt would be a safe distance for most folks,” says Winn.

“Bikes and beer go way back. I think that both reflect a simple pleasure, and a slower pace, and that synergy can be found in every city in America,” says Winn, who used to produce a “bike circus” for New Belgium Brewing. “It (biking) is the epitome of localized living. Everything you really need is a bike ride away.”

For the first time, Charleston Pride is holding its Charleston Rainbow Run, which benefits the LGBTQ community and the Charleston Pride Festival, at 9 a.m. Sunday at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. Registration is $35-$40.