What if the Cooper River Bridge Run and Walk were held three weeks early? What if the Turkey Day Run were not held on Thanksgiving Day? Or the Kiawah Island Marathon and Half were moved from the second Saturday in December?
The moving of these race dates, all running traditions nearly four decades old, would likely confuse, even anger, some runners who count on those popular, long-time races appearing regularly on the same calendar date.
The 32nd annual Charlie Post Classic, truly the Lowcountry's winter running "classic," has been moved up the calendar three weeks this month by the Charleston Running Club.
The 15K and 5K on Sullivan's Island will be held at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, instead of its usual date on the last Saturday of January, or Jan. 31 this year.
Granted, the event doesn't draw the numbers that the Bridge Run, Turkey Day or Kiawah draws and came five to six years after those races, but the date change has upset a few runners who count on it being in late January.
Running Club President Paul MacDonald says the few complaints have come primarily from local "elite runners" and that "nobody likes change."
"I'm relatively certain it (the race) will be moved back to when it was traditionally held next year," says MacDonald.
Danielle Girard, club vice president in charge of races, says the date change was designed to appeal to runners on the "everyday level" and it worked well for people who are planning to run the Charleston Marathon event, which includes a marathon and half-marathon, on Jan. 17.
Girard says the date change isn't hurting registrations, which was at about 400 on Monday. Last year's races, held in bitterly cold conditions, had 265 finishers in the 15K and 281 in the 5K and marked the second straight year that both races dropped in finisher numbers. (2012 set a record in the 15K with 406 finishers.)
Girard plans to seek feedback on the date change after the race is over, probably on Facebook or some online polling.
The Charlie Post race has survived date and location changes in the past. It started as a race in mid-November on the upper west side of Charleston in 1985, a year after the death of Dr. Charlie Post.
In 1987, The Citadel denied access to the campus for the race and the club had to cancel the race that year. That incident ultimately resulted in a date and location change - to the first Saturday in February on Sullivan's Island, according to Cedric Jaggers, who has kept records on the race since its origins. It remained on the first Saturday in February until 1998, when it was moved to the last Saturday in January until this year.
Jaggers himself says that anytime a race organizer moves the date of a race it's a risk and it usually results in a smaller turnout.
Then there's the question of weather, with some thinking that conditions are likely better in early January than late January. Over the years, part of the lure of the race for many runners is that the time and location often results in some combination of foul weather conditions: wind, cold and rain. And while some less hearty folks, perhaps "everyday runners," might opt to sleep in, the Charlie Post die-hards wouldn't.
Personally, I hope the club does move the race back to late January because it gives people, from everyday runners to elites, a chance to get some good training in after the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Training clinics for the Bridge Run and other runs, as you may have read in this space last week, are cranking up now, and an old-school club run would have been ideal on Jan. 31.
That said, I'll be out there on Saturday, race-ready or not.
Online registration closed at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. In-person registration and packet pick-up will be 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday at Fleet Feet Sports in Mount Pleasant and 7-8 a.m. Saturday at the Sullivan's Island Fire Station.
The fee is $30 for running club members and $35 for nonmembers on Friday, and $40 for all on Saturday.
Two downtown Charleston fitness studios, CHS Revolution indoor cycling studio and Pure Barre, are combining efforts for a "Ride and Burn for a Green Heart" on Saturday.
The event kicks off at 10 a.m. with a 30-minute spin, then moves to Pure Barre studio for a 30-minute class. It concludes with a healthy street party.
The event costs $35 for a single class or $50 for both. Proceeds benefit the Green Heart Project, a local nonprofit that creates school gardens and fosters healthy eating in local public schools.
Local yoga instructor Bethany Bubenzer will conduct a handstand workshop noon-2 p.m. Saturday at Charleston Power Yoga, 557 King St.
The workshop, which is open to beginners, is designed to "demystify" handstands and inversions and will breakdown the key elements required to safely and efficiently invert your body. Topics include core strength, alignment and flexibility. The cost is $25 per person.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.